Tag Archives: Thai

NYC Best: yes yes to Pok Pok

Pok Pok

Pok Pok

When you think of thai food, if all you know is pad thai, then it’s time to be schooled in the ways of Pok Pok, New York’s latest west coast transplant to open up in thriving Red Hook. With a small front dining area, there is almost always a wait an hour+ long, but now that Summer is upon us, the back garden has been converted into an expanded dining area and a place to grab a refreshing jelly beer or a cocktail from the long list of thai-infused mixers.

Dining is family style, and while the table is set with utensils, you’re encouraged to try things like grilled meat, skewers and sticky rice by using your hands — there are no rules here, only napkins and wet wipes. The menu is long and reads like a traveling recap throughout Thailand. Use your wait-time to salivate over and narrow your choices, zeroing in on 2-3 plates per person {advice: bring more friends, try more goodness}.

Yam Samun Phrai

Yam Samun Phrai

Yam Samum Phrai {it’s everything you want in a salad — crunchy texture and refreshing citrusy herbal bites. Hands down one of the best dishes} — northern thai herbal salad with carrot, parsnip, white tumeric, betel leaf, basil, lime leaf, lemongrass, sawtooth, fried shallots, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, dried shrimp, ground pork, and thai chilies in a mild coconut milk dressing.

Pok Pok Ribs and Half Bird

Pok Pok Ribs and Half Bird

Sii Khrong Muu Yaang {ribs that kick Texas BBQ’s butt. yes, really! probably my second favorite dish} — Carlton farms baby back ribs marinated in whisky, soy, honey, ginger and thai spices. Slow roasted and served with two spice dipping sauces.

Kai Yang {signature house specialty: half bird with a kick} — Charcoal rotisserie roasted natural game hen stuffed with lemongrass, garlic, pepper and cilantro served with spicy sweet and sour and tamarind dipping sauces.

Pok Pok Thai Sausage

Pok Pok Thai Sausage

Sai Ua Samun Phrai {holy moly this sausage is so good — no, no this was my favorite!} — Chiang Mai sausage with herbs. Burmese curry powder and aromatics. Charcoal grilled and served with Naam Phrik Num {spicy green chile dip!} Khaep Muu {Thai pork rinds} and steamed crudites {how civilized}.

Da Chom’s Laap Meuang {mouth is on fire, thank God for sticky rice and the cooling plate of herbs that were completely foreign to me, but had me munching like a panda bear}. This dish was learned from Da Chom, Andy Ricker’s friend’s father from a small Thai village. At age 84 he still makes this for his family. Northern Thai spicy hand-minced pork salad with aromatics {the panda herbs that ranged in flavors from fish to lemon — yes, fascinatingly fishy herbs}, herbs, cracklings and crispy fried shallots and garlic. {bottom two plates in image below}.

Pok Pok spread

Pok Pok Spread {Da Chom’s Dish Lower Right Two Plates}

The Skim: If you’re not afraid to travel for good food, then all you need is a subway card to Red Hook — as far as Pok Pok is concerned, it’s as good as a plane ticket to Thailand. We were in love with every single dish we ordered, so get adventurous and order what moves you. And be ready to wash everything down with a few quenching cocktails or suds — these dishes are not for the mild tastebuds. Loved it so much, it’s going on my Favor8 list.

8.ate@eight Favor8
Seal of Approval

Map127 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 923-9322
Reservations: Not Taken {but a delightful garden awaits} 

Outside the Pad Thai:
NYC Best: Tasty Times Square Thai @ Pongsri
NYC Best: Summer Sausage & Other Seriously Good Eats @ Summerstage


Filed under Eat Here!, NYC Best

NYC Best: Tasty Times Square Thai @ Pongsri

Times Square and good food is usually considered an oxymoron. With most Times Square dining establishments catering to tourists and theater goers, prices are oven high and quality tends to be low, but if you know where to look, there are plenty of great eats in the neighborhood worth visiting. Pongsri Thai, the oldest family-run Thai restaurant in NYC and one of my favorites, sits in the midst of neon tickers, but its traditional decor and standout food quickly makes you forget the madness outside their four walls.

We started with my favorite dish of the whole meal, a Coconut Omelet appetizer consisting of a thin omelet crepe stuffed with shredded coconut, carrots, bean sprouts and chopped peanuts, served with special thai sauce and cucumber salad. I typically think of eggs as being savory, but the sweetness and crunchiness of the coconut and carrots with the salty peanuts, wrapped in the thin, fluffy omelet crepe was like a Thai party in my mouth — I couldn’t get enough.

Pongsri Coconut Omelette

And while I typically go the boring Pad Thai route when ordering from any random take-out joint, we ordered up a delicious Pad Key Mao — stir-fried broad rice noodles with herbs, chinese broccoli and chili paste with chicken and a make-your-brow-sweat Thai Red Curry with bamboo shoots, bell peppers and coconut milk. Mmmmm — just look at the pictures, they speak for themselves. Lots of good, fresh veg tossed in full-of-flavor sauces. Put either these over the white fluffy sticky rice that absorbs all that goodness and you’ve got yourself a memorable meal.

Pongsri Pad See Ew

Pongsri Thai Red Curry

The Skim: Put the pad thai aside and pick up something new at Pongsri. With hand cut noodles, fresh veg and intense sauces, you will come away with tasty thai memories of Times Square no matter what you order.

Map: {244 West 48th Street btw 8th Ave & Broadway}
Reservations: Not Taken!
Phone:  212-582-3392

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Filed under Eat Here!, NYC Best