Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pam's Real Thai Food, Junior's (Friday, Oct. 26)

The last entry for our trip, despite the fact that we've been back for almost three weeks. Sorry, all. I've just been lazy about sitting down and cranking out these entries.

We spent Friday morning wandering around Central Park, then used the trusty Zagat guide to locate some Thai food. Our first choice was absolutely packed, so we crossed Manhattan to Pam Real Thai in Hell's Kitchen. For some bizarre reason, they have two locations exactly two blocks from each other. We went to the 47th St. location.

D. had his usual
pad see ew and I had my usual panang curry. It was very good... definitely on the better end of all the Thai food I've had. There were no downsides to the food, but there were a couple of nitpicky things on the restaurant/service. For one thing, the restaurant reeked of bleach-based cleanser to the point where it was mildly nauseating. The other thing was the service. We received perfectly good service, but it was obvious our waitress were serving other tables way better than ours. For one thing, she spent the majority of her time talking to the other customers. She was constantly checking up on them and refilling drinks. The kitchen runner brought all of our food and refilled our drinks. We saw the waitress less than the runner. I think it sucks when you see that the server is very obviously treating other customers better and others cover for them. The restaurant was nearly empty and while she seated the other two groups near the window, we were told to sit away from the window on the other side of the restaurant. Maybe they were regulars... who knew? It was such a huge difference that it affected the gratuity. Since she probably tips out the runner, we couldn't go lower than 15%, but I was seriously tempted to give the tip directly to the runner.

That evening, we met up with D.A., N.M., and N.'s boyfriend D. for dinner at Junior's in Times Square. It's a diner, albeit a very expensive diner. The food was awesome, though. D. and I were rather incensed, however, when they told us that there were no refills for sodas. Why was that not on the menu?! It was over two dollars for a mostly-ice-filled soda! Grr...

They bring out pickles (which sat on pickled cabbage... yum) and beets for snacks and as accompaniments to burgers and sandwiches.

I had the grilled cheese sandwich and as N.'s boyfriend D. said, "That looks like the best grilled cheese ever." It was. Hot and gooey on fresh challah. The cheese was a good cheddar that didn't become oily when it melted. The challah was fresh (i.e. really fluffy) and thick, so the grilling didn't over-crisp it.

We had their famous cheesecake for dessert. D. (my D... this whole initial thing does get confusing, I admit...) had the strawberry cheese pie:

And I had the strawberry shortcake cheesecake, which is a two layers of cake with a layer of cheesecake sandwich between them. If that sounds gross, it kind of was.

Nothing was wrong with it except for the gut-busting richness of the dessert. Well, that and the cheesecake being way too dense. It was basically a block of cream cheese and strawberry syrup. Not something I'd experience again.

It was great to see D.A. and N. and to meet N.'s D. They helped wrap up an excellent trip.

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