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Why Can't We Get Convenient, Reasonably Priced Thai Food in Bergen County?

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It has been driving me crazy that we can't seem to get some decent, reasonably priced, reasonably located Thai restaurants in Bergen County. Yeah, we have the Ridgewood restaurants. But parking's a nightmare, and they're just too gosh darn expensive (and the food's no better than other more reasonably priced places). Then we have the Hackensack restaurants, which are more reasonably priced. OK, Wondee's is awesome, but again, there's limited parking, tons of traffic, and the increased aggravation of having to navigate around the narrow, crowded streets in an urban(ish) environment.

The one location in Bergen County that seemed to meet all of my criteria has failed multiple times: The Siam Ruby/Ruby Siam/Real Thai Cuisine restaurant in the small strip mall next to the Shop Rite in Rochelle Park. All three incarnations of the restaurant offered great food, great prices, reasonable parking, and it wasn't too maddening driving to get there. (My favorite incarnation of this restaurant was the second one, with the owner/chef Louie. He was the nicest guy in the world. Does anyone know what happened to him?)

So I ask all of you Bergen Countyites: Do we ever have a chance of getting a conveniently located, reasonably priced Thai restaurant to succeed in Bergen County?

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Thai Cuisine
225 Main St, Chatham, NJ 07928

Wondee Cafe
296 Main St, Hackensack, NJ 07601

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  1. Wondee's has parking behind it, and then of course the street parking. I've never had an issue parking there. I don't really have any issues getting to Hackensack either. It's located off of major highways, and also has access via non-highways.

    What location do you have in mind? Bergen county is not inexpensive. Restaurants simply have to charge more than some of the restaurants in surrounding areas.

    Was chef Louie the most recent fella at Ruby Siam? They were very gracious. I asked if he'd make me authentic Thai food, like what they might make for their family, and he couldn't have been happier to prepare 4 dishes for me. It was incredible food, better than any Thai food that I've had (with the possible exception of Lotus of Siam).

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    Wondee Cafe
    296 Main St, Hackensack, NJ 07601

    3 Replies
    1. re: tommy

      I actually went to Wondee's last night for dinner, and even at 8:00 P.M., the streets were full of traffic and most spots were full. I found a spot, but it wasn't easy. I guess I'm hoping for something in a bit more of a suburban environment. I would think some of the decent, but not too fancy towns would be clamoring for a decent, moderately priced Thai place. I'm thinking, in addition to Rochelle Park, maybe Saddle Brook, Fair Lawn, Maywood, and maybe even Midland Park and Waldwick, although in those two towns we're starting to flirt with "fancy" again.

      Louie was the owner/chef before the most recent owners, and he operated the place for about a year. I thought his food was the best, his menu was the most extensive, and he was just the nicest guy in the world.

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      Wondee Cafe
      296 Main St, Hackensack, NJ 07601

      1. re: zhelder

        Yeah, Louie was really good, and a nice guy. I always assumed that was his wife in the front, but I could be wrong.

        Emerson has a decent Thai restaurant. Maybe you can start there.

        I don't know if there are enough people who like Thai to support many more Thai restaurants. In fact I can't think of one of my neighbors who has ever mentioned Thai food. I think that says something.

        1. re: zhelder

          I had lunch at Wondees yesterday. Best crispy duck yum ever. Park in Municipal parking and count your blessings.

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          Wondee Cafe
          296 Main St, Hackensack, NJ 07601

      2. There's actually an oversupply of Thai in Bergen. I've never found parking that much of a nightmare in Ridgewood, although it does require a little patience and a willingness to walk more than 1 block. (I know, some Suburbanites don't like to walk more than 25 feet)

        I think there are now 3 places in Ridgewood.

        Pimaan in Emerson is decent, (mentioned above) and has their own lot. Pawana in Englewood also has good parking, and is a beautiful restaurant, I've never been to this new incarnation though (used to be Thai Chef). Kratiem in Englewood is also decent, and slightly innovative Thai, albeit parking may be an issue for you again.

        And also, Bangkok Garden just across the street from Wondees is good as well.

        Penang in Lodi has no atmosphere, but fairly decent eclectic/Thai fusion. Not for people that insist on "authentic" though. Parking lot.