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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
8.6
6.0
$10
Thai
Counter service

Hours
Tue–Fri 11:00am–8:00pm
Sat 10:00am–8:00pm
Sun 10:00am–7:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC

www.asiamarket-hou.com

Heights
1010 W. Cavalcade St.
Houston, TX
(713) 863-7074
Asia Market
For authentic Thai, look—where else?—in the back of this shabby little grocery

Nothing excites us quite like a grocery that serves food out of the back. (Especially when it’s called “Asia Market,” which we’ve found, in several cities, to be like secret code for “authentic, amazing Southeast Asian food within.”) The place looks condemned with its bars on the doors, but the aisles hold treats like Thai chilies, Thai basil, fresh galangal, mint, mung bean sprouts, fresh noodles, and three types of house-roasted chili pastes.

At the back of the store, where you’ll be joined by Laotians, Cambodians, and Thai (and maybe a monk or two), som tam—the staple green papaya salad—is prepared to order. It’s good, acidic, and spicy; if you’re farang (Thai for Westerner), push to get it Thai-spicy. Pad Thai isn’t common in Thailand, but if you must have it, Asia Market’s is easily the best in town, piquant and tangy with dried shrimp, peanuts, lime, and fresh, resilient noodles. Pad see ew is also top notch. Sticky rice, that cheap Thai mainstay—pair it with the som tam—is better here than it is at Vieng, Asia Market’s authentic-Thai competitor in town. (On the other hand, Vieng has better som tam.)

Desserts change daily but usually include homemade bean-paste cakes and pastries. Every visit here is an opportunity to dispense with farang tastes and discover new pleasures.

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