Mongkoltep Thai Restaurant is a family-run operation in Newnan’s picturesque town square. Pulling into Newnan, I am hearing immediately the anthemic chorus of “Ain’t that America” from John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” in my head.
Images of wholesome families, quaint storefront businesses and the stately Coweta County Courthouse in the center of the square could have all been glancing shots in Mellencamp’s music video. I had not been to Newnan before, but this small-town charm is not new to me. I grew up in a town like this in east Tennessee.
I feel as if I’m home, but my hometown didn’t have any exotic dining choices like Mongkoltep. Owner/chef Montri Youngfuengment (Young for short) relocated to Newnan and opened the Thai restaurant 13 months ago, opting for a quieter life after a couple of restaurant ventures in metro Atlanta. Young grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, where he honed his cooking skills at his parents’ street market food stall. He