Pad thai is like the green apple martini of Thai food. They’re both very sweet and accessible versions of the food category that they represent. It was one of my first cocktails ever (thanks Sex and the City!), and I thought the Jolly Rancher flavors were amazing, although now they’d make me gag. Same with Thai food, my first exposure to it was through pad thai. The rice noodles were sugary and saucy, and again, I loved it. Most people tend to move on to other things after a few tries, which is probably for the best.
Except at Uncle Boons Sister, the fast-casual, takeout counterpart to nearby Uncle Boons in Nolita. The pad thai here is a real showstopper and will make you revert back to your love for these rice noodles, if you haven’t gotten over them already. The sweet and salty flavors are well balanced, and the textures make it such a joy to eat. A little scrambled egg here, a crunchy bean sprout there, some tasty prawns to dig into, it’s a treasure chest of delicious little food nuggets that you’ll love digging your fork through.
I’ve yet to find an entree that has as much star power as the pad thai. The beef short rib and thai basil stir fry was too salty to be in the running. The khao kaa muu or soy and anise braised pork rib had a funky flavor profile that only natives could love. I actually liked the fried chicken in the laab, but I was thrown off by the odd proportion of how little chicken there was compared to the overabundance of spicy cucumber underneath. These are all things I would not order again on my next visit. But the pad thai, without a doubt.
The coconut and peanut rama cone, on the other hand, shines as bright as a diamond. Remember those Drumstick ice cream cones that you used to eat as a kid? It’s like that, but only better. If they had this coconut ice cream dipped in white chocolate and candied peanuts in the stores I’d buy it all the time. Someone needs to market this to Whole Foods asap! But in the meantime, you can only get it at the kid sister’s house. Her house may not be as nice as older sibling Uncle Boons’, and the food overall isn’t as good, but it’s easier to get an invite and the few things she does very well may prove that she’ll eventually come into her own.
Uncle Boons Sister
203 Mott St (between Kenmare and Spring St)
New York, NY 10013