finally had a chance to try this place and I think it's been slowly remodeled over time; the last time I ducked my head in it was looking scrubby but now, looking legit. the other half of the place is still a comprehensive grocery with freezer cases and all manner of goods but . . . on to the food! I had two items on the chalkboard (but I think they are also on the menu)
+ crispy green papaya salad with seafood
+ herbal soup with seafood
yes, you saw that right, friggin som tam . . . but deep-fried. taste it to believe it, but this is unique, delicious and genius. slivers of green papaya, battered in bunches, served with great amounts of funk. all the ingredients simple, well-cooked; an entire garlic clove but bashed in half with the long beans and the thin-skinned thai red chilis, very very good.
the soup I can't quite remember what else the name was except that it cost $8; it was a deeply flavorful spicy clear soup full of fresh vegetables; I'd call it squash two ways because it contained chunks of zucchini as well as chunks of pumpkin; the soup was completely made to order so the vegetables were raw when added to the pot it was so clean and refreshing. full of mushrooms, basil, seafood as well.
they asked if I wanted it spicy and (I know this is a constant "debate" on the boards) I said, make it local and indeed, a perfect amount of funk and taste; "five chilis in your salad!" the woman boasted. dishes were hot. order rice with your som tam.
there seemed to be 3 generations running the joint and the daughter who couldn't wait to close up was very very sweet. she rec'd their crab meat fried rice which, I will try next time. they also have a dish that is battered and fried thousand-year-egg (maybe quartered or halved) which is then returned to the pan and cooked with sauce; crazy! one of the untranslated specials turned out to be a squid/shrimp/salt egg dish that was described as one of thailand's most beloved dishes, a creamy rendition which also sounds crazy.
the people are very sweet, the place deserves big bidness; they definitely have some funny items on the menu and I can't wait to go back.
Thailand's Center Point
63-19 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377