Matt and I ate at one of our standbys in New York last night: Thai Terminal. It’s embarrassing how often I ate there back when I lived on that 12th street block, but it was so nice to be back. They have really fresh, reliable, and tasty food. I honestly wouldn’t have ever tried this place if it weren’t right on my old block because of the odd airport terminal theme. Fortunately, what the restaurant lacks in atmosphere it makes up in great food.
When we’re really hungry, as we were last night, we start with the Deluxe Vegetarian Appetizer assortment. It comes with fried tofu, veggie dumplings, curry puffs, and chive pancakes. Since neither of us ever gets too excited about the fried tofu, we ask to substitute it with spring rolls. The stand-outs are the chive pancakes and curry puffs. The chive pancakes are like nothing I’ve ever had before so they’re hard to describe, but they’re very crunchy out the outside and creamy on the inside. The best way I can think to describe the curry puffs are that they’re like a Thai version of a samosa.
Matt almost always gets the drunken noodles, which are stir fried with egg, onion, cherry tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and basil leaves. The noodles are always caramelized but not overcooked, and the sauce always has the perfect balance of sweet and spice.
I’m not quite as predictable when it comes to my entrée, but one of my favorites is the Pad Phik Khing with beef. It’s stir fried with string beans and bell pepper in a spicy chili paste. I get really annoyed when I order a stir fry and the meat is sliced paper thin and cooked until it resembles cardboard. The meat in Thai Terminal’s stir fries is actually meaty and tender, but still charred on the outside. The vegetables are cooked through but still crisp. One of the other things I love about this place is that the “spicy” dishes are actually spicy. I like when my Thai food makes me sweat a little!
I forgot to mention that most of the menu costs under $10. That is a serious bargain, especially in this neighborhood.
349 E 12th St.
New York, NY 10003