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anyone else try poodam's thai in astoria/lic?

Just discovered Poodam's on 46th and Broadway. I only recently moved to the neighborhood, but I hear there's been a chain of unsuccessful Thai restaurants at this location. Looks like they've finally hit their mark- I've eaten there a few times and have been thrilled! Really spicy, authentic Northern Thai cuisine. Try the duck with chilis off the specialty menu- might be too spicy for some, but I loved it.

Since it's a new place kind of off the main drag I wanted to spread the word- don't want this one going out of business!

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  1. Strange. When I went in to have a look when they first opened, the woman working up front told me it was the same cooks and mostly the same staff as the vile, horrible Thai Spice that preceded it. I did notice the Esan menu in the window, though. I guess I'll have to give it a shot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hatless

      I'll be darned. It may look like the dreaded Thai Spice, but it sure isn't. We had duck with basil and the "three buddies" salad, and asked for them spiced Thai-hot. Both were very good, the duck crisp, the flavors bright, fresh and balanced, and there's some unusual stuff on the menu I'll want to try now that I know it's good (intenstine, duck tongues...). As long as you order like you might at a place like Zabb ("salads", chili/basil, etc.) it seems like you'll do well. Presentation was nice, too.

      The prices are higher than Zabb, Sri and Chao Thai, most dishes running $9-13 here where they'd be $7-10 at other places, but certainly nothing outrageous. It's a very big space, so their rent's probably higher than it should be. I'm worried they might not be able to fill enough seats, especially given the rep of the place that was there before, so I suggest Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside people give it a shot.

    2. i live right around the corner so my bf and i recently tried it before a yankees game. we had the papaya salad which was a generous portion and delicious! just to note that it didn't have any meat. we also had the ground duck which is on the specials page. very spicy, comparable to Sri's spice levels. was a little confused as how to go about and eat this dish, but it was pretty good. We also had the basil duck which was good, very crispy skin and flavors were good. Chicken pad thai as the noodle dish was so-so. Not a very large portion and the flavors were bland. I think this place is pretty good, def no huge crowds and dare i say that the food is on the same page as Sri's, but the menu isn't as extensive. Give it a shot

      1 Reply
      1. re: liveloveat34

        Catfish larb this afternoon...absolutely wonderful. Comparable, if not better than the larb dishes I've tried at Zabb (duck and pork). It was also, in addition to being complex and filled with a nice charred catfish flavor, very well presented, with sprigs of mint and basil and some deep fried lime leaves. I'm looking forward to trying out some other stuff.

      2. I was going to go after I read the big review in the Village Voice but I thought it might be too crowded!

        http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/0...

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        Poodam's
        44-19 Broadway, Queens, NY 11103

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brian S

          It has never been crowded, not even close. The place that was there before was so horrible that I think most people in the neighborhood are afraid to try it. In the past week or two it has gone from one or two tables occupied to maybe four, and when we were there last week there was an encouraging amount off takeout happening, mostly by Thais, so it looks like word is starting to get out.

        2. We went recently. Had been warned to say "NOT SPICY". Friends of ours told us how great the food was but ohh man, how hot it can be. So when ordering we made a big deal about keeing it mild. The squid salad tasted perfect but woooo boy! did that spice turn your mouth and tongue into a numb, tingly fire pit. Still, I'f go back in a sec. Maybe learn some Thai first to get my wimp ass needs taken care of.

          1. Their green papaya salad is the best I've had anywhere so far. The flavor is just a little more complex, maybe because they toast their peanuts a little extra, and the dried shrimp are extra large (somewhat to the dismay of my strictly-vegetarian boyfriend). It's plenty spicy, right up to the edge of being too much without going over.

            The "Hot Morning Glory" was a little disappointing, because it's just sauteed greens. Turns out the "hot" refers to the temperature, not the presence of chili peppers. The morning glory is good, but not $10.95 worth of good.

            The yellow curry with vegetarian duck is good but not great. I'd have to say that the combo of vegetarian duck (which is has a five-spice thing going on) and the yellow curry (which also has a five-spice thing going on) was a lot of five-spice. But that combo was our choice and we can live with it.

            The Thai ice tea is also a little better than average. You can taste a little of the tannic edge that tells you there's some actual tea leaves in there somewhere under the condensed milk.

            Based on the tastiness of the papaya salad, I'd guess that their larbs are good too. I'll try one of those when I go back.

            2 Replies
            1. re: megatron

              I looked at their menu after eating at nearby Walima, and that $10.95 dish was one of the cheapest items. Prices seem 50% more than Sripraphai. Is it worth it?

              And what's with those wood-paneled cavernous restaurants nearby that offer upscale Manhattan-type dishes (e.g. salmon, halibut) and also provide hookahs?

              1. re: Brian S

                The Esam menu is kinda pricey. Their regular menu seems on par with other Thai restaurants... $8.95 for a curry, for example, and the papaya salad is $7.95. They also have larbs made with ordinary chicken, etc, which are in that price range as well, and cheaper than their specialty larbs. But I've never been to Sripraphai, so I can't give you a cost:tastiness ratio comparison. As I've mentioned, the papaya salad is certainly worth it. The morning glories, not so much.