Saturday I ventured out to Woodside, Queens mecca of Thai food, Sripraphai, only to find when we got there that the restaurant was closed for the holidays until January 15 (my Birthday, btw). No worries, I said to my friends Jeff and Liz, I know of another place that is also good.
Zabb Queens is about five blocks down Roosevelt Ave from Sripraphai and specializes in food from Isaan, the Northern region of Thailand. I’m told the food is a lot like that of Laos, but I as I’ve never eaten it I wouldn’t know. But I can tell you Zabb is very, very good. From what I can gather, Isaan food is big on salads — though their definition of which differs from the English one. Most are meat or fish based, tossed with onion, garlic, cilantro, chiles and lime, with little or no greens. At least four pages of the extensive menu is dedicated to salads.
They are also big on soups — enourmous ones with lots of offal (though we had a Tom Yam with chicken and "young ginger," very good). Everything we had was good, but particularly so was a crispy duck salad, a bbq beef salad, and a pork leg with chile sauce, so tender it was falling off the bone.
Despite our reasons for going, Zabb really should be considered as a destination of its own, not just a backup plan when Sripraphai is closed.
218 Roosevelt Ave.
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Open Daily: 5:00PM – 2:00AM
Unlike Sripraphai, Zabb is still BYOB. It should be noted that the real menu is about four times as long as the one found on the Zabb Website.