MERIDEN — Duangjai Shuster and partner Chan Chaoraingoen unlocked the doors and fired up the wok for their fourth day in business Friday.
Thursday had been so busy Thai-Tanic Cuisine ran out of drunken noodles.
“Thai is very popular,” Shuster said.
Thai-Tanic Cuisine opened last week in the home of a former pizza restaurant at 784 E. Main St. The small restaurant with the two tables in front, is on the same block as a Subway, and K LaMay’s steamed cheeseburgers. McDonald’s is a quick jog away.
“This restaurant has something different,” Shuster said.
Shuster moved from Thailand about 10 years ago and has cooked Thai food all her life. Chaoraingoen has owned a restaurant in the past. They discussed opening their own business for the past several years.
Shuster lives in East Granby, where there are several Thai restaurants, she said. She wanted to open in a city with fewer competitors.
The restaurant’s dishes contain no monosodium glutamate, which is very important to Shuster. It offers traditional Thai rice and noodles, pad Thai, curry dishes made of chicken, pork, tofu, beef, shrimp, squid, seafood, duck salads, wok stir fried meats and vegetables, and papaya, mango, vegetable, and ginger salads.
Shuster and Chaoraingoen were getting close to opening when they realized they didn’t have a name for their new endeavor.
Shuster’s 13-year-old daughter suggested Thai-Tanic and everyone laughed.
“It’s kind of funny and cool too,” Shuster said. “People will remember it.”
The popular drunken noodles consists of broad rice noodles, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, meat, seafood, chili, fresh black pepper pods and holy basil.
Shuster has hired two chefs and expects to add delivery in time, but for now it’s take out or eat-in.
“We do a little bit first, if it’s good we’ll do the fancy restaurant,” she said.
Thai-Tanic is the second restaurant featuring Asian cuisine to open this week on East Main Street. Asian Invasion, at 1371 E. Main St. in the former Cucamarcara Mexican restaurant.
City Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski met the Thai-Tanic owners while they were going through the permitting process.
“It is great to see that the available retail/restaurant spaces on East Main are being fully utilized,” Burdelski said. “Both establishments bring new food choices to one of our main commercial corridors which is great news. “