Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dinner: When a Waiter Shakes His Head Violently...LISTEN

Last week I met up with some friends after work to grab a bite to eat. We opted to go uptown instead of downtown and ended up at Pam Real Thai. We had heard the 2 following things about this place: It was dirt cheap, and it was authentic thai food. Authentic cheap and in Midtown?? How could I not check it out?

Casey and Anj already eyeing up people's food

Hawaiin shirt guy was the owner

Thai Iced Tea
Casey got this and naturally I had to try a sip.Wow, was this sugary. The texture was almost like melted ice cream with all the cream and condensed milk they added ( or because Anj  was performing some crazy Croatian voodoo with her hands we will never know....)
Price: $1.50
Pad Gra Prow
Casey got this, and it was shrimp sauteed in basil, garlic, bell pepper and chili. I tried the sauce, it was sweet but she said after a couple of bites her mouth was on fire. I believe her.
Price: $ 10.95

This happens to me everytime.

Kaeng Tai Pla
Okay, this is what the menu says: "A unique southern Thai dish in NYC. Fermented fish kidney with tumeric, lime leaves, chili paste, and assorted vegetable!!!! The most hot and spicy Thai food!!!!".  Well. How can I resist a food description like that? And with all those exclamation points?? I placed the order with our waiter and he shook his head violently. " No, no do NOT get this!" he warned. " Too spicy and salty!"  But for some sick reason the more he suggested against it, the more I longed of the dish. : "Yes, yes! I like spicy and salty, bring it on!" I insisted.
I got it with mixed seafood which consisted of only squid and mussels. I took a sip of the broth. Wow, he wasn't kidding about the salty part. 3 bites later? The dish sent my mouth into hell. I love spicy dishes, but this was like lighting my tongue on fire and trying to eat at the same time. The heat of the broth plus the heat of the spices was madness. The flavor? Sardines come to my head first. I guess I should have listened to the waiter. 1 tinger head for this dish.
Price: $10.95

Raad Ma Seafood 
Melissa go this one, flat rice noodle with gravy, and Chinese broccoli. I had a couple of bites to save myself of the heat of my dish once in a while. The gravy was sweet and marinated into the noodles. I wish I had gotten this instead!
Price: $ 9.95

Anj got this one. It was chicken, steamed veggies topped with peanut sauce. I tasted her chicken, a little over cooked and tough, but the sauce was creamy. The topping of peanuts added a nice texture.
Price: $8.00

Melissa, Me, Casey and Anj
I was surprised to see that Casey and I were the color of crimson red considering our dishes were spicier than a spice girls undies. Casey texted me the next evening quote: " My stomach is still on fire from that Thai dish last night!"  
Verdict: Best Thai I have had in Midtown by far ( maybe not my particular dish) but all of my friends dishes were pretty tasty! The service was patient, attentive, and efficient. Also I saw PAM herself back in the kitchen cooking. It is rare to see the cook pictured on the menu actually in the kitchen these days. I am willing to go back again, and next time I will listen to my waiters suggestions!
Pam Real Thai
404 W 39th Street
New York NY 10019

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