The wait is nearly over for Twin Ports Thai food fanatics. After a three-year hiatus from the restaurant business, Kamolpak (Pak) Williams will reopen Pak’s Green Corner in a new Superior location on June 1.
Guy Fieri is back in town shooting for future episodes of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. So far he’s been to Gannucci’s Italian Market and Pak’s Green Corner in West Duluth, and Shorty’s Pizza & Smoked Meats and the Kounty Quarthouse in Superior.
West Duluth had never seen the likes of schnitzel or poutine, much less a pad thai burrito, until Pak Williams converted the former China Station restaurant into Pak’s Green Corner in summer 2012. The friendly and funky little Asian-fusion joint — located across the avenue from a long-shuttered auto lube — was the clear-cut winner of Perfect Duluth Day’s Best New Restaurant poll.
Above: Pak Williams with the fancy Perfect New Restaurant plaque, flanked by cook Hieng Wilaiphan (left) and waitress Vicki Boynton (right).
Pak’s got off to a rocky start following its opening day, when word of the new restaurant leaked out and a positive recommendation on PDD led to a full-house showing up for lunch on day two. With one server out sick and no one around with a strong command of how the cash register or credit-card machine worked, it was a rough day to say the least.
Now, with a full year of working out the kinks behind it, Pak’s Green Corner can claim the title of Duluth’s Perfect New Restaurant, having captured 51.9 percent of the vote. Honorable mentions go out to Tycoons Alehouse and Eatery (second place, 32.5 percent) and 7 West Tap House (third place, 15.6 percent).
There’s a new restaurant in the Denfeld area at 4131 Grand Avenue that I can only describe as Thai fusion. It’s called Pak’s Green Corner and it’s got a lot of traditional Thai dishes, but also it’s got dishes like Poutine and a Phad Thai burrito on its takeout menu. The sit-down menu had even more unconventional takes on traditional Thai dishes that truly made my mouth water.