The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Crispy Duck at Pam Real Thai Encore = :(

Update (10/20/10): The longer that Adelyn and I have had to think about this, the more we've realized that THIS WAS SOO SHITTY. I could've saved a chunk of time (to be spent watching even more cat videos on YouTube) by drawing a heaping mound of fetid poop bursting with tears (for it is a sad poop) and labeling it "CRISPY DUCK" instead of writing complete sentences. Alas. Delayed reaction. ...Actually, I might still draw it.

Update (10/26/10): Here is my sad poo:


I'm realizing now, five or so hours after I ate dinner, that my meal at Pam Real Thai Encore was sort of...un-good.

I mean, it was edible. And I ate most of it. Probably because the hunger was clouding the part of my brain that determines whether or not the food I'm eating is actually tasty.

Some backstory: This afternoon I met up with Diana, Claire, and Adelyn at the Jacob Javits Center for the Meet the Breeds show, where I determined that I'd one day like to own a chartreaux or exotic...[turns around, stares at bedroom door while imagining a fat lil' nubby cat poking its way into my room]...[imagines scooping up said cat]...[but there is no cat]...[feels sad]. Not knowing where to eat in that area because we're in that neighborhood pretty much never, after we left the show around 4:30 p.m. we walked to Hell's Kitchen, figuring that with about six Thai restaurants on every block, at least one of them would be worth eating at. After roaming around for 10 blocks we ended up at Pam Real Thai Encore because 1) I had heard good things about the original Pam Real Thai, which I didn't realize was just two blocks north, and 2) we were hungry and didn't want to spend more time looking for food (my lunch consisted of an apple and some corn chips).

I ordered the yum crispy duck, "sliced crispy duck mixed with lime dressing, roasted chili paste, onion, scallion and cilantro," along with a side of sticky rice. It seemed promising—the menu featured a whole section of crispy duck entreées and next to the dish name it said said something like "Recommended by the NY Times," although I've since found that the review is from 2001.

I can't tell if time has been cruel to this dish or if the kitchen was in apathetic mode this afternoon, but I'm putting this dish on my "do not recommend ever" list. The thin slices of duck were plenty crispy—about two steps away from incineration. That every piece was soaked in sauce made it edible; if not for that, the dryness and chewiness would've been too much to handle. It didn't taste like duck—it tasted like...dry and chewy. Adelyn's duck with ginger sauce was possibly even worse. The piece I tried was quite tough, the meat separating in little shards. No wonder she didn't want to finish it.

But as I said, I did eat most of my dish, although on retrospect I probably should've sent it back and asked for something else. I also ate all my rice and a bit of Adelyn's—the rice was perfectly fine. Diana and Claire liked their non-duck dishes.

I'm sure some of you have eaten at Pam Real Thai (or Encore); did you like it? Was my failed crispy duck an anomaly? Is is suppose to taste like that?

Writing negative posts makes me feel crappy (you may have noticed that I rarely do it), and I know you can't write a meaningful review after just one visit and one dish, but that duck...that duck bothered me, and I wanted to get it out of my head. I hope it doesn't always taste like that. :(

Okay, let's look at this cat try to catch its own reflection:

It's so fluffy..

Heehee. Okay I feel better.


Belinda @zomppa / October 18, 2010 5:46 AM

It's tough writing negative reviews, but at the same time, you are sharing your perspective, and you have to be honest. The video - I love how the bigger cat is like, "what are you doing?'

eatyourheartout / October 18, 2010 9:37 AM

Oh, man. What a way to start my Monday morning (which started off with me arriving late for the first time in a long time). That cat video is funny. After the weekend I grew a small fondness for big fat fluffy cat. See what you did, Robyn? Although, allergies continue to remind me why I cannot hang out with one.

al / October 18, 2010 10:56 AM

Should have hit up Tam and I for recommendations: we're always in Hell's Kitchen. :) For Thai, we like Wondee Siam I and Room Service.

roboppy / October 18, 2010 2:37 PM

Belinda: I like the bigger for looking like he just doesn't give a crap.

eatyourheartout: OVERCOME THOSE ALLERGIES! FOR THE KITTIES!...okay you probably can't do that. :(

Al: Ahhhh what a fool I was! I won't make that mistake again. :)

bionicgrrrl / October 18, 2010 4:34 PM

Similar thing happened to me. I went to Pam Real Thai and it wasn't good so I never wrote about it. Maybe one day I'll try it again, but really, there's so many other restaurants to try in NY!

Angeline / October 18, 2010 6:00 PM

I love Exotics!! Are you thinking of getting one?

You haven't lived until you've seen a cat play with another cats tail.

I love how the cat in the video stopped to put on a scarf, maybe it was cold?

adelyn / October 18, 2010 10:25 PM

yeah, my "duck ginger" was definitely all levels of fail. i'm glad you wrote this post b/c i also realized, later that night, just how truly horrible my duck was. possibly the worst in my life. it didn't even taste like duck (or any other kind of discernible meat). it just tasted like charred shards of absolute wrong.

roboppy / October 18, 2010 11:32 PM

bionicgrrrl: Nah, let's eat other awesome stuff. Like SriPraPhai! Mmmm.

Angeline: Realistically, I don't see myself getting a cat until I'm older and more settled somewhere and..richer..heh. I mean, I won't even get a smartphone because I don't feel like paying a higher phone bill. I suppose a cat costs a bit to take care of. Yeaah..(scratches head)...


Adelyn: Yeah man, sorry to subject you to that. IF ONLY I HAD KNOWN! :( That duck deserves a more scathing review. It's funny how long it took to realize...I guess we were having too much fuuun, which is not a bad thing. It's just sometimes when I eat something crappy I wonder if it was a one-time thing, if my taste buds were off, or, the worst...if it truly was shit-tastic. Methinks this fell in the last category.

Let's make our next dinner something awesome and ducky. DUCK CONFIT? HEEHEE?

Jannie / October 19, 2010 11:30 AM

I know you hate writing bad reviews but think of all of us whom you have saved from a bad meal. Your sacrifice is much appreciated. . .

Albany Jane / October 20, 2010 9:59 AM

While I don't like writing negative reviews or experiences, I think it helps to have them out there. Otherwise how would you know if your experience was one-off, or if everyone else has pretty much been feeling the same way but not saying anything? I think as long as the tone is right (and yours totally is), then it is something that can be taken with a grain of salt by the restaurant and can be used to better themselves. I mean, isn't that a good thing overall? To know someone had a bad experience and to fix it?

Exotics? I've just been calling them the Wilford Brimley diabeetus cats. So smooshy and cute.

shukumei / October 20, 2010 1:14 PM

I don't mind eating mediocre food, but bad food, barely edible food, is just a waste of time (and calories).

The chartreaux is Happy Cat and the exotic is the cat with diabeetus. Lovely!

roboppy / October 21, 2010 10:49 PM

Jannie: My calories didn't go to complete waste, then! Woo!

Albany Jane: I generally doubt myself if I'm eating something I'm not that sure if it's bad, or if it's just me. Experiences like this tell me I CAN TRUST MY TASTE BUDS, I just need to do it...sooner..yeah. I hope the restaurant does something about that duck.


shukumei: AHH YES you recognize Happy Cat! That's what I thought right away when I saw it. Except it wasn't as happy. But still adorable.

roboppy / October 25, 2010 11:32 PM

Danny: Ah, good to know there's something..good! Fried fish and eggplant sounds awesome.

KatyBelle: Yup, I'm working on a weegie week post now! It's taking forever..I'm not happy with it, but I suppose I never will. Blluuh okee I gotta get it up. ;_;

James / November 8, 2010 12:30 PM

I've never heard a good thing about Encore, but as Danny said, I was pointed to the orignal Real Thai with some solid recommendations. Their duck curry was no good, and it seems like half their dishes range from joyless to terrible; however, anchovy rice (especially the spicy anchovy rice) and khao soi were excellent. So was the spicy catfish!

I would happily pass on the rec for anchovy rice and warn people to be careful of most else.

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