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The Rice Pot, New Haven CT

Fat Guy

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We visit New Haven often -- it's where my mother-in-law lives -- but our range of dining experiences there has been limited. We eat a lot of Sally's pizza, and we eat a lot of meals at my mother-in-law's house. When we do vary the routine it's often to Claire's or another of the regular places my wife's family has frequented for decades.

Our son, however, is a huge fan of Thai food so a couple of years ago the search began for good Thai in New Haven. We discovered the Rice Pot, on State Street, early in the process. It is an unremarkable-looking place on a lonely stretch of State Street, with a handwritten sign indicating the parking lot. The interior is not particularly nice, though it is clean. The food is good, not world-class but entirely credible.

The tripartite lunch specials are particularly good. Yesterday I had drunken noodles, shrimp with ginger and mixed vegetables, and spring rolls. Also good are the standard noodle dishes, particularly pad see ew. The summer rolls ("fresh roll" on this menu) are very well executed, and the satay offerings are generous and tender. The only weak link I've found so far in the offerings has been the green-papaya salad, which is limp and not particularly well seasoned.

We've tried other Thai places in New Haven -- downtown on Chapel Street there are about five of them in close proximity, and there are Thai restaurants throughout the area -- and nothing else has come close to the Rice Pot.

So, FYI, if you are in New Haven an want Thai, the Rice Pot is the place to go.

Rice Pot

1027 State St, New Haven, CT 06511-3959

(203) 772-6679 ‎

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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It is far from being my favorite Thai place. Same people that own Thai Taste, downtown, under the Duncan Hotel.

Both are OK "Thai" if you are really on a budget and need a fix. I've eaten at Thai Taste many times but gave up on it because of cleanliness issues, mediocre food, service and Thai Taste being overrun with fruit flies.

IMHO the nearby (to Thai Taste), Bangkok Garden is better, though the food is somewhat comparable.

My favorite, by far, is The Terrace (in Hamden, not far away). We were there yesterday. Amy is a great French trained chef. They will pretty-much make anything you want. A decent wine and beer selection, too. If you want, she will make some seriously hot food for you. I particularly like their "Jungle Curry".

Besides the great food at The Terrace, I have a long string of negatives regarding meals at the Rice Pot and Thai Taste. I just can't go back to either!

Edited by Scargo (log)

Banished from Chowhound; I like it just fine on eGullet!

If you`re not big enough to lose, you`re not big enough to win! Try this jalapeno, son. It ain't hot...

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The next time you are in New Haven, I recommend checking out The Terrace in Hamden. It is on Dixwell, about 2.5 miles out of New Haven. The Terrace Curry is a sadomasochistic dream. I had it at 1/3 strength and it burned all the way through.

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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