Doctor Friend of Munch -- who decided to plan a wedding, buy a house and begin her first year of residency within just a few months of each other -- called Munch in a panic earlier this month.
Her fiance, He Who Is Incapable of Throwing Anything Away, moved his things into their new house but had yet to unpack.
"The wedding is in three weeks and there are boxes everywhere!" DFOM shrieked into the phone through tears.
"It's OK," Munch replied. "This is why God made unions and unions made personal days. I'll take tomorrow off and we'll get your house in order."
Munch also promised to take DFOM out for lunch on the Post-Gazette's dime. DFOM stopped crying.
After spending the following morning opening boxes, labeling them "assorted items," "booze" or "five unopened Monopoly games," and shoving them in closets, Munch and DFOM began mining the Internet for a place to eat. DFOM demanded Thai.
We found a Thai and Cambodian place called Angkor Restaurant. After successfully navigating through the West End Circle, we arrived at a strip mall in Oakwood. Munch was skeptical -- strip mall Thai? -- but we were starving.
We walked in, and it didn't feel like a strip mall anymore. White and green tablecloths and warm woodwork complemented the cute decor.
We sat down and asked for Thai iced teas, which were refreshing after a long morning of work. We decided to start with the fresh spring rolls with tofu ($5.95), and Munch, feeling undernourished, thought the Angkor healthy soup ($3.95) would be restorative.
DFOM was in the mood for noodles and went with the green curry noodles with shrimp ($8.95). Munch decided to try the moarn chha kroeung with tofu ($6.95), listed on the menu as an "original khmer dish" and an "Angkor creation."
Munch was disappointed with the healthy soup -- it struck Munch as a bit bland. DFOM adamantly disagreed, saying the soup was salty and flavorful.
We agreed the fresh spring rolls were not the best we've had -- they were heavy on the lettuce and light on the herbs, and the tofu was dry and porous, almost like a sliced baguette.
By the time the entrees arrived, Munch and DFOM were pretty stuffed -- our lunches came with fried vegetable spring rolls and lemon grass soup -- but that didn't stop us from digging in. Munch's dish was spicy and lemon-grassy -- a healthy mix of broccoli, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, onions, snow peas and peppers served with rice.
DFOM sang the praises of her green curry noodles and noted the shrimp were perfectly cooked. She suggested substituting shrimp for tofu in the fresh spring rolls in the future.
Even though both entrees were lunch-size portions, we still had more than enough to take home for the following day's lunch.
After lunch, Munch and DFOM moseyed along the strip mall to the liquor store a few doors down. Angkor Restaurant is BYOB, so the nearby liquor store actually makes the strip mall a primo location.
Munch learned a lesson: Don't judge a restaurant by its facade -- sometimes there are gems nestled into strip malls.