The Yum Nam-Sod At Bennie’s Thai Is A Salad I Think We Can All Get Behind

I would guess about 99% percent of people who eat lunch at Bennie’s Thai Cafe on Fulton St. (at Gold) get something off the cheap menu where the food is dished up off a steam table with a scoop of rice. But what if it’s hot outside and the thought of eating a hot plate of Thai food doesn’t sound appealing? That’s when I turn to their salad menu because they’re the only affordable Thai place down here doing authentic dishes like larb and selling it at ML-friendly prices. And if you don’t like traditional salads that try to trick you into eating vegetables, this may be for you.

There are nine different kinds of yum, or salads, listed on the menu and they involve everything from vermicelli to sweet sausage or duck. The yum nam-sod ($7.95) is described as ground pork or chicken with mint but it’s so much more than that.

I got mine with pork and there was a ton of it in there along with about a quarter-head of iceberg lettuce, a crappy slice of tomato (even during prime tomato season? Come on Bennie’s!) and other vegetables. The juices from the pork provided a nice “salad dressing” for dipping once some of the meat was wrapped in a lettuce leave. (This makes for some messy desk dining, FYI, and your co-workers may also not appreciate the fish sauce odor as much as you do).

Mixed in with the pork was fresh mint, red onion, lemongrass slivers and peanuts. You could say this is a pungent dish, and you probably don’t want to eat it right before a meeting or any situation in which you’re in close proximity with others. It was such a nice summer lunch, though, that I plan on returning to try some more of the yums at Bennie’s. It may not be as healthy as one of those horrid chopped salads, but hey, maybe fish sauce has magical health powers no one’s discovered yet.

On a side note, the restaurant had signs posted everywhere saying its menu prices are being raised on Aug. 22 due to high food costs.

Bennie’s Thai Cafe, 88 Fulton St. (at Gold), (212) 587-8930


1 Comment

  • That actually looks pretty good but it’s too bad that they’re raising their prices because it already seems a little above average at $7.95.

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