A Closer Look: Thai the Knot
Passing through the busy intersection of 99W and North Villa, Thai The Knot’s “Grand Opening” sign stays happily plastered on the window. The small lot contains multiple cars, its fullness varying depending on the hour of the day. I enter the parking lot, peering into the windows, and see employees carrying giant plates piled high with cuisine. Customers sit at the tables and steam from the massive bowls coming out of the kitchen waft through the air. I anxiously open the door, awaiting my first Thai meal.
Thai The Knot made its big opening in Newberg in October. Replacing popular Hawaiian restaurant Taste of 808, this spot serves feel-good Thai recipes that the owners have been making for years. In fact, the husband and wife duo’s decision to open this restaurant on their anniversary month was the inspiration behind the clever name. They offer classics like Pad Thai and unique dishes like basil chicken wings. The menu also has kid-friendly options and many options accommodating vegetarians and vegans.
I decided to try out Thai The Knot after passing the sign many times and hearing great things from friends. I wanted an accompaniment, and so my boyfriend graciously joined me for an early dinner. We pulled into the front parking lot around 4:45 p.m. If you try it out, I would definitely recommend parking in the back parking lot as it is way easier to enter and exit through.
We walked in and were immediately greeted by two employees. I scanned the restaurant and saw three or four small groups dining. The atmosphere was peaceful and relaxing – voices weren’t too loud and the music was hushed. To my right was a giant menu blown up on the wall. A bat without my glasses, this made it easy to read and pick out what I wanted.
The menu offered an array of meals, ranging from noodles to curry. As someone who didn’t eat meat, my best options were noodles. This led me to choosing the classic Pad Thai dish. As a Thai food newbie, I felt clueless. However, the employees were extremely helpful in helping me navigate the unfamiliar menu. My boyfriend chose their special of the day: roasted chicken noodle soup. We decided to take it to go, as we didn’t really have time to sit down and eat. We paid roughly $10 each, and sat down at a table to wait.
As the minutes went by, I observed the attentive employees checking up on their customers. I also admired the polished wood tables and benches that filled the restaurant. There was a TV playing a movie without sound, which my boyfriend pointed out as a nice addition.
Within ten minutes, a friendly employee approached us with our meals ready to go. We then headed home to enjoy our meals. The first thing I noticed about our food was our portions – they were generous. This made me feel like for the money we paid, it was a great deal. My noodles were smothered in a sweet, tangy peanut sauce and had crunchy bean sprouts on top. Little pieces of egg were hidden between the noodles, and crisp scallions were sprinkled on top.
Considering I had never tried Thai food before, I was pretty nervous I wouldn’t like it as I have been told before I can be picky. Surprisingly, I found it pretty tasty. It was a new flavor for me, one that I’ve never experienced before. It was different, no doubt, but pleasant.
My boyfriend was given a deep bowl of steaming soup. He really enjoyed the broth and it was full with giant pieces of chicken. They also gave us a side of complimentary vermicelli noodles that we both simply added to our dishes. In the end, we were full and our tummies were satisfied.
The first reason I felt so compelled to give Thai The Knot a chance was the positive word I’d heard all around campus. My roommates both went and came back raving about it, saying it was delicious and they got huge portions. I also had heard from some of my peers who worked there.
George Fox University (GFU) student and current employee Leila Seamster says that since opening, “business has been great and we have seen a lot of customers returning since opening night.” A former employee at Taste of 808, she expects business to soon get to the busy pace that 808 accomplished. Newberg has seen many businesses in and out of this corner which leads residents to wonder if Thai The Knot can stand.
“I definitely think it will last. It’s new, convenient, and word is spreading fast so I’m excited to see where it goes,” Seamster said.
If you are craving Thai food, this new spot is a great option. The employees are attentive, the service is fast, and the portions are big. Seeing that this popular corner has a fast turn-over rate, we really can’t for sure say how long they will be with us. From what I’ve heard from ecstatic peers and my own personal experience, however, it looks promising.
If you’re looking for a place to cozy up and relax for lunch or dinner, their atmosphere is calming and warm. But if you just want to stay in for Netflix, take-out is fast and easy. Either way, Thai The Knot should be on your radar as something to take a chance on for your next outing in Newberg.
Reported by Mollisande Williams