High expectations are the key to everything. ~ Sam Walton
Nope. I can’t say I walked into the place, ordered, and was totally surprised by how good the food was.
The fact is folks have been recommending Renoo’s Thai Delight to me ever since we arrived in Las Cruces over two years ago. Max Bower, the landscaper who built our rainbow rock wall, was one of those who raved about it.
Max lives in Mesilla and the restaurant, at that time, was located clear on the other side of Las Cruces in the town of Organ. Still he regularly bypassed all the restaurants in between to eat at Renoo’s instead.
What took me so long to get there? I’m not sure.
Maybe the new wall is partially to blame.
Sure, we enjoy ourselves to the max in the outdoor space it created. Parts of it are at an ideal height for setting down plates and viewing the mountains.
Still, it took a chunk of savings I hadn’t counted on. That might have distracted me early on.
And more life and other restaurants happened.
But now that Renoo’s has relocated to a main street in Las Cruces, I decided, like Cool Hand Luke, it was time to get my mind right.
I invited my friend, Robbie, to join me there for lunch. I had found out she had never eaten Thai food before, and looked forward to her enjoying the meal as much as myself.
We walked in just after 12 noon to a well-lit space and the soft buzz of three or four lunchtime conversations. Settled into comfortable booth seats, we placed our orders as soon as the waitress returned with our glasses of water.
The decision was easy.
I would have the garden salad with Renoo’s house dressing. Because, our waitress said, people LOVE THE TASTE. And it was full of ginger, a good thing for dressings to be.
I’d also have the Panang Curry, because I had had a Panang Curry so delectable on a recent trip to NCY and wanted more.
And Robbie ordered the exact same thing. Just because they both sounded good.
Yeah, I know . . . she’s cool, right?
We launched into our own lunchtime conversation, slowing only to eat the salads that came minutes after.
The bits of shredded lettuce and sculpted carrots didn’t seem to promise much. But ~
The ginger dressing made all the difference ~ much like a great frame makes a so-so painting something you want to hang on your wall. And our little pots of dressing soon sat empty and all the bits of salad had disappeared.
I told Robbie about the Panang Curry I’d so enjoyed in New York. I described its blend of veggies and chicken in a creamy base of curry, peanut sauce, and coconut and she nodded in anticipation. I added I’M HOPING THIS WILL BE AS GOOD just as our server sat our orders of curry and rice on the table.
It looked as good as any curry set I’d ever had. The presentation in red, black, and white dishes was simple and beautiful.
Robbie seemed to think so, too.
True, the rice was blinding white, the kind I avoid, but it was plentiful and hot, and would complement the curry well.
So I told myself, “Self, when you’re out to eat great Thai or great Japanese, white rice is the way of things. Stop being so particular and dig in!”
And dig I did.
My first spoonful of Renoo’s Panang Curry tasted smoother than the one in Manhattan. Sweeter, too.
Had they used more sugar or sweeter coconut milk? Whatever it was . . . YUM!
The veggie-lover in me appreciated the addition of zucchini in the mix.
Silky smooth texture, great flavor, and a sweet spiciness ~ what was not to like?
The great chow fueled our conversation and within no time we downed our last spoonfuls of Panang Curry and rice.
We paid the bill and headed toward the door to the sounds of several staff members thanking us for stopping by.
PLEASE COME AGAIN they said, and I waved that I would.
Because I had heard so many good things about Renoo’s Thai ~ and the stories turned out to be real.
Have you gone somewhere with great expectations but the place did not live up to the hype? OR . . . have not expected much at all and been pleasantly surprised?