While heading to an apartment open house on Sunday afternoon (which turned out to be canceled, setting our Sunday off on a trend that continued throughout the day), AV and I noticed a Thai restaurant we hadn't yet been to. It was vaguely in his neighborhood, and it looked solid and cheap. Good lord, how could we have missed this? The situation had to be rectified, and fast.
So rectify we did. After attempting to see Julia & Julia in the late afternoon (sold out, of course), we wandered around until we both got hungry, then we made a beeline to our destination: Eat Thai on 3rd Avenue.
Only when our server placed the "early bird" menus on the table did we realize we were there early. As in, before 6PM early. No matter; if we were going to act like old people, we might as well capitalize on the early bird specials. So we placed our order and readied ourselves for a cheap and delicious meal.
As we are wont to do, we started off by splitting an order of veggie dumplings. These were done little parcel-style, which I tend to like slightly less than the traditional dumpling shape, but no matter. Stuffed with all kinds of chopped veggies, these were quite tasty, especially with the sweet and spicy dipping sauce. The only faux pas: seven dumplings for two people (AV got the extra one this time).
My choice-- again, another shocker-- was the papaya salad. This was truly delicious, set apart from the pack by the overabundance of non-papaya veggies (particularly the green beans). I appreciated that because it made me feel as though it was healthier. This salad was also quite spicy, leaving my mouth tingling for a while after I downed the last bit of crushed peanut. Next time I'll ask them to make it mild, 'cause I'm a spice wuss.
When there was nothing left on our plates, we asked for the check and prepared ourselves for the worst. The damage: about $17. For an appetizer and two entrees. Turns out that Early Bird pad see-ew is $6; all I can say is, wow. We scurried out of there feeling as though we had somehow beaten the system and celebrated our success with a splurge at Tasti D. Eat was a great find and is a place to which we'll definitely return-- another four Offset Spatula cheap Thai joint. You can never have enough!
Postscript: Turns out Eat is owned by the same people who own Spice. Guess that's why it's cheap and delicious!
1429 Third Avenue, between 80th and 81st Streets