Peep May Look Hip, But Has A Killer Lunch Special
It’s pretty rare that I step into a restaurant and feel like it might be a little too hip for my blood, because usually I avoid these places. The other day I wanted to go up to Soho for lunch, and looked for recommendations from some recent profiled lunch’ers who work in the area. Lunch’er Sherry had recommended Peep on Prince St. (btw. Thompson & Sullivan). Thai sounded good to me, and I was intrigued by the lunch special that gets you a choice of a bunch of appetizers and a main course for $7 or $8. Any place that doesn’t give you a crappy default soup with the lunch deal is OK in my book.
I haven’t had the best luck with Thai in the Financial District, with the couple I’ve tried either underwhelming, messing up my order, or serving me mediocre food from a steam table. Peep fits right in with the trendy ‘hood it’s in, and is marked with a pink neon sign flashing above the menu. Stepping inside, you are greeted with a long room and house music thumping over the speakers. (I’m just going to apologize for the crappy pictures right now. This place was also lit like a nightclub). The inside actually reminded me of Pam Real Thai in Hell’s Kitchen, but that’s an OK thing because the food there is great.
The lunch menu has a surprising number of options on it, and it’s not all pad Thai and fried rice dishes. There’s a pork chop, fish and scallops for $8. I went for something called face towel noodles with chicken ($7) even though I wasn’t sure if that meant I would be wiping the sweat off my face with a towel because they were so spicy, or if that was in reference to the noodles themselves. For my appetizer, I went with chicken and shrimp dumplings although other options like spring rolls, semolina fritters, grilled calamari and tom yum soup sounded good (especially for free).
I got four of those little dumplings with a sweet soy sauce on the bottom of the plate. I liked that they weren’t just the usual gyoza-style dumplings. They weren’t the best I’ve ever had, but beat the pants off a cup of soup.
The noodles came out on a giant plate soon after. I’m not quite sure why restaurants use these. Is it to make it look like I’m getting less food? Or is it to make me feel like less of a fatty for finishing it? There was actually a pretty substantial pile of noodles, but it’s hard to tell from this photo.
The noodles are broader than your standard pad Thai variety, hence the name. They were good and the pile was deceptive in its ability to fill me up. One minute I’m thinking I’ll still be hungry after I’m done, and the next I was seriously full. The chicken was kind of chopped up and really flavorful. There were also some tomato chunks, peppers, carrots and basil in there. I would order this again, especially for $7.
I don’t think I’d go out of my way to eat at Peep, but if I worked in or near Soho the lunch deal is definitely worth it. Plus, if you are one of those people who’s stuck working on the weekend they have an $8.50 lunch special on Saturday and Sunday that includes a free beer.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Appetizer and entree for $7!
- They have plenty of seating and I like eating inside of a spaceship.
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- It’s a little too futuristic for me, and I don’t like feel like I’m eating in a club.
- Thai fusion doesn’t do it for me.
Peep, 177 Prince St. (btw. Thompson & Sullivan), (212) 254-7337