There were only a handful of good Thai restaurants in Atlanta when we were young. Back in the late 80s/early 90s, our family rotation included King and I, Thai of Norcross, and Taste of Thai (aka ToT). The former two have changed hands twice since then, while the latter is still with the original management. Two years ago, the family sold ToT to someone who used to work at the restaurant and branched out to the north and opened Lime Juice. This wasn’t known to me until I ordered a dish that I knew could only be found nowhere else but at ToT. Then, one of the young servers recognized us and asked us why she hasn’t seen us in a while. We gave her a quizzical look — well, what do you know, she was the same young ‘un as us back when we used to go to ToT every week and she was there helping serve in between doing homework. Small world.
The first thing that impressed me was that this place is packed every lunch time. By noon, there’s a wait out the door. But what’s most exciting to me is the food. The northern Thai chef cooks unbelievably great Southern/Central Thai food in addition to some Northern dishes which he does exceptionally well (as expected, of course). Papaya salad (som tam), a signature Northern dish, which uses crisp, shredded green papaya in a spicy sweet/sour sauce, is as genuine as you can ever get. You can really taste the nam pla (fish sauce), a heavy influence from the north. It is spicy and light.
Another must try here is the northern dish, Yum Woon Sen, with the requisite ingredients: bean thread noodles, ground chicken, shrimp, red onions, mushrooms, and peanuts in a spicy-sweet-sour dressing. It is delicious but very, very spicy. Beware, requesting for a 3-pepper heat level is only meant for asbestos-tongued like me.
The Yellow Curry Fried Rice, a childhood favorite at ToT, is the best I’ve had in town. This isn’t your usual sticky, risotto-textured, rice casserole version. Theirs is true fried rice in form: loose rice held together by delicious yellow curry with chunks of tasty chicken. The smoky flavor is addicting.
ToT makes Spicy Basil Chicken (another childhood favorite) like no other in town. I was surprised to see this signature dish in Lime Juice, not knowing in the beginning that Lime Juice is, in fact, ToT. They use ground chicken which creates great texture and stir fry it with jalapeno and green bell peppers, and sweet basil leaves. The result is the most flavorful Thai dish you’ve ever had. Couple that with a fried egg and you have a Thai meal eaten like a native.
I grew up to this family’s cooking so I love this place. Dining here is like eating at your grandma’s house.
Lunch entrees either come with soup or spring rolls.
Soda refills are $1.
Lunch prices range from $8-10 and includes soup or spring roll.
Dinner entrees average $15 (but portions are big).
Lime Juice Thai Bistro
684 N Main St
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Mon–Fri: 11:00 A.M. — 2:30 P.M. / 5:00 P.M. — 9:00 P.M.
Saturday: 12:00 NOON — 9:00 P.M.
Sunday: 11:A.M. — 4: P.M.