Last night we decided to go out to celebrate Mrs. Notafoodie’s birthday. She had been craving some good Thai food, so obviously we headed to the only place in NYC to get that, Jackson Heights / Woodside. Sripraphai on 39th Avenue is THE BEST THAI FOOD IN ALL OF NEW YORK. Period. That fact is not open for debate. You can comment and disagree all you want, but you’re wasting your time with that nonsense at this site.
Our dinner was planned. My mouth was watering all day. My breakfast and lunch were chosen to optimize my pigging out on a whole Thai spicy snapper with a “spicy pork tender” appetizer. The babysitter was set, thanks to my sister. All that was left was the eatin’!
When we arrived on that dark corner that is usually packed with people waiting to be seated, we found out that Sripraphai is closed on Wednesdays. As one of hero’s would say: D’oh!
That’s when things got all “social media”. I used the FoodSpotting app to see if there was anything interesting around. Unfortunately 90% of the results that came up were photos of awesome Sripraphai dishes. The Internet was mocking me.
Thankfully, we were saved by the Yelp app. I found another Thai place just down the block called “Thailand’s Center Point” (weird name, right?) that boasted user reviews like:
“If Sripraphai is the place to get sophisticated/awesome Thai food with your friends on the weekend, Thailand’s Center Point is a place you come alone for a weekday for some comforting heart warming Thai food.”
“Still my favorite place for Thai food in Queens and it was just featured in the Village Voice as the Best of NYC!”
“If Sripraphai would fit in well with the local restaurant scene in Thailand, Thailand’s Center Point is the food you’d get in a Thai person’s home”
We were sold… and extremely hungry at this point.
Thailand’s Center Point is really a small Thai grocery. It has one side of the store separated and where 5 or 6 tables are set up. It’s a complete hole in the wall. As soon as you walk in you’re bombarded by a funky mix of smells. I couldn’t put my finger exactly on what it was, but it reminded me of a tiny Thai restaurant that I visited in Japan almost 10 years ago. It’s amazing how smells can take you to different places. TCP does not have a liquor license, but that didn’t stop the half a dozen or so thai-speaking old men from sharing a few sixers of Singha.We ordered a few different items and shared them all. You sort of got the feeling that the kitchen was smaller than most people’s NYC home kitchens and the dishes were being prepared one at a time. The Mrs. ordered a Tom Ka Gai that I sampled. The soup was really good, but the combination of me having a cold and the harshness of biting directly in to a spicy hot ginger root kept me choking for the next 5 minutes. The waitress came over to make sure that everything was OK. You could tell that she was extremely concerned that I didn’t like the soup. I assured her that I was just a stupid white guy that couldn’t handle his Asian spices.
We ordered pork larb, steamed dumplings, ginger chicken, and a “herb and spices” fried shrimp. Everything was excellent. The shrimp was actually on a specials board that was hidden in the back of the grocery store. I asked if that was one of today’s specials and the waitress said that it wasn’t and the board was just put to the side for storage. Then she said “we’ll make it for you anyway”. I love this place already. The shrimp had a nice slow burn that left an inferno in my mouth by the time the meal was over.
Great meal. I highly recommend it if you like Thai food and don’t care too much about the fact that you’re eating in a glorified bodega. I wish that we lived closer to the place because it would be the PERFECT take-out joint. Unfortunately, I think that in the future if I’ve made it all the way to 39th Avenue in Woodside, my money will most likely go to Sriprphai…. unless it’s a Wednesday.