Want a meal to “Thai” for?
From Tom Kha to Nam Tok, at Sue’s Thai Cuisine and Noodle bar, it’s almost as if you’re eating your meal abroad.
The restaurant, located at 5139 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, is owned husband-and-wife team, Nick and Sue Gemmo.
They opened up in November after some coercing from fans.
“We had a food concession at the Pocono Bazaar,” Nick, who also runs his own carpet cleaning business, said. “When she was there, people would come to the flea market just to get (her) food and then leave. We constantly heard, 'You’ve got to open up a restaurant, you’ve got to open a restaurant,’ and with that, this place became available. We snatched it up because of the location and because it came with everything that you see.”
While the exterior resembles a diner, the couple have decorated the joint with Thai decor ― a nod to Sue’s homeland.
On the walls hang colorful framed tapestries as Thai pop music (and other native sounds) can be heard softly in the background.
Sue graduated with a culinary degree from Suan Dusit University in Bangkok, but got her real start in the kitchen with her mom.
“When I was 6 years old, she told me if I'm hungry, 'go fry (an) egg to eat,’ ” Sue said. “And after that, every time she’d cook, I would help her. From peeling vegetables to stir fry. A lot of recipes that we use are from my childhood and my family.”
Nick, who has visited Thailand five times, says his wife is the real deal.
“One of the things that my wife puts into every dish is ― first of all love ― because she loves what she does and she loves when people love her food, but it’s also authentic. She's cooking like she was in a restaurant in Bangkok,” he said. “We’ve been told that by our guests that come in, and they've been to other Thai restaurants in the area, that the taste that they get here is different than there.They use the word authentic as well.”
The couple is more than happy to debunk the myths regarding Thai food.
"One of the misconceptions is that Thai food is spicy ― it's not. A lot of people ask about the curry (spice). They think of the curry that's used in Indian food which is blow your brains out hot," Nick said. “But (almost) everything we cook here is made with no spices unless the dish inherently has some spice like the evil jungle curry has a little bit of spice and the red curry has a little bit of spice."
Unlike other Asian foods, Thai eats are prepared using lighter sauces and seasonings.
And then there’s Sue’s secret weapon.
Each dish, whether it’s stir-fried, curry concocted or noodle-based, comes with a homemade sauce that is bursting with flavor.
As Nick describes, Thai food contains a mix of sweet and sour notes, but you can add or subtract how much spice you want to your meal when you place your order.
Vegan or gluten-free dishes are also available.
The duo are happy to introduce people to a new kind of palette.
“We've had several people come in that have never had Thai food,” Nick said. “For instance, one lady told me her husband is a very picky eater, just a meat and potatoes (type), and when she left she said, they’ll be back. Her husband liked it, and her kids were amazed that he liked it, too.”
Thai this: First-timers typically order the pad thai (made with rice noodles, egg, ground peanut, scallion, and bean sprouts). “Everybody tells us, 'If you screw up the pad thai nothing else is going to be good. It's like going to a pizza place and ordering a slice of pizza. If it's no good, nothing else they make is going to be good,” Nick said. Other popular items are the chicken noodle stir-fry (rice noodles served with marinated white meat chicken, romaine and Thai hot sauce on the side), and the buzz-worthy drunken noodle (Thai-style large noodles or rice basil sauce with egg, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and onions).
The dish: If you dig dim-sum, try the Thai dumplings (steamed or fried with crab meat, ground pork, shrimp and chicken) or veggie dumplings (steamed or fried and made with mushrooms, corn, taro, carrots) paired with a Thai ice tea (a sweet orange-tasting tea made with heavy cream). Lunch specials, which are generous in portion, are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and start at $8.95. Add chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or tofu to any meal for $2. Lunches include a can of soda.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Info: 570-223-7300, Suesthaicuisine.com