The whispers started down the table. My friend Chuck leaned over to Larry and said something like “Is that the same woman from the last time we were here?”

Larry glanced over in the appropriate direction but didn’t want to stare. “I think so, but hold on I have a picture in my phone.”

A few seconds later all of us at the table were looking at a photo taken a year ago, It shows a smiling, middle-aged man, with a belly dancer standing over his shoulder.

Now, on Larry’s 60th birthday, we are back at the same place, Indochine, because this is Larry’s favorite restaurant. To be clear he comes here for the food. The entertainment… well, that’s just a way for his friends to embarrass him.

Wilmington is blessed with a number of great locally owned restaurants. Pick any type of cuisine and we’ve got it. There are formal places for date night or dive bars that the serve incredible hamburgers. In many places the food is made all the tastier by the view; whether you’re looking out over the river, the Atlantic or the downtown skyline. It doesn’t matter where you are or what’s on your plate: Wilmington loves to eat out!

If everyone in town was instructed to create a list of top 10 favorite restaurants, no two people would agree on everything. And yet, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with one location that would appear on more of those lists than Indochine.

The cuisine here is Thai and Vietnamese. But I know people, a lot of people, who will tell you with a straight face, that they don’t like Asian food… any Asian Food… still, love Indochine. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it doesn’t make sense to them either. There’s just something about this place that makes an experience.

In my opinion, the best way to dine here is with a group of friends who are all willing to order something different. And then you just pass all the plates around trying a little of each.

But show up with someone like Larry, who already knows what his favorite dish is, and it sort of becomes every man for himself. On this night I order some type of chicken curry. It’s funny, I didn’t think I liked curry, but it was truly delicious. If that doesn’t make sense to you… well, you know the rest.

Before we leave, in another attempt to embarrass our friend, we call the belly dancer over to the table and show her the photo from last year. Kelly, (that’s her name) laughs and then memorizing the pose and facial expression agrees to take the exact same photo. For the record Larry’s wife, Ginger snaps the picture. I think she took the one from last year, too.

Who knows maybe we will get a third photo on my friend’s 61st birthday. It’s a pretty good bet. Larry loves this place. And by no means is he alone.

How about you. Comment below with your list of favorite restaurants in the area. Did Indochine make the cut?

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