Curbside pickup from White Orchids, one of our local Thai restaurants, brought the spicy flavors we love to our date night during life in the time of coronavirus. We’ve tried to spread our support of local businesses over several of our favorite restaurants. Although we hadn’t eaten at White Orchids in several months, the time seemed right to do curbside pickup. I pulled an actual white orchid off my planters’ rack, and my husband looked up music from Thailand on his phone. We were ready to satisfy our “spice teeth.”
(In case you haven’t been following my Life in the Time of Coronavirus series, check out my first installment to see how to make takeout into a special occasion.)
Curbside Pickup Restaurant: White Orchids
Location: The Promenade Shops in Center Valley, PA
Pickup Hours: Daily, 11:30 am-7:30 pm
Recommended music: Thai classical music from YouTube
How Curbside Pickup from White Orchids Works
Like some of the restaurants in our area, you can order your curbside pickup online. You choose your dish, and, if applicable, your desired level of heat. I really liked that I could either schedule a pickup time or take the next available time slot, about 30-40 minutes after starting the order. We did run into one hitch, though: when the site refused to add a menu item after I selected the spice level. You can always call to place your order if the online form fails to work.
At the assigned time, we pulled into a space in front of the restaurant. An employee had just delivered food to the car in the next space, and he stopped by to ask our name. Within moments, he came back out with our food and passed it through the car window. We did not have to sign the credit card receipt.
White Orchids offered many more menu items, perhaps even their full menu, than other restaurants in our area. They also offer a Happy Hour lunch menu.
Setting the Mood Before Pickup
If you’ve followed this series, you know I advocate choosing and setting up everything in advance. We chose a dining spot that already had an Asian, though not Thai, vibe. Fortunately, I have orchids in the house; I used one as a centerpiece. Although we didn’t have any Thai music in our libraries, my husband found a 2-hour YouTube video of Thai classical music that we played through our speakers. From my multi-colored dish set, I chose hot/warm colors for our plates.
Although you can order and pick up a six-pack of beer to go with your curbside pickup, we already had Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA in our refrigerator. We like a strong beer that stands up to the spice of Thai food.
We enjoyed figuring out how to transform our home into something more akin to a Thai restaurant. At first, we didn’t think it possible, but as we considered our options, we found a surprising number of ways to accomplish it.
Dinner is Served
We ordered chicken potstickers, Masaman Curry with chicken, and Red Curry with shrimp. White Orchids also offers higher-end and less predictable dishes, even though we keep returning to our favorites. Still, we had never before tried the potstickers and really liked them. They were delicate, tender, and moist. The two dipping sauces, sweet chili and sweet soy, provided nice counterpoints; I preferred the sweet chili sauce for its extra heat.
My husband always goes for the Masaman Curry because of the whole cashews and the slight sweetness. I order the Red Curry for the vegetables and spice. This time, I added shrimp to my curry; the restaurant used a combination of medium and small shrimp. Both dishes tasted just as they do when eaten at the restaurant, with the rich coconut milk playing off the spice.
As always, each main course came with a generous serving of jasmine rice.
White Orchids never fails to satisfy it with spicy, delicious curry and fragrant jasmine rice. Especially with the Thai music playing in the background, we could easily imagine that we dined inside White Orchids. When setting up your own table and supporting your favorite Thai restaurant, sometimes a little ingenuity can go a long way toward breaking up the monotony of social isolation.
Supporting a local restaurant closed during the lockdown is a win-win: great food and a few extra dollars to the restaurant.
Debbie Lee Wesselmann
Check out my other date nights to enliven life during the time of coronavirus.