Restaurant Review Americana Kitchen Asian Street Food
Location: 1104 Naamans Creek Road, Garnet Valley, PA (at the intersection of Ebright Rd.)
Owner: Dan Lieberman
Website: www.americana.kitchen; also on Facebook.com: Americanafood
Ambiance: Americana is a friendly, informal place with casual atmosphere. There are about 9 tables, several seating 6 and 8. There is a blackboard menu as you enter, as well as a stack of paper menus to look over—which is a must, because the selections are many are able to be flexibly mixed and matched. The tables are wooden, wood floors nicely refinished, and ceiling fans above.
Service: Counter ordering on touchpad or with a staff member, self-service utensils (including chopsticks) and soda/water dispenser. They provided wine glasses for our BYOB wines. Also note, they are doing a brisk takeout business and a growing delivery business within a 5-mile radius. When ordering on the touchpad, you enter your cell phone number; and you receive a text when your order is ready. But I noticed the staff also brought our food to the table.
Experience: Our dishes were served rather uniquely on a real banana leaf which is on a (substantial) paper tray, with a generous serving of jasmine (or brown) rice right on the banana leaf, next to which was a really generous bowl my order, chicken green curry. I also ordered coconut shrimp ($6.95) with 2 dipping sauces, one a Thai sweet chili sauce, and a creamy Siracha mayo sauce. The coconut shrimp was very good, as were the sauces.
The curry ($14.95) was so flavorful, bursting with my favorite tastes of coconut milk, Thai basil (I grow it) and kefir lime leaves (which I order and store in my freezer). There were also cubed potatoes, onions and green and red peppers in the dish, with a great quantity of delicious sauce.
Several things I believe would improve the green curry dish: The lemongrass confounded those who had never seen it, and they tried to eat it. It can’t be chewed, so it should be removed before serving (as a bay leaf in a stew would be). And the kefir lime leaf has a tough inner vein which should be sliced out, and the remaining part of the leaves should be finely chiffonaded before adding to the curry, so they are easily edible. The flavor is wonderful, but the leaves are tough! The chicken was plentiful, but I would have preferred a mix of both breast and thigh chunks, rather than all thigh (my guess). That being said, I ate until I couldn’t take another bite, it was so delicious; and I took home enough for a light lunch the next day, with two coconut shrimp. And I came hungry!
My fellow diner Jay ordered beef red curry with jasmine rice, and Bob got veggie spring rolls (I got one, and they were very good), Tom-Yum soup, a traditional Thai soup flavored with lemongrass, tomato, basil, kefir lime, and lime juice. It had a lovely spicy, slightly hot and tangy flavor. Next time!
Menu: There are so many interesting choices on the menu, it will drive you crazy deciding what to order: Asian street fries, chicken satay with peanut sauce, wings seasoned three ways in batches of 5, 10 or 20; steamed crab shumai, potstickers, Bangkok chicken salad, and main courses like chicken and salmon teriyaki, basil ginger shrimp, sesame chicken, fried rice, and beef bulgogi (a Korean beef dish). You can create your own wraps and bowls; and Americana even has desserts and Thai iced tea. The menu is across the Asian board: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, and enough vegetarian dishes (clearly marked) to make it a satisfying experience for vegetarians/vegans. See their menu on Facebook to plan ahead.
Total Bill: $33.60 for two of us, plus a tip. I am not sure tipping is necessary, if you pick up your own food at the counter, but since we had wine and they brought the food, we tipped.
Additional Comments: This new place offers a unique dining experience for those who are tired of the standard Cantonese Chinese restaurant fare. It feels more adventurous and varied. I will try the delivery next on a rainy night like tonight!
Anne Pounds, TheCheapEater.com, an affiliate of WelcomeNeighborPA.com
Disclosure: Americana Kitchen is now a Welcome Neighbor sponsor, offering a $10 gift card to new homeowners we visit, as their welcome gift.
Anne & Bob Pounds, the owners of Welcome Neighbor, the new home owner personal visitation, community orientation service and deliverer of special housewarming gifts from sponsoring business owners, enjoy having the best eating out experiences... at the lowest prices, hence thecheapeater.com They love sharing their "finds" here and in their monthly newsletter: the Neighborly News. Enjoy!