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Chao Thai

NYJewboy Apr 6, 2008 01:08 PM

I keep hearing about this place from C-Hound luminaries (JFores for example). Let's hear the opinions! I went looking for it the other day in my car but did not have enough time and did not find it. Worth it? I am considering become unfaithful to Sripraphai, maybe, at least once.

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Chao Thai
85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

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  1. f
    foodforthought2 RE: NYJewboy Apr 6, 2008 04:29 PM

    Too bad parking sucks in Elmhurst--if you take the r or g train it's well worth the trip. I think it's fabulous. The only drawback is that it's a bit small with few tables.

    1. j
      JFores RE: NYJewboy Apr 6, 2008 10:56 PM

      Parking's fine IMO. There's always some across the street, around by the bowling alley, or along the supermarket across from the park. The only issue is it's all metered. Oh well. Chao Thai is great. The curries are a real winner here as well as the larb, the catfish (bony), most seafood, etc. I like to try to stick to the specials menu (Thai lang only on board) which they will sometimes translate for you and sometimes look at you blankly wondering what you mean. Good luck!

      Oh and I order my stuff very very very very spicy (quote on quote usually) but this is melting through your bowl level hot so be careful.

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      Chao Thai
      85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

      1. bigjeff RE: NYJewboy Apr 7, 2008 12:29 AM

        I like the pork belly in prik khing sauce (dry curry with stringbeans), most of the larb/salads are great, there is a nice sausage app and some nice soups. actually haven't had any curries or fried rice or noodles there but I've been happy w/ every meal there so far.

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        Chao Thai
        85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

        1. NYJewboy RE: NYJewboy Apr 7, 2008 05:31 AM

          What got me was a statement in a previous post about the curries in particular. A great prik khing is enough to struggle with any parking situation for sure. I am going this week. Thanks all.

          2 Replies
          1. re: NYJewboy
            j
            JRogan RE: NYJewboy Apr 7, 2008 08:34 AM

            Chao's green curry is fantastic--better than Srip I think...

            1. re: JRogan
              l
              laguera RE: JRogan Apr 9, 2008 09:32 AM

              I love many of Chao's dishes, but I don't get why so many people think their curries are better than Sripraphai's. I found their green curry to be sweeter and more watery than Srip's. Srip's green curry is the closest I have found here to green curry in Bangkok. And Sri's penang blows Chao's out of the water. Maybe I have to try Chao's green curry again though.

          2. AppleSister RE: NYJewboy Apr 7, 2008 09:50 AM

            How funny, I was just here on Saturday night with three friends. We all loved it, especially the Esan Thai sour sausage, the pad frog, and the seafood papaya salad and the noodle dish we got, a take on pad see ew, wasn't eye-opening but it was very good and a good way to get some relief from the spicy food. I also liked "Three Buddies," though I think I would have liked it better as a small bite or two. None of us are wimps with spicy food, but we got everything "medium," and we were definitely sweating.

            1. charlie_b RE: NYJewboy Apr 7, 2008 03:50 PM

              we live next door to Sripraphai, and drove to Chao a month or two ago. it reminded me of Sripraphai pre-expansion, pre-expansion, but smaller. the food was good, and spicy. i knew that going in, so i ordered everything medium and it was still quite spicy.

              i agree that the green curry is excellent, and we also really enjoyed the prik khing -- which is different than Sripraphai's. or rather, Sri's is different than any other prik khing i've ever had.

              the only thing we didn't like was the tom yum, but that was the fault of our palate, not of the soup. (it was too hot for us, and too sour/tangy for my husband).

              we parked just fine, 1,2,3, across Broadway from the restaurant.

              my husband finds the food at Sri to be over-salted, and we enjoy the food there more when we remember to order it "less salty please".

              we found the salt levels here to be AOK.

              i'd like to try their noodle dishes, as i love drunken noodles, but i don't like them at Sri -- i don't like any of their noodle dishes there.

              ok, that was rambling. but go and try. i don't think you will regret it. the worst that will happen is that you might start having to divide your time between the two places.

              alekz

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              Chao Thai
              85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

              1. NYJewboy RE: NYJewboy Apr 8, 2008 02:12 PM

                I went there today, found my amazing parking spot right in front, and they were closed. The menu says 7 days a week, 11am-11pm. What gives?

                16 Replies
                1. re: NYJewboy
                  MOREKASHA RE: NYJewboy Apr 8, 2008 07:42 PM

                  The menu is wrong, it is closed Tuesdays. Happened to me too a while back. Parking is ok during weekdays, both lunch and early dinner.

                  1. re: NYJewboy
                    j
                    JFores RE: NYJewboy Apr 8, 2008 08:54 PM

                    Same thing happened to me! Same day!

                    1. re: JFores
                      bigjeff RE: JFores Apr 8, 2008 09:05 PM

                      in a pinch, you can go to my thai which is a block or two away on dongan avenue: more of the typical bamboo walls and cheesy decor, but they have some mighty fine dishes: the soft shell crab curry is amazing, they have a very good duck curry. I've headed here a few times after coming away from chao thai's closed gates.

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                      My Thai
                      83-47 Dongan Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        j
                        JFores RE: bigjeff Apr 8, 2008 11:17 PM

                        I skipped across the road to Nussura and had a pretty good tom yum soup with shrimp, actually.

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                        Nusara Thai Kitchen
                        82-80 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                        1. re: JFores
                          bigjeff RE: JFores Apr 9, 2008 07:12 AM

                          ah yes the new place! been meaning to hit that up as well.

                          1. re: JFores
                            w
                            wew RE: JFores Apr 9, 2008 03:04 PM

                            After finding the shutter closed that day I took the subway to Chegndu Heaven for dry cooked chicken-- highly, hotly recommended. Sorry to miss the good company.

                          2. re: bigjeff
                            E Eto RE: bigjeff Apr 9, 2008 07:43 AM

                            Besides My Thai, there's also Boon Chu and Ploy Thai within 5 minutes of Chao Thai.

                            -----
                            My Thai
                            83-47 Dongan Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                            Ploy Thai
                            81-40 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                            Boon Chu
                            83-18 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                            1. re: E Eto
                              NYJewboy RE: E Eto Apr 9, 2008 08:14 AM

                              E Eto: how do you think these others compare? I am going because I have heard Chao Thai has better curries and larb than Sripraphai.

                              1. re: NYJewboy
                                Polecat RE: NYJewboy Apr 9, 2008 04:19 PM

                                Have only been to Ploy twice, but suffice to say that their menu is pretty much identical to Chao, right down to the actual design. Ploy is also a tiny joint. By far, the best thing I've tried there is the Chicken Larb, which is as good as any version I've had anywhere, excellent balance of heat/flavor/texture. I was disappointed, however, in the Crispy Catfish Salad, which, while not sickeningly sweet, had far less of that balance and dynamism going for it. On my one trip to Nusara, I had the Clay Pot Shrimp off of the specials menu. It was okay, but nothing special. I couldn't help but think that this is the kind of dish that, done really well, would have me coming back for more, but I'm not even tempted with Nusara's version. Like Sri, however, Nusara has a very varied menu, so they probably excel at some dishes and not others. If Chao is either closed or too crowded, you can do far worse than Ploy or Nusara. There's also a place, I think it's called Buncha, even tinier than Ploy or Chao, on Broadway, right around the corner from My Thai, that I'm tempted to visit.
                                P.

                                -----
                                Nusara Thai Kitchen
                                82-80 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                Ploy Thai
                                81-40 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                1. re: NYJewboy
                                  E Eto RE: NYJewboy Apr 10, 2008 08:44 AM

                                  It's hard to say how all the Thai places around that area of Queens all compare. Since I live within a few steps of Sripraphai, I don't venture very far for Thai food, but I do feel that since many of these Thai restaurants serve a significant Thai clientele, they do have higher standards (than in Manhattan, let's say), but like any competitive ethnic niche, it's likely that they all serve at least one thing that's better than the competition. I certainly haven't figured it out, but maybe someone else has.

                                  The various Thai places (and some dishes I enjoyed):
                                  Sripraphai (panang curry, gai kua noodles, crispy watercress salad, khao soy, pork leg with chili).
                                  Chao Thai (things off the specials board, three ingredient salad... can't remember what it's called).
                                  Boon Chu (grilled sausage, squid salad).
                                  My Thai (only place with miang kam on the menu).
                                  Shallot (homemade sun dried sausage).
                                  Zabb (Lao hot pot, larb dishes, catfish salad).
                                  Rice Ave
                                  Ploy Thai
                                  Sweet Basil
                                  Uthai

                                  1. re: E Eto
                                    MOREKASHA RE: E Eto Apr 10, 2008 08:52 AM

                                    I was thinking about that earlier today. There is a Thai Buddhist temple in Woodside. I don't know when it opened up, but that must be the ground zero. Much like Orthdox Jews cluster around their Schuls, this is a similar process. I am so happy that the Temple is in Queens.

                                2. re: E Eto
                                  bigjeff RE: E Eto May 6, 2008 10:46 PM

                                  walked by boon chu tonight and it was completely redone (or at least I thought it was, can't even remember what it used to look like) so now it is lime green, generic contemporary furniture and totally empty around 10pm. then, walking back about 45 minutes later, every single table in the place was seated and the place (small) was packed. crazy! how is the food? new ownership? I still put chao thai on top but just curious about the recent changes.

                                  1. re: bigjeff
                                    MOREKASHA RE: bigjeff May 7, 2008 04:37 AM

                                    I noticed that also, on Monday. Have to try it but haven't. Chao seems to have reawoken. For a couple of months everything I ate there was a bit off. Monday night, all the help was back and familiar including the Grandma in the kitchen. Whew. Thank g-d.

                                3. re: bigjeff
                                  z
                                  zemilideias RE: bigjeff Dec 16, 2009 09:08 AM

                                  nusara much better than my thai

                                  1. re: zemilideias
                                    bigjeff RE: zemilideias Dec 16, 2009 09:54 AM

                                    specific recs at nusara? I had 2 meals there, can't remember any standouts.

                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                      z
                                      zemilideias RE: bigjeff Jul 9, 2010 10:46 AM

                                      yeah, do the striped bass in chili lime sauce. pretty darned good. but you're right, the majority of their dishes don't measure up to chao thai standards!

                            2. Polecat RE: NYJewboy Apr 16, 2008 05:44 PM

                              I'll add the Three Buddies Salad - which I ordered tonight off of the specials menu - to the ever-growing list of recommendations at Chao. The buddies in question are crispy yet tender pork, crunchy deep fried fish maw and cashews. They got along just fine with the usual yum suspects of red onion, chilis, scallions, juices and plenty of potent seeds in plain sight, combining for the combination of flavor, texture and heat that make Thai food so amazing. Yet another thoroughly satisfying meal here, perhaps my best yet.
                              P.

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                              Chao Thai
                              85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Polecat
                                j
                                JFores RE: Polecat Apr 16, 2008 08:16 PM

                                I love that salad. I had a remarkably sad and unsatisfying papaya salad there the other night, but to be fair it was Sunday and I was the last customer in the whole place. On the other hand, the pork liver salad was delicious. Their tom yum soup is actually not as good as Nussara's, but I still love Chao Thai nonetheless. My favorite curries, larb, and an extensive (and awesome) Thai language specials menu are what you should go for. Don't ask the woman to translate the whole thing (you'll forget anyway), just ask what's fresh. And avoid crabs there...

                                1. re: JFores
                                  NYJewboy RE: JFores Apr 16, 2008 08:26 PM

                                  Yeah J, I went this weekend and loved the papaya salad, larb, and wide noodle dish (I forget which). Today I had a fantastic larb again, and an amazing marinated pork with dipping sauce. However today's papaya salad was a limp shadow of what I had this weekend. Spicing was off, almost random, anemic, and slightly sour. I think they must make some component in large amounts and it goes, or something like that.

                                  Either way, I'm going to try your tips for roti this weekend. Enjoy!

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                                  Chao Thai
                                  85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                2. re: Polecat
                                  z
                                  zemilideias RE: Polecat Dec 16, 2009 09:09 AM

                                  Check out the watercress salad. And the pad clams in basil sauce. Ouch!

                                  1. re: zemilideias
                                    MOREKASHA RE: zemilideias Dec 16, 2009 06:44 PM

                                    Had the w'cress @ Chai. Tasty. Nusara didnt float my boat.

                                    1. re: MOREKASHA
                                      z
                                      zemilideias RE: MOREKASHA Jul 9, 2010 10:47 AM

                                      yeah, oh my god, the watercress salad as well as the vegetable dish itself rock.

                                3. m
                                  myclawyer RE: NYJewboy Apr 17, 2008 08:50 AM

                                  I went to Chao Thai last night for dinner. It's accross the street from the noodle/dumpling place Lao Bei Fang (sp?).

                                  Anyway, I thought it was good, but not in the same league as Srip. The larb was kind of bland. It had nowhere near the zing/tang that Srip has. Also, Srip's larb is ground meat, Chao Thai uses chopped meat. I prefer the texture of the ground meat as it seems to absorb flavors more readily.

                                  I had the panang curry with shrimp. It was a bowl of green string beans and red peppers with 8 medium shrimp. It was very tasty, in fact, I used the spoon to drink the curry.

                                  Cash only and no alcohol, but you can bring your own.

                                  Bottom line: If you have a hankering for Thai on a Wednesday, this place will do. All other days, go to Srip.

                                  -----
                                  Chao Thai
                                  85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: myclawyer
                                    z
                                    zemilideias RE: myclawyer Sep 14, 2008 02:56 PM

                                    Chao blows Srip away in most dishes...I can't say I've tried the green curries discussed above, but whether it's Pad Frog or even something oh soh simple and touristy like Pad Thai, go to Chao not Srip which is now a bloated, overrated spot that people travel to from Manhattan. No doubt Chao, if they keep on coooking like they have been over last 2 yrs, may become same. But for now it's much tastier (and significantly cheaper).

                                    1. re: zemilideias
                                      l
                                      laguera RE: zemilideias Sep 15, 2008 08:29 AM

                                      Chao Thai is very good for some things (pad prikh king, for one), but Sri's curries beat Chao Thai's hands down. Sri still has best curries I have had outside of BKK.

                                      1. re: zemilideias
                                        janie RE: zemilideias Sep 15, 2008 08:18 PM

                                        Srip is wonderful, there's no hype about it, Period. And Srip just got the honor of being in the top 12 cleanest restaurants in all of NYC. I don't see how Chao is cheaper, either. And the portions are smaller at Chao than Srip, also. And the menu is just so much more expansive at Srip. The comparison is no contest to me. Srip is the winner. And the green curry at Srip is great.

                                        1. re: janie
                                          z
                                          zemilideias RE: janie Nov 1, 2008 07:33 PM

                                          I don't think diff between Chao and Srip is a regional thing...it's a quality and cooking and hence taste issue. BTW, if any reader would like to see "how" Chao is cheaper than Srip I suggest you look at the prices on the menu or tally up your bill after respective visits to the two places!

                                          1. re: janie
                                            z
                                            zemilideias RE: janie Jul 9, 2010 10:53 AM

                                            yeah, the menu is expansive att Applebee's too...I don't understand the appeal of Srip besides its huge menu. I ate there yesterdya (midweek). I had the watercress salad whcih was clearly sitting some time in teh warmer sectino and tasted old and greasy. Then we had the chickne/shrimp dumplings appetizer. They tasted only like grease. Then we ordered the catfish in curry and the waittress said "That has many bones" and told us to get the sea trout. We assured her bones were no problem and she really didn't believe us. Then we heard "our food is very hot. you don't really want 'medium thai'" even though we did. Of course the food came non-medium Thai; not even medicum N. American! The catfish was OK--juicy, large serving size (big at Applebees too, no?!?) but it's much better at Chao Thai. We had one more entree which Ipromised to write about but which was so forgettable I can't recall it now.

                                            The green tea ice cream was great. Do you think Sri prepares it?

                                            I really don't get the 'wonderful." You'll have to clue me in and tell me what to order. I've not yet come close to at least 2-3 other Thai restaurants in the area and I really think that Sri's pretensions to (Queens-based) fanciness and large menu are what make people rave. In terms of tastiness it's not even top 20 in western Queens. Sorry, skippies...

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                                            Chao Thai
                                            85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                            SriPraPhai
                                            64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                            1. re: zemilideias
                                              janie RE: zemilideias Jul 9, 2010 01:22 PM

                                              usually the watercress salad is great, and very fresh.--did you go at lunch time? I find that weekday lunch can be hit or miss sometimes--unless it's on a friday ,which tends to be okay...I like to go on Thurs nights early side----always excellent and consistent are drunken noodles with beef ground--not pork--chicken satay (they happen to make it great and juicy with excellent peanut sauce)--green curry with shrimp--ask for it without the eggplants, just the red peppers and bamboo shoots--the mild is often very spicy--but order medium if you want to be tortured----coconut rice, spring rolls, chive dumplings, shrimp with garlic and pepper, --I tend to stick with shrimp or meat dishes--not a fan of bones in fish, and do not care for tilapia--the soft shell crab very good also....keep trying, we are very longtime customers there--from their old location when it was only really Thai customers--and if it had consistently disapointed us, we would have bailed a long time ago...it just might not be your cup of tea...

                                              -----
                                              SriPraPhai
                                              64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                              1. re: zemilideias
                                                Ike RE: zemilideias Jul 15, 2010 05:57 PM

                                                If you want it spicy at Srip, just say "pet pet" or "pet maak maak." You will get an inferno in your mouth. No fracking around. Here's how to pronounce:
                                                http://www.learningthai.com/f_tastes....

                                                (VERY useful site -- click on the words to hear it pronounced! In writing, they transliterate it as "phet" which is a confusing transliteration -- it should be spelled "pet" in English IMHO.)

                                                To my taste buds, Srip and Chao are neck-and-neck at this point, but I may have to give Chao the edge now after only two visits. I still think Srip is excellent though. People definitely aren't going there for the decor or whatever. It just may not be to your tastes. Or you may have had bad luck. I think they're inconsistent sometimes. Sometimes the crispy watercress salad is not quite as good as it used to be, other times it's fantastic. The drunken noodles are also inconsistent. Sometimes they're outstanding. I wouldn't order something like a chicken/shrimp dumplings appetizer there. That sounds bland. I love the curries. There are literally hundreds of other recommendations posted in the forums here over the years. But at this point, Chao may be my first choice.

                                                -----
                                                Chao Thai
                                                85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                SriPraPhai
                                                64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                              2. re: janie
                                                z
                                                zemilideias RE: janie Nov 4, 2010 02:36 PM

                                                hmmm...no "hype" about it but it just got the honor. OK, you're right, the Zagat guide's no. 1 rated Thai restaurant, consistently touted as a 'reason' to go to Queens (as if you'd not go otherwise)...but it's not hyped. It's OVERHYPED. Food better at Chao, period.

                                              3. re: zemilideias
                                                d
                                                dhs RE: zemilideias Nov 17, 2008 09:22 AM

                                                Pad Thai, ohhhh what a dish when done well, and damn if it is not the most screwed up of Thai dishes. It is far from easy to cook well. I can't say I have had a really good version of it outside of Thailand. Most are too just wayyy too sweet and many times the noodles are overcooked and rarely is there the delicious wok caramalized/slightly smokey flavor that really sets a good example apart from the mindless, obligatory dish on so many Thai restaurants menus. Sorry for the tangent rant. It really is such a wonderful dish.

                                              4. re: myclawyer
                                                bigjeff RE: myclawyer Sep 15, 2008 10:21 PM

                                                maybe its a regional thing and both restaurants represent different regional styles of thai food? with that said, the pad prikh king at chao thai is amazing, as are most of their salads and larb. they also have a very nice clear soup, very light but rich with flavor and packed w/ vegetables, noodles and I think fish balls? the opposite of tom yum, really good.

                                                1. re: myclawyer
                                                  z
                                                  zemilideias RE: myclawyer Jul 9, 2010 10:54 AM

                                                  the zip/tang I get at srip is usually grease-based....clue me in to your fave plates so I can learn what the hype is ab out. I've beeen there too m any times without satisfaction!

                                                2. j
                                                  JFores RE: NYJewboy Apr 18, 2008 09:03 PM

                                                  I had the crispy duck salad off today's specials and it was absolutely amazing. Your usual Thai salad ingredients and dressing were paired with incredibly crispy pieces of fried duck and pineapple chunks which deliciously countered the heat. Really awesome dish. Possibly my favorite of all that I've ever ordered from there. Aside from that, they haven't been spicing my food correctly of late and I'm not pleased. Maybe I just can't taste chili anymore?

                                                  -----
                                                  Chao Thai
                                                  85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                  18 Replies
                                                  1. re: JFores
                                                    NYJewboy RE: JFores Apr 19, 2008 05:34 AM

                                                    I thought the asme thing JFores. I reasoned with them, in a calm resolute way. It helped a little. I think sometimes they rush things through. You know, in the end, I like Sri better. I say this having tried Chao about 4 times.

                                                    1. re: JFores
                                                      missmasala RE: JFores Apr 20, 2008 05:26 PM

                                                      I like a good duck salad. That, and the description of the 3 ingredient salad may force me to finally make a trip to chao this week.

                                                      Incidentally, if you like duck salad, they make a good one at zabb. I dont like how sri makes duck salad and never order it there.

                                                      -----
                                                      Zabb Elee
                                                      71-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                      1. re: missmasala
                                                        NYJewboy RE: missmasala Apr 21, 2008 06:14 AM

                                                        Yeah. I am with you on Sri's duck. It is too fatty and seems paradoxically dry at the same time, and doesn't seem to integrate with the rest of the dish.

                                                        1. re: NYJewboy
                                                          s
                                                          squinchy RE: NYJewboy Apr 21, 2008 07:12 AM

                                                          I will chime in by saying I live very close to Chao and yet pledge my allegiance to Zabb with all my heart--mostly b/c they deliver to Elmhurst (or at least where I live!)
                                                          If Sri delivered, well then, that would be a different story...maybe.
                                                          Zabb's duck salad and their crispy pork, crispy fish and fish maw salad are sublime. In general, i find that Zabb is not stingy with the heat (tho I will say when Chao turns on the heat, it is pretty turbo charged--perhaps even past the threshold of painfully pleasurable to just sheer pain.)

                                                          -----
                                                          Zabb Elee
                                                          71-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                          1. re: squinchy
                                                            j
                                                            JFores RE: squinchy Apr 21, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                            In the past, Chao was always amazingly hot and that's how I like it. I seem to get really bland food whenever I have the older woman waitress, but the younger ones will spice my food the way I ask for it. My ordering technique usually includes the things like "very very very VERY VERY spicy... 5 stars... Pet mat mat...."

                                                            1. re: JFores
                                                              NYJewboy RE: JFores May 7, 2008 05:15 AM

                                                              Same thing happened to me last time JFores. No matter how I plead, they must feel that are protecting my mouth for my own good. Ha ha. What other explanation could there be?

                                                              1. re: NYJewboy
                                                                z
                                                                zemilideias RE: NYJewboy Nov 4, 2010 02:39 PM

                                                                yeah, the older female waittresses don't believe that non-Thais can deal with Thai. If you get the younger chubby guy he'll set you up with hot no problem, though.

                                                                1. re: zemilideias
                                                                  j
                                                                  JFores RE: zemilideias Nov 5, 2010 09:39 AM

                                                                  I've literally cracked and had a word with that waitress about that because I really felt it was starting to mess up the quality of some dishes. Now that the area has so many Thai standouts I go to specific restaurants for specific dishes. I get my soup and my curries from Chao Thai, basically. I want my tom yum soup spicy. It's very important for the maintenance of a perfect hot, sour and salty balance. I do not want salty lime juice soup. I pretty much said that and I finally after almost two years got what their tom yum soup used to come out as every time!

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Chao Thai
                                                                  85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                  1. re: JFores
                                                                    missmasala RE: JFores Nov 5, 2010 06:04 PM

                                                                    Do they do the tom yum soup with young coconut? does it look like this?
                                                                    http://missmasala.com/

                                                                    I'm not crazy about sri's tom yum and am looking for a really good one. young coconut, pieces of lemongrass, lots of cilantro stems and a slick orange sheen from the oil from the chilis.

                                                                    1. re: missmasala
                                                                      j
                                                                      JFores RE: missmasala Nov 5, 2010 07:18 PM

                                                                      Slightly but no young coconut. Sri's tom yum is just bad.

                                                            2. re: squinchy
                                                              m
                                                              Metgour RE: squinchy Apr 8, 2009 09:29 PM

                                                              I had an awful dinner at Zabb April 4. It was a Sunday, I went there because thirty people were waiting on the sidewalk in front of Sri. The food at Zabb (Papaya salad with salted crab, fried mussels (greasy), Pad Thai with tofu (my mistake, I had tried the shrimp version a week before (take out) and it was acceptable) and the jungle curry was so bad I wondered whether the cook was working that day! Even the rice was bad (both fragrant and sticky rice)
                                                              I've been going to Sri since they opened (I spent two years in Thailand in the 80's so I was glad at the time to find such a restaurant in NYC) and have a hard time coping with their ever increasing success! Now I know Zabb is not an option.

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                                                              Zabb Elee
                                                              71-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                              1. re: Metgour
                                                                d
                                                                deam RE: Metgour Apr 9, 2009 06:50 AM

                                                                Zabb is an Issan restaurant. They don't do curries that well in Issan. I am guessing you were living in Bangkok? Bangkok is basically ground zero for the use of coconut milk in curry in Thailand.

                                                                I find Zabb to be quite good, as do all of my Thai friends. I think it is especially popular with the Thai crowd because they stay open till 2am and are located near the Thai karaoke place and the weekend Thai club.

                                                                When you go there get the papaya salad, larb, sticky rice, and the minced basil chicken. You won't be disappointed.

                                                                1. re: deam
                                                                  m
                                                                  Metgour RE: deam Apr 13, 2009 08:58 AM

                                                                  You're right, I lived in BKK, but I traveled everywhere (including the North East and Laos) and always ate like locals. At Zabb, the problem (for me) with the papaya salad with salted crab was that maybe because it was with the crab there was nothing else than the papaya and the bean sprouts. Similar problem with the Pad Thai: I ordered it with tofu because my wife is vegetarian, and a lot of things were missing, such as peanuts.
                                                                  But I cannot find an explanation for the bad sticky rice.
                                                                  After reading you, I'll give it another try (take out) and will get laarb, normal papaya salad and basil chicken.

                                                                  1. re: Metgour
                                                                    w
                                                                    Widmark RE: Metgour Apr 13, 2009 04:12 PM

                                                                    get crispy duck salad and crispy pork w/ chinese broccoli. Also, the beef salad with thai eggplant is great.

                                                                    1. re: Metgour
                                                                      d
                                                                      deam RE: Metgour Apr 14, 2009 05:57 AM

                                                                      If you're in the area late at night on the weekends make sure to go to the thai party/club down the block and across the street. Its usually a good time and they have a thai band alternating with a DJ. The club and the karaoke place next door is why Zabb stays open till 2 am on the weekends.

                                                                      1. re: deam
                                                                        Jeffsayyes RE: deam Apr 14, 2009 04:32 PM

                                                                        wait wait - - which is this place exactly?? is this the place downstairs?? or across the street next to the supermarket also downstairs...

                                                                        Is the thai party/club the place next to 69 lounge?

                                                                        Can you please be more specific, deam??

                                                                        1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                                          d
                                                                          deam RE: Jeffsayyes Apr 15, 2009 12:42 PM

                                                                          I believe the place downstairs from Zabb is a Thai Karaoke joint. The club/party is different, and I believe it is supposed to be kept on the d/l as its not supposed to be for farrangs ;). Is there any way of getting in touch with you except through the comments on your blog? I'm a longtime reader of chowhound, but somewhat new poster, so I don't see a private message function.

                                                                          1. re: deam
                                                                            Jeffsayyes RE: deam Apr 15, 2009 03:25 PM

                                                                            i dont think there is one either. write a comment on my blog and I'll get you back as soon as I can and your info won't appear there.

                                                        2. t
                                                          Taylor.Watson RE: NYJewboy May 10, 2008 09:09 PM

                                                          I'm a big fan of it and love that they make their food extremely hot (if requested), but I do think that Nusara is better.

                                                          1. c
                                                            comiendosiempre RE: NYJewboy Jun 13, 2008 05:35 AM

                                                            We've been to Sri many times, and love it. Best Thai we've had outside BKK. Anyway, we are taking a few people for Thai this weekend and we are trying to decide between a return trip to Sri (we are there pretty often), or trying Chao. Which is all around "better" or "more authentic?" Good larbs, curries and any more veggie options than Sri? Also, might they have sweet sticky rice with mango for dessert? Sri is almost always out of it when we are there. Thanks.

                                                            PS
                                                            Whoever on this board recommended the little Uruguayan bakery a couple blks away from Sri, under the subway line, is a genious. That is now our mandatory post Sri stop off. Their alfajores are outstanding. The little pies in front are good too.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: comiendosiempre
                                                              w
                                                              Widmark RE: comiendosiempre Jun 13, 2008 09:42 AM

                                                              Srip now has a newer, updated veggie menu, so I'd guess there are few places with more veggie options, excepting only veggie places!

                                                              1. re: comiendosiempre
                                                                NYJewboy RE: comiendosiempre Jun 13, 2008 11:07 AM

                                                                I tried Nusra this week and found it rto be even better than Chao, especially the larb.

                                                              2. s
                                                                Simon RE: NYJewboy Sep 19, 2008 08:35 PM

                                                                Can someone give the location of Chao please?...thanks

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Simon
                                                                  f
                                                                  fredid RE: Simon Sep 19, 2008 08:55 PM

                                                                  http://www.chow.com/places/4673

                                                                  Simon - CH has a very useful "Places" feature - Either do a "search this board" (next to "Outer Boroughs" at top of thread ) - You'll see a horizontal list at the top of the list of threads, that includes "Places", click on that, OR at the top of any page, go to "Places" and do a (nationwide) search....

                                                                2. c
                                                                  comiendosiempre RE: NYJewboy Oct 25, 2008 11:25 AM

                                                                  To add an update to the "Chao Thai" thread: we had dinner at Chao Thai last week and it was excellent. We are longstanding customers of Sri, and go about once a month. We had heard of Chao for awhile but never went. Now we did and the food was as good, better for some dishes, than Sri. The spot is indeed very small. Not a dozen tables. Friendly owner and staff. Very large menu.

                                                                  The spring rolls were decidedly shrimpy in flavor, and a bit on the greasy side. For those, the vote goest to Sri. Ditto the only dumplings that Chao had, chive dumplings. I have had those in other Thai spots and, I guess, no matter what you do those too seem to come out a bit greasy. In contrast, the dumplings at Sri are great. The duck salad at Chao, which I asked for pet pet, was excellent. Spicy as all get out. The duck was nice sized pieces, not fatty. Well put together salad. The Tom Yum soup was outstanding. No question about it. Not only better than Sri's but better than some we have had in BKK. It had almost a creamy consistency, with nice shreds (slivers really) of Thai chilis, lemongrass, kaffir leaves, etc. I could eat that forever. Ditto the red curry chicken. This one too beats out Sri's, and we really like that one. It was larger than Sri's, the duck was not fatty, in fact most pieces did not have the skin, the sauce was excellent and, again, there were nice slivers of thai chilis and other spices in the sauce. In fact, when I asked for some hot sauce, along with the standard selections, they brought over a small bowl of beautiful and multi colored Thai chilis. We had one bbq pork salad, which was very good, nice sized pieces of pork, but it was more meat than salad. The pad thai - for the kids - was also very good, though they claimed Sri's was better. The satays were good. We thought Chao's peanut sauce tasted and looked more "home made" while the kids thought the satays were better at Sri. (These kids eat a lot of Thai food.) Chao did not have coconut rice, which is great at Sri, though there sticky rice was the same as Sri's. As for prices, we think they were the same. We did not find Chao cheaper. However, it is BYOB, which is great. We will definitely return to Chao, but not give up on Sri. Of note, I had no idea that Nusara is practically across the street from Chao, in a little Asian mall. We looked it and it was packed, and the food also looked good. I guess we now have to try that one too.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Chao Thai
                                                                  85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: comiendosiempre
                                                                    bigjeff RE: comiendosiempre Nov 4, 2008 11:23 AM

                                                                    ya I'm a long time chao fan and we tried nusara a couple weeks ago, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/501642 . . . I really think it has potential to be good, but chao is still the one to beat.

                                                                  2. c
                                                                    chowbeth RE: NYJewboy Nov 17, 2008 08:12 AM

                                                                    I read this post and was excited all week to be blown away at Chao. Was pleased when we arrived that 3/4 of the clientele were Thai. But in the end, Hubby and I were pretty disappointed. We tried to order most of what was highly recommended on this post as well as a few of our faves from our days living in Bangkok, and we explained we'd lived there and could really do "phet maak maak" (Thai spicy). But the food was only ok. Genuine flavours, but kind of muted and not really spicy, only midly nose-running.
                                                                    We had:
                                                                    Fried watercress w/chili (pak boong fai deng): Hubby found it too fish-pastey, and it was soggy.
                                                                    Laab pork: not spicy, not very bright-tasting
                                                                    Soft shell crab with mango salad: not bad
                                                                    Three buddies salad (yam sam grob): ok
                                                                    Pork with string bean & curry paste (moo pad phrik ging): pretty good, with fresh crisp beans and fairly spicy, but not much like the curry paste we used to eat almost daily in Bangkok. (It was good heated up the next day, maybe better.)

                                                                    Did I hit a bad day??
                                                                    Anyway: I won't go again. Rhong Tiem is considerably better in Manhattan, and if I'm trekking to Queens, I'd definitely stick with Sripraphrai.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Chao Thai
                                                                    85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: chowbeth
                                                                      j
                                                                      JFores RE: chowbeth Nov 17, 2008 08:46 AM

                                                                      Terrible day... Did you get the old woman waitress, by any chance? I swear she's been sabotaging my spice levels for ages now. They used to have a viciously free hand with chillies and whenever I get her my food comes out magically non-spiced regardless of what I say (and it reverts when I don't get her.)

                                                                      1. re: chowbeth
                                                                        d
                                                                        dhs RE: chowbeth Nov 17, 2008 09:09 AM

                                                                        I think you may have just been there on an off day. I lived in thailand for several months back in the 90's and Chao's rendition of certain dishes really bring me back. That said, having forgotten what little Thai I had learned, I have had trouble getting across that incendiary is just hot enough. Phet phet, 5 star, phet maak maak, bangkok hot, whatever, it does not always get to the chefs or the peppers are not consistent or ???. I have found this to be the norm everywhere I have gone too. Even when I am out with Thai's ordering it is not always spicey enough. Heck, even within the same meal some dishes are mouth numbing and some are not even capable of breaking a sweat.

                                                                        1. re: dhs
                                                                          missmasala RE: dhs Dec 6, 2008 07:30 PM

                                                                          finally made it to chao thai. I liked it, but can't say that it was either better or less expensive than sri. It cost about the same.
                                                                          we had:

                                                                          3 buddies salad. This was good.
                                                                          tom yum soup--good, better than sri's perhaps
                                                                          crispy pork with chinese broccoli--this was very good, better than sri's where i stopped ordering it because it came out "muddy tasting" too many times
                                                                          satay--the kids said it was too sweet, which it was. also, peanut sauce and cucumber salad def better at sri
                                                                          pad kee mao--son said he liked it as much as sri's, but i didn't agree. it wasn't bad, tho.
                                                                          northern thai sausage--this dish rocked! it was delicious and i would go back for that alone.
                                                                          I asked for the things that are supposed to be hot (ie the 3 buddies, the tom yum, and the pad kee mao) to be phet phet thai spicy and i can't say they were super spicy, but that was okay. as we were leaving, i mentioned to the waiter that i didn't really think it was that phet phet and he said next time they would make it hotter.
                                                                          I liked it and would definitely go back. We didn't order any curries because my SO doesn't like them, but i saw the sot-shelled crab with green mango sauce as a special. i order that dish a lot at sri, so next time i'll try chao's to see how they compare. i'll also try the duck salad next time.
                                                                          Sri is more convenient for me so I'll probably still go there more often, but it's nice to have another option, particularly since zabb has changed hands and i haven't liked it as much.
                                                                          Mainly I'm loving the fact that there is now so much decent thai food around, when 10 years ago there was almost none.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Chao Thai
                                                                          85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                          1. re: missmasala
                                                                            NYJewboy RE: missmasala Dec 7, 2008 12:49 PM

                                                                            If I had to choose I still think Sri has the edge. If you avoid the troublesome dishes it is hard to beat.

                                                                        2. re: chowbeth
                                                                          z
                                                                          zemilideias RE: chowbeth Dec 16, 2009 09:14 AM

                                                                          you hit a bad day. they do that "non-thai = no heat" jig and you gotta talk to them in the right way or it comes out either bland or burning. I can say "Thai medium" over and over and only sometimes they will listen to me. The chubby guy is best at that with the waittresssses not so good at listening re. spiciness, oftentimes botching it.

                                                                        3. bigjeff RE: NYJewboy Feb 15, 2009 11:03 AM

                                                                          ate here after eating at nusara about two months ago [ http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5016... ], and ayada a month later [ http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5800... ].

                                                                          ordered mostly salads (which I love), we got medium-hot (after consultation from server).

                                                                          + duck salad, with ginger, pineapple, onion, etc
                                                                          + som tam, papaya salad classic
                                                                          + yum woon sen, glass noodle salad with seafood, pork, etc.
                                                                          + special of crispy pork in chu chee curry

                                                                          first, all the salads were delicious; the yum woon sen was good to get that noodle fix along with something larb-like; the papaya salad was genuinely spicy, a bit too sweet and puzzlingly, lacked dried shrimp. but, really good nevertheless. I think next time, I'd get medium-high heat, instead of medium. the duck salad was not chunks of duck but more like, fried shreds of duck; tasty and not overfried, but not like chunks. very good with the rest of the ingredients, esp. the ginger shreds.

                                                                          the curry was alright; was more like the crispy pork they always serve w/ their prikh khing but basically, big fatty chunks of pork belly, deep-fried, then sliced and arrayed on the plate, with the chu-chee curry (a thick reddish curry, quite thick, mixed with coconut milk) poured over it. not quite dry, yet not a wet curry either. to be honest, tasted much better today (microwaved) because the crispy pork was just too dry.

                                                                          overall, I really enjoyed the meal although I really really enjoyed the seafood som tam at ayada because it had salted marinated raw crab on top, which I don't think they had that variation at chao. they did have some bamboo salads (some topped with seafood) which I would like to get next time. and nusara was . . . ok. don't even remember the meal so, I'd just go for chao next I'm in the area (it is my old standby after all).

                                                                          still haven't got the roast pork over rice which is apparently 3 types of pork (yum). and, the menu seemed bigger than I remember but, I just stick w/ the salads to general success. def. worth asking on some of the specials as well, they do sound interesting.

                                                                          oh, and we bought some fried durian chips as well from the counter. $5.50 and . . . . delicious. not like the freeze-dried ones, these claim to be fried in vegetable oil but definitely tasted savory somehow. regardless, tasty. and, the servers and waitstaff are very very nice.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Chao Thai
                                                                          85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: bigjeff
                                                                            s
                                                                            squinchy RE: bigjeff Mar 3, 2009 07:29 AM

                                                                            Ordered some takeout from Chao recently and while the duck salad was as bigjeff described--delicious, I was profoundly disappointed by the Pad Prikh King curry with pork...the Srip version is insanely good, and I recall a previous order many months ago from Chao being very intense--but what was served up at this point was pretty much bad chinese takeout--no heat, very fatty and actually underdone (!) pieces of meat. Add to this that Chao seems to be more expensive than the others....(why is that, anyway?)

                                                                            1. re: squinchy
                                                                              Jeffsayyes RE: squinchy Mar 3, 2009 08:40 AM

                                                                              It is becoming very hard to pick a thai place lately in the hood. Maybe my palate isn't as Refined yet, but I am still trying to figure out each's "way". I had a disheartening experience at chao thai -- possibly b/c we had a mixed group and we think they just cooked to the lowest common denominator of willingness for spice...
                                                                              But, between nusara, ayada, zabb, sri, thai home cooking (block down from sri) - life isn't so bad after all.

                                                                          2. p
                                                                            Peter Cherches RE: NYJewboy Jul 19, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                            Tried it first time yesterday for lunch. Possibly the best chicken larb I've had in NY.

                                                                            http://petercherches.blogspot.com

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Chao Thai
                                                                            85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Peter Cherches
                                                                              w
                                                                              wew RE: Peter Cherches Jul 19, 2009 04:00 PM

                                                                              If the chicken is as good the duck larb ordered from the special sign - savory preperation, no sweetness, garnished with pickled garlic - it is great. I've been trying not to order the duck larb the last three visits and have failed each time.

                                                                              1. re: wew
                                                                                bigjeff RE: wew Jul 19, 2009 06:42 PM

                                                                                whoa. that sounds gangster. gotta try that next time.

                                                                                1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                  MOREKASHA RE: bigjeff Jul 20, 2009 01:24 PM

                                                                                  The salads here are really special. Their curries not so much. I always geta salad but have not had the larb as I'm not a fan of ground meat.

                                                                                  1. re: MOREKASHA
                                                                                    z
                                                                                    zemilideias RE: MOREKASHA Jul 27, 2009 08:53 AM

                                                                                    exactly--salads are better than Sri or Nusara, while Nusara's striped bass in lime and chile is stupendous and in general I'm not that impressed with Sri. Nonetheless, for salads, it's Chao!

                                                                                    1. re: zemilideias
                                                                                      d
                                                                                      daiquiri ice RE: zemilideias Sep 5, 2009 03:02 PM

                                                                                      Dropped by last night and have to agree, the chicken larb is the best -- savory and herbal, crunchy, sour and so fresh! They do have tom zap (it's listed on the menu as 'thai sour soup' or something) and it is good, but more crudely assembled than sripraphai's, heavier on the offal and lacking the mushroom, and not anywhere near as complex. I asked for thai spicy and that's what I got! If I'd not been by myself, I would have ordered the whole fish smothered in chili - it looked incredible.

                                                                                      Almost as incredible as the collection of sock bunnies presiding over the restaurant.

                                                                                      1. re: daiquiri ice
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        Simon RE: daiquiri ice Sep 5, 2009 07:27 PM

                                                                                        i still haven't made it there...

                                                                                        part of the reason is that it's an extra stop or two east of Sripraphai Manhattan (yeah, lazy, i know), but more importantly, most of the Thai people i've queried have said that they really think SriPP is a solid step above any of the other Queens places (Poodam, Chao, Ayada, etc)...

                                                                                        But i'm try to go there soon and form my own opinion

                                                                                        1. re: Simon
                                                                                          z
                                                                                          zemilideias RE: Simon Nov 29, 2009 03:02 PM

                                                                                          Yeah, well, go the extra stop, buddy: I went to Chao last night and wow! We had old standby green papaya salad and then a watercress salad off the wall + a pad frog leg red + a claim in basil sauce recommended as special and it just rocked. Blew away Sripaphai last time I was there. I think the deal in Chao is that you have to be a bit known otherwise they water down flavor leaving out the heat or else, if you ask for heat, you can get overwhelmed and not taste the flavors. If they trust that you can take heat and then ask them to tone it down just a bit you'll be rewarded with a subtle yet complex dish nearly every time. And listen the waitstaff, you hear me?

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Chao Thai
                                                                                          85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                        2. re: daiquiri ice
                                                                                          bigjeff RE: daiquiri ice Sep 6, 2009 02:19 AM

                                                                                          sounds great the tom zap; heavy on chicken offal? also looking to try duck larb there

                                                                                          1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                            d
                                                                                            daiquiri ice RE: bigjeff Sep 6, 2009 03:31 PM

                                                                                            Ha.. not chicken offal. When i ordered the tom zap at Chao, I was asked pork or beef? I blanked and replied pork, and got a bowl full of crudely sliced ear, foot, and something dark and meaty i could not ID (in addition to small slices of tenderloin). If pig's offal is your thing, this is for you.. the broth was good, and red-opaque with chili.

                                                                                            At Srip the default tom zap comes with 'beef's offal', in which they dispense delicate slices of tripe and tendon along with brisket. Sometimes they have tom zap with spare ribs, which is even better. I'm sure the tz with cornish hen is good too...

                                                                                            1. re: daiquiri ice
                                                                                              bigjeff RE: daiquiri ice Sep 7, 2009 01:56 PM

                                                                                              ya only time i've had tom zap is at ayada and its with cornish hen, tasted like what a real tom yum gai should be like; strong, sour, aromatic, clear soup. but, the offal-y versions sound great.

                                                                              2. icelandadam RE: NYJewboy Sep 5, 2009 09:04 PM

                                                                                my favorite chao dishes are simple- papaya salad, grilled squid

                                                                                1. m
                                                                                  melon RE: NYJewboy Sep 15, 2009 12:33 PM

                                                                                  Is the sausage there the loose, herby, citrusy kind of sausage, or is the chorizo-looking, "tighter" one? Sorry I don't know what anything is called. I am trying to find the former sausage and I usually end up with the latter. If not Chao, does anyone know where to find this Northern treat?

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: melon
                                                                                    bigjeff RE: melon Sep 15, 2009 12:51 PM

                                                                                    its relatively loose yes, and I'm drooling just thinking of that tart tang. actually the isaan sour sausage starter at ayada is the pretty good too, in fact even more pungent than chao i remember.

                                                                                    1. re: melon
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      Simon RE: melon Sep 15, 2009 03:08 PM

                                                                                      that herby sausage is called "sai-ua"...when made well, it's one of my favorite things...i like it best when there are some innards in the sausage meat...

                                                                                      i've yet to have great sai-ua in NYC, but i haven't made it to Chao or Poodam yet...

                                                                                      one of my favorite eating experiences in Chiang Mai is to go to the indoor market at dawn and get the freshly made, freshly cooked sai-ua...then take the sausage outdoors, and buy some jackfruit, and eat the meal while gazing at the Ping River...

                                                                                      1. re: melon
                                                                                        missmasala RE: melon Sep 15, 2009 08:07 PM

                                                                                        i would say loose herby citrusy describes the sausage i had at chao. (tho they might have two on the menu--but they def have this one.) it was my fav dish from my one meal at chao. the key for me is the chopped up kaffir lime leaf in it.

                                                                                        Tho i certainly enjoyed it, I can't comment on how authentic it is. however, chao's tasted a lot like what i bought at the market in bangkok this summer. but bangkok isn't chiang mai.

                                                                                      2. bigjeff RE: NYJewboy Nov 16, 2010 08:13 PM

                                                                                        ate here recently after walking to ayada and finding it totally packed, with a 30-minute wait! NYT and TONY on the glass and a whole lot of caucasians up in the joint. pretty exciting. ploy thai was a little dingy still (although I still like it) and so, back to the old standard for:

                                                                                        + sweet sausage salad
                                                                                        + three buddies salads
                                                                                        + jackfruit and sparerib curry (thai menu, last page of book)

                                                                                        salads were always good, the jackfruit curry was a nice one; not heavy on the "curry" flavor like with coconut or the typical flavors, but just a nice thick homey dish, the spareribs or "pai-gwat" were tasty, cartilage and all. good spice, reminded me of indonesian jackfruit curries.

                                                                                        I had some problem allowing the server to explain the all-thai back menu to me, her insisting I wouldn't like it and being quite brusque when I wanted the food "local" spicy. indeed it was though; this wasn't the nice older woman but maybe a daughter? she did explain some of the "secret" menu stuff but quite grudgingly. little does she know . . . muhahaha.

                                                                                        anyone else order from that back page and can illuminate us? no handy icons like some of the other thai places.

                                                                                        oh, and about the food. good. but . . . . I wanna hit Ploy instead.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Chao Thai
                                                                                        85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                          Silverjay RE: bigjeff Nov 17, 2010 08:09 AM

                                                                                          I don't remember the back page. Is it printed or hand written photo copy? I've seen their blackboard (or is it a white board?) specials written in Thai behind the counter and always make a point to have them explain them to me. I had to get up once and politely point to each one and ask for a translation.

                                                                                          1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                            bigjeff RE: Silverjay Nov 17, 2010 10:13 PM

                                                                                            what up my man!

                                                                                            ya, handwritten, not printed. and the server was seriously not trying to serve up any translations. I do recall a little whiteboard too, but I didn't notice it. they also have some handwritten scraps of paper in english on the wall but they never seem to change.

                                                                                        2. w
                                                                                          wew RE: NYJewboy Jan 14, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                                                          Last week I broke out from a rut I was in due to the excellence of the dishes I get here. I ordered, from the board, what seemed to be a northern pork laab all brown spice and chilies very aromatic and great.

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