31 Elm St, Camden
Extracting yourself from the daily grind is work in and of itself. If you are anything like me, your escape will commence with an underfed, over-scheduled morning that leaves you ravenous, and a bit woozy as you finally pull into picturesque Camden, after a four-hour drive up the coast. Sit down in the airy, light-filled Long Grain restaurant, owned by husband and wife team Ravin Nakjaroen and Paula Palakawong, the two turn out an ever-changing menu of what they bill as "Asian home-cooked & street food," pulling ingredients from local farms and flavor profiles from their Native Thailand. Icy pour of Tsing Tao in hand, an oil-slicked Panang curry, fragrant with coconut and chilies, teeming with fork tender braised beef, materializes before you. Alternate with bites of Pad Ke Mao, a slightly spicy, toothsome stir-fry of meaty mushrooms, crisped pork belly, peppery greens, and thick handmade noodles topped with plenty of sweet basil. Chopsticks fall into a rhythm and you have a kind of moving meditation—curry, noodles, beer, curry, noodles beer. You are here. Officially on vacation.