First Posted: 1/27/2009 2:53:59 PM | Last Updated: 1/27/2009 3:25:38 PM
At a Glance:
2942 Wasson Road
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 4-9:30 p.m. Sunday
Green Papaya food / Photo by Lauren Kaminsky
By Lauren Kaminsky
In a time when businesses everywhere are struggling to stay afloat, one restaurant here has seen an uncharacteristic surge in business. So much so that, as many businesses face downsizing, the Green Papaya is preparing to undergo an expansion that will almost double its current capacity.
So why is Green Papaya, a small Thai and Sushi restaurant off Wasson Road, doing so well?
For long time employee Tao Justus, it’s simple.
“It’s the food. Everyone loves the food and lots of people think the prices are good.”
Good food, reasonable prices and a small, intimate space make the Green Papaya ideal for a romantic date or a night out with friends.
Recently remodeled with simple woodwork and earthy green walls, the atmosphere assures customers that they are in for a soothing, organic dining experience. A stone fountain next too a small waiting area adds to the ambiance.
Green Papaya / Photo by Lauren Kaminsky
The restaurant attracts an eclectic crowd. They come for different reasons, but they are all treated with the utmost care.
Brian Goldberg of Mount Adams came in search of take-out.
“My wife wanted sushi tonight,” he said while talking with the staff at the restaurant’s small front desk.
“I’d seen (the Green Papaya while) driving home from work and read articles about it,” he said. He thought he’d give it a try.
The staff prides itself in making first-time customers like Goldberg into regulars.
Manager Jay Panichluechachai was eager to assist Goldberg as he perused the menu.
“We can change anything to however you like it,” he urged.
Per the staff’s suggestion, Goldberg settled on the Green Papaya roll, the restaurant’s signature roll and a customer favorite.
It’s no surprise that patrons of the Green Papaya are treated like family, given that the restaurant’s management is, and always has been, a family affair.
Green Papaya guests enjoy Thai food. Photo by Lauren Kaminsky
Panichluechachai and his sister Sunee opened the restaurant more than two years ago with Jay acting as sushi chef, Sunee working on the outside of the restaurant and Sunee’s husband, Adisak Kertpetch, serving as the restaurant’s head chef.
Since then, the restaurant has grown in popularity, thanks in large part to customer satisfaction.
“We have lots of new customers. People come in all the time because their friends told them about it,” said Justus.
One such customer is Maureen Donnellan of Erlanger.
She has become a regular customer at the restaurant and since her initial visit more than two years ago. The combination of sushi and authentic Thai food keeps her coming back.
“I went to high school in South Korea and my father was in the military. He had served a year in Thailand so I was very familiar with the Thai people and customs and their food, and I’m always on the lookout for a good place to have Thai food.”
The Green Papaya meets her requirements with its large menu and unique method of cooking ,using jasmine and varied degrees of heat in their spicy dishes.
Donnellan suggests that customers call ahead to avoid crowds on most evenings.
These crowds are a signifier that the Green Papaya is doing something special – and
as long as they come, the staff assures, this restaurant will be sure to satisfy.