Nutty Fun

A big post card made its way into the Dallas Observer offices last week. On the front was a bright color photo of a Caribbean chicken salad with peanuts and tropical papaya. On the flip side was the recipe for the salad under the headline: "USA Peanuts...what fun tastes like."

Sometimes though, peanuts and papaya can be no fun at all. Just ask John Morelock, who went to Green Papaya, a Vietnamese restaurant on Oak Lawn, with several of his friends and acquaintances last June and had a less than fun experience. After ordering from the menu, Morelock stressed to the waiter that his food must be completely peanut-free on account of his nasty peanut allergies. Just to be doubly sure, Morelock checked with the waiter again when his food was delivered to be sure there were no peanuts in his meal. The waiter assured him there was not a fun nut in the dish. But when Morelock began to eat his food, he immediately commenced a "violent and nearly fatal allergic reaction, necessitating his immediate transport to the emergency room at St. Paul's Medical Center." Not to mention an immediate call to a lawyer. Morelock filed suit against Green Papaya for damages a few weeks ago detailing his reaction and citing "great physical and mental pain and anguish" and "severe injuries, as well as a great shock to his entire system."

Green Papaya owner Alan Mai says his insurance company is handling the peanut case and he has no comment.

Caribbean Red, Anthony Bermea's eclectic Caribbean/Latin fusion restaurant in Addison with a red lounge that looked like the inside of a backlit hollowed-out rump roast, went too far into the red, it seems. A sign on the door says Caribbean Red was shuttered as a result "of default on lease terms." Another sign says it's closed for remodeling, another coat of red paint perhaps. Still another sign says "please keep your ears open as to when this will be picking back up."...Chef Bruno Mella (Fire House, Daddy Jack's, and crafter of the menu at the defunct Champagne next to Gold Bar) has evacuated his Deep Ellum restaurant Mel's on Main, where he crafted "Continental cuisine with an American flair" with partner Judy Chorbajian. A sign on the door says the space shuttered February 3, and the pair of operators is hoping to reopen somewhere in East Dallas...LRC Restaurant Inc., the parent company of Laura's Last Chance Texas Grill and Cantina in North Dallas, filed for bankruptcy. The restaurant shut down in mid-January...After occupying its Lower Greenville Avenue spot for roughly 14 years, Thai Soon has closed its doors and will reopen at the southeast corner of Belt Line and Coit roads.

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Green Papaya

3211 Oak Lawn Ave.
Dallas, TX 75219


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