After eating mediocre Vietnamese food at Lan Cafe, I was craving the real thing. There are several Vietnamese places on Baxter St, right off of Canal — a few months ago I had a good meal at what was then New Pasteur (it’s now Pho Pasteur). My cousin works right near there, so when I met him for lunch I asked him which Vietnamese place he recommended. Without hesitating he led me into Thai Son.
The vegetarian spring rolls were nicely familiar. There’s nothing quite like a super crunchy, ultra dense Vietnamese spring roll, especially when wrapped in a fresh lettuce leaf with a sprig of mint and dipped in vinegar sauce. The mix of hot and cold is what I like most about these. This is what I had missed at Lan Cafe.
My main dish — fried tofu with lemongrass, onion, peppers & chili sauce — was less inspiring. It was fine, not great. The fried tofu was good but the sauce was way too strong. I probably should have order some kind of noodle dish; I certainly didn’t eat anything like this dish when I was Vietnam. Simpler is usually better.
Thai Son — 89 Baxter St