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Thai Son Vietnamese Cuisine Jackson Heights

New Restaurant that will be opening soon replacing PHO Binh located at 40-10 74th St across from the 74th St/Roosevelt Ave Station. It has not opened. It appears that there's a major renovation in progress. I look forward to it's opening. It should be soon.

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  1. It's connected with Thai Son on Baxter in Manhattan Chinatown.

    1. I drove by yesterday evening - I only got a split-second look, but it did appear to be open. Hope someone will have a chance to stop in an report back soon.

      1. Helen, I stopped by this afternoon and was greeted by a familiar face. It was the heavy set woman who was always behind the counter. The opening date is Tuesday, November 14th.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Mike V

          Oh, excellent, thanks for the news. I had a feeling we might be seeing some of the same people.

          I've been really missing having a reliable Vietnamese place nearby. I drove by on 74th St. this evening, hoping to pick up dinner, and saw that it was pretty dark over there.

          Now I know what I'm having for dinner next Wednesday!

          1. re: Helen F

            my husband and i have been missing the Pho Binh at 74th/Broadway/Roosevelt. it was quite good and we could walk to it (and he likes to have Pho on a weekly basis in an ideal world). we were driving to Little Saigon instead on Grand St, just south of Queens Blvd and frankly, despite my initial excitement over the fuller, more varied menu, i ended up thinking that it was more expensive and as good as some of the new dishes were, they did bad versions of my favorites, except for the Pho. their Pho was less salty, which was a nice thing for us. i bet we'll go to the "new" place tonight!

            1. re: charlie_b

              i went tonight and was extremely disappointed. not nearly as good as Pho Binh was.
              Pho (with everything, including all the offal) was very salty and the meat bits weren't as fresh tasting.
              Goi Tom Shrimp/Cabbage salad was short on herbs and flavor and the vegetables didn't taste as fresh.
              the Grilled Pork Bun was on thicker noodles than the standard vermecelli, and the pork didn't have the right texture or flavor or char. and the lettuce and vegetables were tasteless.

              it looks spiffed up inside and like more quality, but aside from new art, i'm not sure what's different. maybe better lighting?

              unless i hear some serious dissent, i think i won't be there again.

              i hope your mileage varies, because i didn't even eat my meal, and now need to cook something at home.

              alekz

              1. re: charlie_b

                I'm disappointed. Returning customers won't remain silent
                and will complain. If they don't fix the problem they'll
                be out of business. I plan to wait a week or so and visit
                for a bowl of PHO. If it's not any good, I'll let them know.

                1. re: charlie_b

                  Well, despite charlie b’s lukewarm report, we decided we couldn’t wait long enough to give the kitchen a chance to settle down. I stopped by for some takeout this evening.

                  Their advertised hours are 11-11, the phone # is 476-6805 or -6806. They offer free delivery, though the guy I spoke to said at this point it’s just within a 5-block radius. They plan to expand in a few weeks. That is potentially exciting.

                  I waited quite a while for my order (it was pretty busy inside, despite the rain), so I had a chance to look around. I was looking at a nice toaster-oven behind the counter, thinking to myself that it was the kind you see warming up the bread in Banh Mi places, and wondering why they couldn’t maximize their profit by adding Banh Mi production to their operation. Then I noticed that they actually had “Vietnamese Sandwich” on the picture board. It was a picture of the regular kind, with the cold cuts and cilantro, not the bowl of curry with the French bread next to it. So I asked the main guy at the counter, and he told me that one of the staff makes Banh Mi in the a.m., until they run out of bread. Sure enough, on the front counter there’s a display cabinet, empty but for the bread crumbs inside. So that, too, is potentially exciting.

                  Unfortunately, the meal itself was pretty much as charlie b. experienced it. We both ordered Bun – one of pork, and one of chicken (not on the menu, but they do have it if you ask.) Also a vegetable dish. The noodles were not really thick, but not as thin as normal vermicelli – more like spaghetti. And the vegetable matter in the Bun was pretty paltry – no carrot to be found. Scarcely any cucumber, either – just some thinly sliced cucumber skins with a tiny bit of the cucumber pulp still attached to them. It was nice and crunchy, I’ll give them that. It’s kind of sad – if they’re setting such a low standard right at the start, what will things be like as they go along? There were sprouts, of course, and some scallion and peanuts. I liked the grilled chicken, and I thought the pork was tasty, though it was less grill-y than the chicken was. But the pork slices were meaty and nicely marinated. The vegetable dish was ok – not great, but ok.

                  It was weirdly expensive, too – I was used to paying 16-ish for a meal like this in the old place, and I paid $19 tonight. When I got home and added things up, it looked like the guy overcharged me by exactly $2. Or is it possible that the off-menu chicken Bun costs a full $2 more than the pork? That would be bizarre, though I suppose anything’s possible.

                  So, I’m not running to go back there.

          2. bummer. i stopped in last night to pick up a menu. thanks for the report.
            ^^meant to reply to charlie_b.

            1. I suppose it doesn't matter if it's a flop for food quality but the name is a problem.
              How many know Thai Son has some emotional impact a mountain place in Vietnam legend?
              Passing by,you see big THAI - CHs know THAI and where they want their THAI.
              BAD NAME CHOICE, quite confusing for people who long for good Vietnamese.

              1. for those who live in the neighborhood -- we noticed on our way there a place on 73rd (?), south side of Roosevelt, east side of the street a new place called PHO <something or other> and glanced in the window. the menu didn't seem very Vietnamese (more Americanized-Chinese), except for the Pho's. anyone dared to try this place yet?

                i do miss having Vietnamese i can walk to (in less than 40 minutes) -- i live in Woodside.

                1 Reply
                1. re: charlie_b

                  Alekz, the place you're talking about is 'Noodle Pho', it's a Korean place with Pho on the menu. It's been discussed on this board - just search for Noodle Pho. It's not authentic, but I liked their broth very herbal, not just salty water.

                2. I'm not sure why there were such high hopes for Thai Son. If it's connected with the Chinatown shop, then I wouldn't expect more than a run-of-the-mill Vietnamese shop, like all those other places on Baxter. Pho Binh was also run-of-the-mill, so I don't see it as any great loss. I usually go a little further to Elmhurst for my Vietnamese. While they're all pretty much run-of-the-mill, I still think Pho Bac is the least offensive of them all.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: E Eto

                    Hi Eric,

                    Of course you're right, Pho Binh was nothing to write home about, but I came to depend on it for decent Pho and Bun, and it sure was convenient - I usually hit it when I was getting off the BQE, on my way home. Driving down Broadway to the strip mall is a big annoyance at that hour.

                    As far as the food is concerned I found Pho Binh generally to be more consistent than Pho Bac, which I suppose isn't saying much, either. But it is it so terrible to wish for some pickled carrot in the Bun, as well as some of the actual cucumber and not just the peel? I don't think that's holding the new place to a particularly high standard.

                    Helen

                  2. I just tried the Korean place next door to Thai Son tonight instead – Chung Kiwa Restaurant. It was really good. Had the beef and squid barbeques, scallion pancake, and tofu kimchee stew. I would defenitely go back.

                    1. I just had lunch at Thai Son and definitely plan to return. The place was pretty packed. I had pho with grilled chicken. The broth was rich, bright, and not at all too salty. The grilled chicken was a drop gristly but really tasty so I'll forgive some of the gristle. While they may have been off when they first opened, things seem to have improved quite a bit. I'll go again next week--hopefully I won't be proved completely wrong (cause that's always such a bummer). Oh--it also made me realize that I was far too kind to the Noodle Pho place when it first opened--they're so nice I want them to do well but the pho is just not as good as Thai Son's.

                      1. Jennsch: I've been to lunch 7 times. Had the PHO with grilled chicken three times, the PHO with grilled pork chop three times and PHO with rare eye round once. All 7 meals were outstanding and I was fortunate with the chicken. The PHO with grilled chicken or pork chop is quite a bargain at $5.95. Each time I went the place was crowded. The waitstaff is very attentive and pleasant. This place is a winner and better than what it replaced. The complimentary tea is a nice touch. I plan to return often possibly today. I may order the Vietnamese Steak with Salad and Rice. Someone at the next table ordered it and it really looked good. Many order for take out the Vietnamese Sandwich for $3.50. You're right about Noodle PHO. Nice people but the food is not so nice.

                        1. The rice and whatever meals really looked fantastic. I was the only person eating pho yesterday--and, even though mine was delicious, I had serious plate envy going on. Anyway, I'm happy to hear that my tasty meal wasn't an aberration.

                          1. One other thing: I was also quite pleased to see that there were actual walls under the dirt of the restaurant that used to be in that spot. I know some people think it's just about the food but...when the dining room has gunky walls, I tend to worry about the cleanliness of the kitchen.

                            1. I tried Thai Son last night. I was pleased to find that it had nice lighting (dim) lighting, felt clean (including the bathrooms) and no flat panel (on other) tv. The Pho was actually quite good, although it could have used more meat. The fried spring rolls and sesame beef were good too. It's defenitely a good walking-distance Vietnamese option.

                              1. just like the baxter street location. same menu. went by last night, had squid in the lemongrass/pepper/onion sauce (you can get just about any kind of meat or fish in the same preparation). good as always, cheap as ever.

                                1. TRY the VIETNAMESE SANDWICH.

                                  It is not printed on the menu at the Jackson Heights location for some reason. I've ordered it tons of times there. The sandwiches are about $4. It's pretty good & filling for so cheap.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: j0cy0223

                                    I tried the Banh Mi sandwich. It was excellent! Perfect with an iced coffe.

                                    1. re: j0cy0223

                                      I had the sandwich yesterday and it was excellent. I will certainly go back. I was in the mood for soup as well so I got the hot and sour vegetable soup (Vietnamese style as it said on the menu). I did have to ask the guy why the small was $8 and he just said that's what it is. I asked, 'is it good?' and he said yes. So what the hell right? Well they brought out this giant glass mixing bowl (might've been a quart and a half) with a smaller serving bowl and rice. I told the guy he could've mentioned how large the 'small' is when I ordered it. So $8 wasn't so bad because it's definitely a two-meal serving (and I can eat a lot). I took the rest home. Very fresh, tasty broth with a variety of vegetables and tofu. Delicious.

                                    2. I had a baffling experience eating here. They didn't use many of the ingredients and flavors basic to Vietnamese cuisine (fish sauce, limes, star anise, Asian basil, coriander, ginger, shallots, caramel sauce, etc...). I don't think there are m/any authentic Vietnamese restaurants in NYC anyway so go if you like the taste of their food but it's not exactly Vietnamese food. Maybe Chinese-style? I don't know.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Owl

                                        No idea why. All the vietnamese places I tried in NYC all use lemon. My ex-roomie from Boston brings her own lime whenever she gets pho. She can't stand using lemons. Hehe.

                                        1. re: Owl

                                          Most NYC area Vietnamese restaurants are run by people from Vietnam's overseas Chinese community.

                                        2. Good news on the Thai Son front -- now they deliver. I'm not sure how new this news is as I hadn't been in there in a few months. But it's a very good addition to the delivery choices in the neighborhood.

                                          1. The service at this place seems to have gone downhill. I've had several occasions where they've hung up on me when I'm placing an order because "they can't hear me". I've never had a problem ordering anywhere else on the phone.