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Kao renaissance
Sweet Sour Siam: sauteed chicken, pineapple, cucumber, onion, green onion and tomato in a sweet and sour sauce

In October, I told you that Chef Wasan Trimas, owner of Kao Thai Cuisine in Thunderbolt, was closing the restaurant to pursue another venture. Wasan did leave – but the restaurant remains, with pretty much the same name, new operators and an entirely new menu.

Now called Kao Thai Noodles and Rice, the lunch and dinner restaurant is more about traditional Thai cuisine than it was under Chef Wasan’s French–influenced direction. I’ll miss the Chambord duck, but already love the fresh flavors, beautiful presentation and efficient service of the “new” Kao.

On a recent lunch trip, my friend and I each chose Sweet Sour Siam. The base is sauteed pineapple, cucumber, onion, green onion and tomato in a sweet and sour sauce. We each added chicken, big pieces of white meat – also sauteed.

Yay! No breading. I’ve been craving a nice sweet and sour without heavy, fried batter on the chicken – and this dish fit the bill.

Accompanying the dish was a single fried spring roll, served as an appetizer with a small salad of curled carrot shavings and cucumber, dressed with sweet rice wine.

The lunch menu has plenty to choose from and offers the option of adding a protein or going completely vegetarian. Tom Ka soup ordered by my friend looked and smelled hearty. The scent of coconut milk wafted from the bowl.

Lunch menu prices begin around $7.95. A peek at the dinner menu revealed more elaborate dishes but a continued emphasis on the purest form of Thai preparation. Delivery is offered in a limited area.

3017 E. Victory Dr./

Welcome, Mr. Bean

Coffee bean, that is. Statesboro–based Ogeechee River Coffee Co. is opening a location in Habersham Village later this month or in early February. The coffee roaster will be located next door to Rum Runners Bakery. Owner Scott Miller was a regular at the former Trustees’ Garden Farmer’s Market – now we’ll have an outlet for his custom roasted beans.

Beer vs. Wine

The rematch between myself, the wine guy, and David “Pop Cap” Little, the beer guy, is back on! We ended in a tie earlier this year during a Beer vs. Wine dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This time, with five courses, one of us is walking away with the title. The trash talk has begun, our beverages are remaining under wraps to prevent any shenanigans – but the menu is set at a nicely priced $65 per person. For full menu or reservations, call the restaurant, 721.4800, or visit their Facebook page.