Bennie’s Thai: Dank Restaurant, Delicious Curry
Cheap and dirty, that’s Bennie’s Thai Cafe. Well, not dirty in the sense of receiving a failing letter grade from the Department of Health, but more dirty in a figurative sense. Bennie’s, a favorite of the FiDi working set and Pace students alike, lurks in the basement of a hulking building just off Fulton St. It’s below street-level setting makes for a particularly natural-light deprived dining experience, but no matter – you don’t come here for the decor (which, by the way, consists of chintzy wall hangings, basic diner-style tables, and bottles of Sriracha).
It’s the inexpensive, tasty, no-fuss Thai food that draws crowds. A long laundry list of authentic and traditional Thai dishes offer something for everyone, whether adventurous or new to Thai cuisine. Super-sized portions of slippery and spicy Pad Thai, spicy noodles, and Pad See Eiw, buckets of chicken curry, and hefty puffs of sweet sticky rice with mango lure suits and students for dirt cheap prices. The flavors are big, bold and messy, lacking entirely in the trendy mincings of the ‘upscale’ Thai spots that dot Manhatan. My favorite? The $5.95 chicken curry lunch special that comes in a tub the side of my forearm and lasts for days. Other recommended dishes include the Pad Voonsen, Pad Khing with kicks of fresh ginger, and the Panang Curry with sweet silky coconut milk.
Bennie’s Thai is your simple neighborhood Thai spot that gets you in and out fast for less than $10 (if you play your cards right) and doesn’t leave you swimming in grease or wishing you had stuck with a PB&J. The food is far above average for an in-and-out spot, available for rapid delivery through Seamlessweb, and a popular crowd-pleaser for those in the know. Seeking something zesty in the hard-to-navigate Financial District? Bennie’s is your place, if you can find it.