Double the Delight
Thai Delight brings its wide-ranging menu to Mesilla.
Story and photos by Peggy Platonos
If you've already ventured up into the Organ Mountains and discovered Thai Delight, the small restaurant with the wide-ranging menu that delights and amazes, you will be happy to know that owner Tom Feldt has opened a second restaurant, right in the heart of Mesilla.
It was a case of popular demand, he explains. "Many customers told me: 'We love your food, but wish you would open closer to town.'" And so, on Nov. 9, he did just that, opening the doors to a second restaurant at 2184 Avenida de Mesilla. He calls it Thai Delight de Mesilla.
The menu quite literally has something for everyone. For the adventurous, there are traditional Thai curries, soups and appetizers to choose from, all of which can be ordered in the degree of heat that suits you: mild, medium, hot or Thai hot.
For salad lovers, there's an elegant Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad that includes glazed pecans, blue cheese, mandarin oranges and dried cranberries.
Seafood fans can choose from Shrimp Scampi, fried jumbo shrimp, grilled salmon and sauted scallops. Or you can select shrimp as the "meat" in many of the Thai dishes, in place of chicken, beef or pork.
For the meat-and-potatoes person, ribeye and T-bone steaks are available, as well as pork sirloin, all charbroiled to your specifications. Chicken Teriyaki is on the menu, as well as "Yeager" schnitzel, a breaded and fried pork sirloin dish that undoubtedly owes its place on the menu to the German heritage of Tom's American stepfather, whose surname he carries.
There are even sandwiches on the menu, including a Club Sandwich, Classic Reuben, Chicken BLT, Grilled Ham and Cheese, and a Patty Melt. Hamburgers and Green Chile Cheeseburgers are available, too.
For kids, a special menu offers a choice of hamburger, cheeseburger, chicken strips, grilled cheese and even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The restaurant is clean, comfortable, casual in a classy sort of way, and totally unpretentious. That pretty much describes Tom Feldt himself.
Born and raised in the village of Ta-kie, located 80 miles outside Bangkok in Thailand, he came to the United States in 1978, several years after his mother married an American serviceman who was stationed in Germany. Tom served in the Army himself for 26 years and retired in 2008, a veteran of both Desert Storm and the Iraqi war. His final posting brought him to Las Cruces.
"I ended up here with the New Mexico National Guard on a border mission," he says. "At first, I wasn't sure. It was so dry. But I love it here. The people are so nice. And the land and the weather. It truly is the Land of Enchantment."
When he retired, Feldt stayed on in Las Cruces. But after six months of idleness, he began to chafe. "I felt guilty just sitting around, so I started looking for something to do."
He decided to share his culinary heritage by opening a restaurant. "I love to cook. I learned from my mom. In the Services, I moved around a lot, and not every place had Thai food, so I would cook for myself and for friends."
An ever-increasing number of customers are very happy he got bored sitting around. And the new restaurant in Mesilla will make his food more readily accessible.
Thai Delight de Mesilla is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Takeout is available, and parties of up to 35 can be accommodated. A large, roofed patio will soon be open, with table-top gas heaters keeping the area comfortably warm during the winter months.
For reservations and to order takeout, call (575) 525-1900.
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