Meet the New Kid in Thai Town

Som tam, the tart/hot green papaya salad, is a Thai menu staple, but how many places do it crispy style? This was a new one on bigjeff, who spied it on the chalkboard at Thailand's Center Point in Woodside. It's "unique, delicious and genius," he says: slivers of papaya, battered and fried in bunches, amply seasoned with "great amounts of funk."

A clear soup with seafood, basil, and fresh vegetables is spicy, herbal, refreshing, and deeply flavorful, bigjeff adds. There's also great roast duck noodle soup, Joe MacBu reports, and several promising-sounding dishes on a Thai-only menu, including one with squid, shrimp, and salted egg.

Thailand's Center Point has been on Chow radar for some time, known to many as the grocery and takeout spot a block from hound mecca Sripraphai. In recent months it has expanded its dining area and gained new fans, some of whom were originally spillover from its famous neighbor. "We used to go there when Sri had a line," says Paulomet, "but we liked the food and family so much that we switched."

Thailand's Center Point [Woodside]
63-19 39th Avenue (at 63rd Street), Woodside, Queens
718-651-6888

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