Atlanta Orders In: Spoon Eastside opening new Thai spot near airport

Basil stir fry is a staple with bell peppers, basil leaves, onions and green beans tossed in Thai basil chili sauce. 
Bob Townsend for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Caption
Basil stir fry is a staple with bell peppers, basil leaves, onions and green beans tossed in Thai basil chili sauce. Bob Townsend for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Spoon Eastside is a popular Ormewood Park Thai restaurant owned and operated by Sujaree Hewitt and her extended family, who all originally are from Bangkok.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Spoon has been open only for takeout, delivery and self-serve outdoor dining.

“My parents work there every day, and they are 79 years old, so we are careful,” Hewitt said. “We are careful for our customers and our family. The neighborhood has been very nice. They still order takeout, and food sales are almost the same. But, we miss our customers and having them come to the bar. Business-wise, it’s OK. It’s just a different vibe.”

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Pad Kee Mao “drunken noodles” are stir fried with vegetables, egg and chili sauce. Bob Townsend for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Credit: Bob Townsend

Pad Kee Mao “drunken noodles” are stir fried with vegetables, egg and chili sauce. 
Bob Townsend for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Caption
Pad Kee Mao “drunken noodles” are stir fried with vegetables, egg and chili sauce. Bob Townsend for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Hewitt was the first in the family to immigrate to Atlanta, where she earned a master of business administration degree in hospitality management at Georgia State University. She was the managing partner at Sweet Lime sushi bar in Little Five Points, and opened the original Spoon Thai Cafe in the Roxy Hotel Lofts on Marietta Street.

Currently, Spoon Eastside is the only location, but the family is set to open another restaurant near the airport, on South Central Avenue in Hapeville.

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Spoon Eastside offers nam tok Thai beef salad. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Spoon Eastside offers nam tok Thai beef salad. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Caption
Spoon Eastside offers nam tok Thai beef salad. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

The menu will be similar to Spoon, and the contemporary design includes a takeout counter, a separate bar area (which will feature a new bar food menu) and a large, covered patio.

Most of the core items at Spoon were inspired by family recipes, though Hewitt’s sister, Aim, who has a culinary degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta, gets credit for perfecting the techniques, and adding some newer items.

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Vegan fried spring rolls are available at Spoon Eastside. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Vegan fried spring rolls are available at Spoon Eastside. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Caption
Vegan fried spring rolls are available at Spoon Eastside. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Although I hadn’t been there in a while, I’ve ordered takeout from Spoon Eastside many times. There are house specialties, such as crabmeat fried rice, and roasted duck served with spicy red curry sauce, but I usually prefer a mix of familiar Thai dishes.

Some of my favorite starters are the crispy fried veggie spring rolls, which are made fresh daily, and the pan-fried pot stickers. Classic soups include tom yum shrimp, and there’s a generous nam tok salad, with thinly sliced and seared rare beef, purple onions and iceberg lettuce.

On the list of main dishes, you’ll find comforting massaman curry, mixed with potatoes, carrots, green beans, onions and cashews, and spiced with tamarind. Pad kee mao — “drunken” wide rice noodles — are stir-fried with Thai basil, onions, bell peppers, egg and basil chili sauce.

Caption
Spoon Eastside's pan-fried pot stickers with vegetables are topped with bean sprouts. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Spoon Eastside's pan-fried pot stickers with vegetables are topped with bean sprouts. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Caption
Spoon Eastside's pan-fried pot stickers with vegetables are topped with bean sprouts. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

For something spicier, try the basil stir-fry, a Thai staple, with bell peppers, basil leaves, onions and green beans, served with fluffy white rice.

Normally, there are daily specials, too, but Hewitt said those have been suspended, to streamline the takeout menu.

Looking ahead, Hewitt said, she hopes to have the Hapeville restaurant open in May, if all goes according to the current plans.

In the meantime, she’s happy to be a family restaurant serving other families in the neighborhood.

“The Westside location was a different crowd,” Hewitt said. “It was more business and conference people, and we sold a lot of specials there. But, like my brother said, the Eastside is the best. They are not just customers here, they’ve become friends, and they come all the time. Sometimes, they don’t even eat. They just come to chitchat and say hello. So, we really have become part of the neighborhood.”

SPOON EASTSIDE

Menu: classic Thai

Alcohol: beer, wine, cocktails

What I ordered: vegan fried spring rolls; pan-fried pot stickers with vegetables, topped with bean sprouts; nam tok Thai beef salad; basil stir-fry with bell peppers, basil leaves, onions and green beans, tossed in Thai basil chili sauce; pad kee mao “drunken noodles,” stir-fried with vegetables, egg and chili sauce. It was all as good as I remembered it, but I especially liked the spring rolls and the beef salad.

Service options: takeout; delivery from DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats; self-serve patio dining

Outdoor dining: patio with 30 seats, and umbrella tables

Mask policy: mandatory for customers and employees

Address, phone: 749 Moreland Ave., Atlanta; 404-333-9606

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 4-10 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays; closed Mondays

Website: spoonatlanta.com

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