Budtharasa Is My Goto FiDi Thai Spot
I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but Zach gave us Downtown Lunch’ers a beautiful gift this holiday season: our very own section in the forums. We’re working on getting them up to speed, but boomshanka has already started a great topic of discussion regarding what our “Go To” lunch spots are in the Financial District. Since I work right in the heart of the FiDi, I’ve got a sizeable list going already, but managed to pick up a few new ones from this thread. One mode de cuisine that people seemed to be confounded by down here is Thai food. Well, consider this my contribution to that particular thread and let me introduce Budtharasa on Washington St. between Rector and Carlisle.
A coworker and friend of mine first introduced this place to me a few months back. She said she too was baffled by the lack of good, cheap Thai food and decided to explore. Lucky for us. It can be easy to miss as it’s signage is covered by scaffolding right now, but if you triangulate with the big construction site next door and the police station across the street, you can’t miss it.
On this particular trip, I decided to go with the chicken curry from the steam table as it appeared to be a popular choice amongst the huge line in front of me. Normally I don’t really go for the curry or pad thai, but I’m a firm believer that these two dishes can be a good indicator of how the rest of the menu will play out. Oddly enough, the curry seemed to be one of only a couple Thai dishes on the steam table. The rest were Chinese, but the menu of made-to-order plates contains a more equal distribution.
So like I said, I got the chicken curry, and a tasty chicken curry it was. The curry sauce was perfectly creamy with a nice balance of coconut and spice. The chicken was nice and tender for the most part, exactly how I expect the chicken to be prepared. Only a couple pieces tasted like they’d actually come from a steam table cooked who knows how long ago. And while the curry was almost precisely what I wanted, there was a little bit of disappointment to the dish. First, there was quite a bit of bamboo in the curry, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I didn’t think it was all that great either. Second, the white rice I got as a base was more suited to the spread of Chinese dishes and definitely not the Jasmine rice I was hoping it to be. On top of that, it was a little dry and tasted like it was probably the first thing cooked that day. Despite the rice and abundance of bamboo, though, it was still really good and worth the walk from most other FiDi favorites. And only 6 bucks!
If you’re more of a pad thai person, well, you’ll have to wait for another post to see pictures- but I can assure you that it’s really good as well, and cooked to order to boot. In fact, I think this place deserves to be your “Go To” Thai spot in the FiDi.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- The chicken curry is a great balance of creamy and spicy.
- The tender chicken sure doesn’t seem like it came from a steam table
- Thai or Chinese, ready-to-eat or made-to-order, I’m all about options
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I see more Chinese than Thai in front of me when I walk in. That’s gotta be a bad sign.
- The rice isn’t suitable for Thai food and not all that great as plain white rice either
- What’s all this bamboo doing in my chicken curry?
Budtharasa, 109 Washington St (btw. Rector & Carlisle St), 212-577-6003