How's the curry business?

Down past Cleveland High School, over the railway tracks and abruptly right onto Airport Way, with big trucks moving fast, cars going at a clip and the high-pitched tooting of trains adding to the cacophony, sits a lunch counter treasure. I gingerly crossed the traffic to the Kurry King, located in a characteristic Georgetown brick building.

Owner Lawrence Lin had the good taste to keep the 1950s illuminated sign faintly reminiscent of an old-time soda shop. A bright billboard boldly tells it all - $4.99 Lunch Special.

One would think that anyone serving a lunch for that price might also give you a dose of 'deli-belly,' but as soon as you step inside the pristine store, you are immediately at ease.

The kitchen is squeaky clean and its open plan makes it visible to all. The music is classical and the aroma delicious.

The Kurry King only does curries. Lin's restaurant experience came from owning a Chinese restaurant that fell into his lap by a quirk of fate.

Before that Lin worked as a restaurant distributor, giving him an insider's view of where and how to buy ingredients. So when it came time to do start something completely on his own, Lin wanted to specialize in what he liked best.

"I love curries!" Lin said with obvious enthusiasm. "And there are no leftovers. [With] Chinese food after 15 minutes - don't touch it! But curry overnight gets better!"

He went on to explain how most restaurants producing a curry have one generic sauce, and depending on if you choose pork, beef or chicken, it is added minutes before serving.

Lin grimaced. Doing only curries, the "Kurry King" can make traditional Thai, Indian or Japanese dishes along with some more experimental dishes such as his "yellow curry," which resembles meat-balls and has surprising nibblets of pineapple in the middle.

I asked if he likes to cook, and Lin was quick to say that he only dreams up the ideas and leaves the rest to his trusty team in the kitchen.

With his contacts in the food industry Lin has developed over the years, he now delivers his curries directly to a handful of restaurants, and his ample kitchen suggests that the business has room to grow in that area.

This explains his unusual choice of location. At first glance, one wonders who exactly the Kurry King's customers are. But being only 10 minutes to the International District and 10 minutes to West Seattle or Tukwila makes it easy to deliver to Lin's restaurant customers. Also, with Seattle City Light, Boeing field, Fed-Ex and the growing community of artists that are gravitating to Georgetown, The Kurry King has an every growing clientele, especially at lunchtime.

So when I asked Lin, "how's business?" He simply replied, "great!"

Kurry King is located in Georgetown at 5503 Airport Way S. Call 767-8075.

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