By Kay Whatley, Editor
A few weeks ago, I came across a Thai restaurant online. Varee Asian Cafe and Bakery was just a little ways up the road in Wilson, North Carolina, so I went there to have Thai for dinner.
It turned out that Varee offered Thai food, sushi, and a variety of specials. The food and service were so good, we’ve already returned for a second meal.
If you’re not familiar with Thai food — just a part of the restaurant’s offerings — Thai food is often fragrant and flavored with many herbs. Dishes may have a strong basil, lime of peanut flavor. Varee’s menu offers this and much more — including curries that may be prepared spicy, extra spicy, or even spicy enough to “make you cry.” (Note that I tried their King’s Curry Shrimp at this level of heat, but I did not actually cry.)
The restaurant offers Thai Iced Tea if you need something cool and sweet to go with a spicy meal. To kick up the heat, they serve hot sauces including a fish sauce with peppers that enhance the flavors. There are tamer, sweet menu choices if you’re not big on spicy.
Overall we managed to try a vegetable “Garden” sushi (tasty and crunchy), several curries, Pad See Ewe (broad noodles), and the fried rice (amazingly flavorful and different than expected). All featured fresh vegetables and were flavorful and plentiful — each time we went home with leftovers. The beef Massaman curry surprised me by being made with large chunks of pot-roast-tender beef that fell apart under my fork.
This is a place our family will definitely return to for future meals.
In addition to the Thai foods that we tried, the restaurant offers alternatives including puff patry-wrapped salmon and potatoes, Ratatouille, and beef Bourguignon with au gratin potatoes. For those eating gluten-free, many of their dishes feature rice or rice noodles. If in doubt, ask the waitstaff — who we found to be cheerful, plentiful, and close-at-hand throughout our meals.
We did try their desserts, though were not as impressed by the mousse as we were by the entrées.
Varee is located at 2801 Raleigh Road Parkway, Wilson NC. Those of you who have been around Wilson for a while will recognize it as the former Quizno’s location.