As I walked along Woodroffe cursing the coldest day of the year, I swear I could smell lemongrass. It came, wafting in from the west, down the alley where Pookie’s Thai anchors the end unit of a short strip mall. The day was frigid. It called for Thai soup. A pot of Pookie’s own lemongrass tea. Maybe a curry.
There are only a handful of really good Thai restaurants in the city and this is one. Found, if you look around corners and down lanes, off Carling, west of Woodroffe.
Pookie’s lunch special begins with soup. Hot and sour on my day, the bone broth fragrant with its paste of shallots, ginger, galangal, and chilies, filled in with mushrooms, scallions, broccoli rabe, carrots and cilantro. And then the simple, clean Pad Bai Gra Prao (chicken with sweet basil) fried with bird chilies, fine green beans, and mushrooms in a broth propped up with garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, and served with sticky rice.
And then, only because my mouth was lightly on fire, a bowl of coconut ice cream.
Pookie’s lunch specials (all served with soup and rice) are $9.50 to $12.50
2280 Carling Avenue, 613-231-1733