I’m such a Thai boat noodle fan that I’ve take to using the tag #boatnoodlejunkie on Instagram. One of my favorite places to slurp these small bowls of amazing noodle soup is the funky bar Pata Paplean in the heart of Elmhurst’s Thai Town. Chef Cherry and her crew only serve the noodles Saturday to Monday, usually from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Pro tip follow Pata Paplean on Facebook to be sure they are open.)
At $4 a pop it’s very easy and affordable to slurp down several bowls. That’s precisely what I’ve been doing given the tundra-like weather we’ve been having. My go-to order is two bowls of num tuk koy, a pork soup enriched with blood, followed by a third bowl of dry noodles—tom yum haeng—for dessert.
For a real show sit at the bar and watch Cherry whip up the sweet and sour tom yum haeng. She’s quite the noodle mixologist. Springy yellow noodles, fish sauce, lime juice, ground pork, and fish balls all go into the bowl, which is topped with sugar,chili, cilantro, and golden shards of fried pork. Mix it all up and dig into the best dry noodles in Thai Town.
Pata Paplean,76-21 Woodside Ave., Elmhurst, 718-651-2076