Real chopsticks (not the kind you get wrapped in paper) count: 2
People playing cards at the table next to mine count: 4
I_ thought Asian fusion restaurants with their full bars, their fancy plates, their presentation of food that makes it look beautiful but also makes the food close to impossible to actually eat so as to help you keep that girlish figure of yours ("Dammit! That's the fifth time I've failed at chopsticking this damned summer roll. Getting this food into my mouth is harder than getting pants on a Barbie. Whatever. I wasn't hungry, anyway."), and their club décor that says, "Hells yeah, you can snort some coke in our potty!" were a thing of the early 2000s, but apparently I was wrong. Turns out, this is the perfect economy in which to launch a kinda-Thai, kinda-not, white-people-friendly-introduction-to-Asian-noodles-and-the-like café. Or, so The Mint seems to think. They've now opened a location in Highland Park, and I think they're hoping to become the Chili's of Pan-Asian cuisine in Dallas.
4246 Oak Lawn Ave.
I ordered the tom kha noodle soup (with chicken) and a water to put out the anticipated mouth flames. Eating tom kha is usually my favorite way to leak snot all over myself. The places that make it the way I like it make it spicy and coconut-milky. And usually, it comes with rice instead of noodles. But I heard this place was fusion-y, so I thought subbing noodles for rice might be all right. And at first taste, the dish was fine. But, about four slurps in, I realized that there was a serious lack of spicy involved. What the fusion? They should have named it tom kha-na-have-something-else. This soup was as white and bland as the Highland Parkies who fill The Mint. I expected to find veneers and a D&G bag at the bottom of my bowl.
But enough about the entrée—let's get to the real winner here at lunch: the water. Wow. Compared to my tom kha, this water was rich and flavorful (probably from a really good tap, possibly even filtered). If you find that after your trip to Chico's you want some lunch that's pretty OK and you find yourself at The Mint, you simply must try it.
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Don't get me wrong about this place. If you're not that into Asian food, it's probably a safe place to start.