Eating My Way Through NYC: Day 1 - Pure Thai Cookhouse
As soon as I landed in NYC, I was already thinking about where I was going to eat on my first night. I had my list of the top New York City restaurants and I really didn't want to be disappointed. With so many choices, and so many opinions, my first night had a lot of pressure. When I'm really hungry, noting gets me more upset than a bad meal. As my husband and I left our hotel, a few people volunteered suggestions. One employee at the hotel, mentioned "Applebees." "No way!" I replied. I was not coming all the way to New York city, one of the food capitals of the world, and dining at Applebees!
I looked at my list, figured out the closest restaurant to us, and my husband and I realized that "Pure Thai Cookhouse" was only 9 blocks away. I can’t believe that I just typed "only 9 blocks away." After spending a week in New York City, 9 blocks is nothing. However, this Florida girl had on 3 layers of clothes and a jacket! Nine blocks at eight o’clock at night with a temperature of 31 degrees was a huge undertaking in my mind. However, you’re probably noticing how greedy I am by this point. My safety, the temperature, and the fact that I did not know where I was going took a backseat.
My husband and I hit the streets. I felt as chic walking through New York City as when I just typed “hit the streets.” Who doesn’t want to be set loose at night to explore the lights, sounds, food, and people of New York City? The walk was a lot quicker than we expected, we slowed down when we realized that we had reached our destination. “Wait a minute,” I thought. “This can’t be it.” There was a couple sitting outside on the bench, waiting to be called. “Really? Is the food that good? You’re sitting outside in the cold for food?” All of these thoughts ran across my mind. We opened the door, swiped the hanging curtain to the side, and I just stared. I must say, I’m usually pretty good at keeping a straight face in most situations. However, my poker face broke as I scanned the room. The room was the size of a take-out restaurant, maybe even smaller. It was long, but definitely not wide. My husband and I could cover the width of the restaurant if we spread our hands out wide and touched hands. There were people sitting tightly on a small bench waiting to be called. The tables were so close to each other that it looked like it was one big party. You could easily touch your neighbors plate and sample a bite of their food from another table.
Despite the 45 minute wait time, the tightness of the restaurant, and obvious fire code; we waited. What other choice did we have? Were we going to walk back to the hotel? Pick another restaurant? As we waited, outside in the cold, on the same benches that I gawked at the previous couple that sat in the cold. We quickly realized the buzz that was being created. People stopped because of the crowd, others stopped by because they heard about the restaurant on Yelp, and a few even shared their stories of how far they drove, walked, or took the ferry to get to this restaurant.
Our name was called! It was like we had hit, the lottery. I jumped up like there was a consolation prize. We were given a seat in the back of the restaurant, on a rectangular wood table and short bar stools for chairs.
We started off with our drinks, we ordered a milky thai concoction. It’s called “Thai Tea” or "Cold Milk Tea" but I like to call it “Pure Heaven.” For appetizers, we ordered the “Fried Chicken Wings.” They’re pretty good, crunchy on the outside and tender within.
For the main entrée, there are so many choices to choose from. This restaurant has a family secret noddle recipe. So, it is often suggested to try one of the pad thai/noodle dishes. I ordered the Curry Fried Rice and I honestly don’t remember the name of the chicken dish my husband ordered.
Needless to say, both plates were amazing and mostly cleared by the end of our meal. The dessert, the mango sticky rice, was the lowest wow factor of our meal. How fresh can mangoes really be in April in New York City? Also, after eating rice for dinner, I didn’t necessarily need more rice in my dessert.
Extra information: The restaurant has a chalk board with extra information about their daily specials and treats. They deliver, so you can even enjoy this food from your hotel room! There is no outdoor seating. There are no private rooms.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely! It’s worth a trip to New York. Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, Pure Thai Cookhouse….not necessarily in that order!