We saw about 3 to 4 Vietnamese restaurants located next to each other when we arrived. Of course we had no clue which is good and which is not. So, we did the old trick. Just enter the place with the most customers and hope for the best. We were pretty early for dinner but Thai Son was already filled with people. We later found out that Thai Son is one of the more popular Vietnamese restaurants in Chinatown, well known for serving authentic, affordable and delicious Vietnamese food. I guess the rule of going with the crowd works (well, most of the time!) :P
We were greeted by really friendly staff (noticed the waiters were mainly Chinese, not Vietnamese though) and got seated promptly. A quick glance at the menu and we were ready to order. They had a pretty big selection and the price was reasonable too. For our appetizers, we shared a Goi Cuon ($ 3.75 for two rolls) aka the summer roll. It took them less than 5 minutes to bring it out, very impressive. The summer roll was really really good, with large fresh shrimps and the dipping sauce was yummy too.
We also shared a Cha Gio Tom ($5.75 for 3 pieces). It's shrimp and pork samosas. We initially wanted to get the regular fried Vietnamese spring roll but decided to try this instead. The filling of the samosa is pretty much the same as the fried spring roll but the difference is...this had an extra large jumbo shrimp in the middle. Again, taste really good! Maybe it was a tad bit oily, but overall, very good.
For my main, I ordered my all time favorite Vietnamese food. The Pho. I had the DacBiet and Bo Vien Pho ($6.75). It's basically rice noodles with a combination of beef brisket, navel, frank, omosa, tendon, eye of round and beef balls in beef broth.The broth was really good and the beef was tender and nice, just perfect! The price wass reasonable too - with this being the most expensive pho. You can pretty much get a big bowl of pho with beef for less than $5!
Kevin felt like having rice, so he ordered the Com Suon Bi Cha ($6.50). It's grilled pork chop, shredded pork and a crab patty served with steamed white rice. The taste? He loved it! I tried a little of his pork chop and crab patty....awesome! I especially love the pork chop, very well marinated and grilled just right. I must remember to order this the next time we go for Vietnamese again. Overall, we had a great dining experience at Thai Som. With unlimited free flow of Chinese tea and delicious food at reasonable prices, dinner was pleasant and affordable. We both agree that Thai Son deserves a two thumbs up and we will most definitely return in the near future!
Thai Son Vietnamese Restaurant
89 Baxter Street,
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 732-2822