It’s been some time since we had Thai food for lunch, and we were in the mood. One of the closest Thai street food vendors to our office is Tuk Tuk Boy. They are located on 50th St between 6th & 7th Ave, in the middle of a multi-cultural lineup of at least half a dozen street food vendors from different countries.
If you’re in the Rockefeller Center area and not sure what to get for lunch, just walk along 50th St going from 6th Ave towards 7th Ave. You will have many choices including Greek, Indian, Thai, Italian, empanadas, falafel and more.
We ordered from the menu right away at Tuk Tuk Boy and were given a ticket with #24. Our order was shrimp pad thai ($8) and an appetizer of crab rolls ($3).
After 15 minutes (which is a long wait for street food), they started calling out 25, 26 and 27 in quick succession. We approached the cart and asked what happened to #24. Oops, it was accidently put to the side, and they forgot to call our number. Apologies were made, but it would have been nice to get the appetizer for free, or at least a free can of soda. Nothing was offered for the mix up.
Back at the office, lunch smelled great when it was taken out of the bag. There was a napkin, but no fork included. Luckily our office has a kitchen. (Good thing we weren’t eating outside in a park somewhere.)
We started with the crab rolls, of which there were 4, each about 2 inches long. The crab rolls were covered very light, thin, flaky strands that were likely made from rice flour. Inside the rolls was a shredded crab mix, which we quite enjoyed, especially after dipping them in a light, vinegary, and slightly sweet sauce that was included. These crab rolls were a nice change of pace from the usual Thai spring rolls.
Moving on to the shrimp pad thai, we saw why lunch took so long to arrive (even without counting the mix up). The pad thai was cooked to order, and had a distinct freshness about it. There were plenty of tasty, thin rice noodles with tiny pieces of egg mixed in. The noodles were topped with scallions, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts, plus a wedge of lime to squeeze onto everything.
Upon opening the container, you could only see two shrimp, but it turned out that a bunch of large shrimp were buried within the noodles. All together, there were seven large shrimp in the shrimp pad thai lunch. That’s a good amount in what is ostensibly a noodle dish.
Lunch from Tuk Tuk Boy was delicious, and there was plenty of food for the price. With the size of the shrimp pad thai, you don’t really need the crab rolls to have a filling lunch, but they were a nice addition.
You can find Tuk Tuk Boy on 50th St just west of 6th Ave every weekday for lunch. They don’t have a social media presence, but they seem to have a decent following without one.
In case you were wondering, a tuk tuk is a 3-wheeled motorized vehicle used in much of Southeast Asia as a taxi. You’ve probably seen them in films set in Thailand or Vietnam, or if you’re lucky, in person!