Editor’s Note: Thai Krathong is now closed.
Ingredients mean quality to Duangrudee Benkoski of Thai Krathong in Duluth, MN. Having the right piece of ginger or the perfect lemongrass doesn’t mean finding the right food supplier — it means being your own supplier. Every year Benkoski travels back to Thailand to bring back ingredients and ideas for her restaurant, located in Canal Park of Duluth. “Here they don’t always have what I need,” she says.
Benkoski goes back to the province of Udon Thani where she studied cooking for six years and worked in a family-run restaurant. “I go out to restaurants to get ideas to bring back to my own,” says Benkoski. After working and living in Thailand Benkoski says: “I came to Duluth because there were no other Thai restaurants.”
Her trips to Udon Thani keep her on the cutting edge of ingredients and evolutions in Thai cuisine. Everything is built from the ingredients up. Benkoski’s salad rolls ($5) are a blend of rice noodles, fresh cilantro, and lettuce wrapped in fresh rice paper and served with a homemade sweet peanut sauce. The Chu Chee Curry ($17) is served in a fish-shaped bowl and comes with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and fresh red peppers. Benkoski garnishes the dish with a radish carved into a flower. All of her dishes can be washed down with a Mai Tai ($12) served in a carved-out pineapple.
Benkoski’s Thai Krathong has been in Canal Park since the beginning of the year. The space is much larger than the original space on West 1st Street, where Thai Krathong operated for six years.
308 Lake Ave S
Duluth, MN 55802