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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven

Mon–Fri 11:00am–2:00pm

Features Outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards None

Medical Area
Corner of Cedar St. and York St.
New Haven, CT
(203) 288-9888

East Rock
Prospect St. near Ingalls rink
New Haven, CT
(203) 288-9888
Thai Awesome Food Cart
While the food carts are cheaper and easier to get to, we prefer the stationary version

Okay, this gets sticky, so stay with us: until recently, these carts were known as “Thai Taste,” although they were not owned by the Thai Taste on Chapel; the cart’s owner did once work there, but he now owns Thai Awesome in Hamden. The name was allowed to remain for a while because, as Thai Taste restaurant’s owner once told Yale Daily News, “He takes care of the cart; he takes care of the food.”

The much-cared-for Thai Awesome carts have decreased from three to two; one still parks steps away from the Yale Medical School in the Hill district; the other is inches from the School of Management, near the hockey rink—a great place to pick up some dinner on the way home if you’re an East Rock resident. The York and Elm cart is gone, perhaps owing to competition from the nearby Tijuana Taco Company, which does far more business even while charging a buck or two more.

At each cart, the Thai menu is limited to a few of the standard classics, and combinations of two or three items are accommodated. In any case, it’s hard to spend more than about five dollars here, even with a drink; in a city of low-priced food carts, this is one of the cheapest. The vegetable drunken noodle, one of the dishes that cycles through the specials here, is made up of spicy noodles sautéed with vegetables, purple basil, onion, and scallion.

Chicken Massaman curry, with coconut milk, onion, peanut, and potato, is a popular choice, but it’s a below-average version, with mealy potatoes. Better might be the vegetable yellow curry, simmered with coconut milk, pineapple, zucchini, onion, baby corn, and tofu. Barbecued garlic chicken skewers are good, when they aren’t overly dry. Pineapple fried rice is our favorite thing here. Pad Thai is a staple.

In general, Thai Awesome’s restaurant serves better food than the cart, and of all the Thai carts, Jasmine Thai is still our winner. It would sure be nice to find a cart—any cart!—that actually tries its hand at authentic Thai street food.

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