My recent Thai fried chicken skin mitzvah has made curious about Sripraphai. Ever since the Woodside eatery hit the big time, I’ve avoided it like the plague. (Actually that’s not quite true, about once a month I check out the prepared foods and desserts near the front counter. That’s how I knew about the fried chicken skin.) I liked it better when it was barely one stark fluorescent-lit storefront wide and there was no wait for a table on a Friday night. So the other day I decided to have lunch there with a buddy. As we perused the encyclopedic menu, I told my pal how the old bill of fare used to be a loose-leaf binder complete with photos.
I was going to get a fiery jungle curry and a papaya salad like I used to back in the day. Instead I went with something a bit mellower. For a starter I had the fried shredded taro ($7.00), circular tangles of tuber with a peanut dipping sauce and sweet chili sauce. They were pleasantly crunchy and fun to eat.
Perhaps I was craving pork after my recent North Carolina trip because I ordered the pork leg with mustard greens over rice ($9). The bowl of spoon tender pork and greens cooked in aromatic brown broth and shot through with chunks of mustard greens did not disappoint. In fact it’s some of the best pork I’ve had since I visited the cradle of whole hog barbecue.
After that lunch, I’ve resolved to officially resign from the Sripraphai haters club. Just don’t expect to find me there waiting on line on a Friday night with all the culinary lemmings.
Sripraphai, 64-13 39th Ave., Woodside, 718-899-9599