Great Eats: Samurai Fever
Spicy hot spot in Fairlee
The trickle of delicious little eating gems continues. A few weeks ago, a resonant voice whispered to me about a new place in Fairlee, Vermont. I tucked away this information and tonight, on one of the most beautiful evenings this winter, we drove north up Interstate 91. The sky was brilliant blue and the light so clear and so perfect; we hoped the drive would be worth it. Actually, this St. Patrick's evening beauty would, quite frankly, have sufficed.
Samurai Soul Food sits firmly at 176 Route 5 smack in the middle of charming Fairlee off exit 15. Brown shingles and a welcoming sign led us inside. Bright coloured chairs, shiny laquered tables, some blackboards bursting with wonderful combinations, old LPs on one wall and album covers on another, the whole framed by lots of friendly faces all round- That's the setting. Chef-owners Kelden Smith and John Hessler apparently met while working at the Worthy Burger. I have the feeling that this new venture with thoroughly affordable prices is going to be a popular stop.
The moment I looked at the choices I wanted everything. I eventually chose this evening's special which was a mêlée of crab salad with jalapeño Boursin cheese, something light and crunchy too, 'crowning' a hamburger patty in a fresh, light bun. Now you may think 'Whaaat?' but if so many love to pair mac and cheese with lobster in many a snazzy restaurant, I might counter with this. For starters we shared summer rolls, so fresh they wanted to fall apart as they were pulled gently through their homemade peanut sauce. Someone beside us had fish tacos and appeared most pleased with his selection. There is cast-iron seared yellowfin tuna, Samurai General Tso popcorn fried chicken with a citrus and honey glaze, and the Korean chicken wrap that was eaten heartily in front of me...not to mention the several other unique, delicious and casual combinations. People milled in and out : students, seniors, a family of three, and the ample parking lot was a constant car show.
This Asian Fusion-style restaurant has fun beer selections, locals with marked alcohol contents ranging from 5.5% to 8.5%. There are also three white wine choices with a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and a Sauvignon Blanc as well as a red option.
This strikes me as the same kind of great find as the Cambodian take-out in Lebanon, NH. The welcome is hearty; they are well organized but you can eat on site here in the lovely little dining area with 35 seats. We did notice the take-outs being scooped up as well.
Samurai Soul Food has a Facebook page with snippets of the menu and photographs. They are closed Mondays but open 4:30pm-9:00 pm from Tuesday to Sunday AND make that a noon opening on Saturdays until 9:00pm.
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