Friday, March 1, 2013
Pok Pok: The Wings Did It
Google Pok Pok Brooklyn and you will find a general consensus that this place is the truth, an unpretentiously authentic haven of incomparable Thai street food on the fringes of waterfront Red Hook. All that can be said has been said about the fantastic food here. This post is about one aspect of my experience there last Friday night: How I Lost My Appetite, aka The Wings Did It.
It wasn't because they weren't good. It was because they were too good. They call them Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings and they sparkle with flavor. Beneath a sticky coating of bright heat, spice, salty and sweet is a crackling coating that seals soft, tender meat beneath. These wings are a game-changer. For me, from now on, the definition of a good wing must meet the standard of Pok Pok's. I was overwhelmed by their smack and bite, in a good way. They are disorienting, to the degree that I had could only watch as my husband and friends made the rest of the wings disappear, poof, one by one, from the plate while I was still stuck nibbling the single wing I still held in my hand. It was like I was paralyzed or something. I wanted more but the flavors left me satiated, almost numb. And I didn't really want to eat anything else. I pushed the brilliant Papaya Pok Pok salad around my plate. I had a nibble of the Sii Khrong Muu Yaang, honey and ginger glazed baby back ribs. I slurped up some of the glass noodles, shrimp and pork belly in the divine Kung Op Wun Sen. It all registered somewhere cerebrally, but my body was still with the wings. I have been thinking about them all week. I'm going back to tonight. You should go there too.