Starting as a food cart in Portland, Pok Pok’s Thai cuisine has left customers satisfied for years. Now Pok Pok has two other locations, one in New York, and another in Los Angeles. The restaurant serves traditional Thai street foods, with a Whiskey Soda Lounge in the back of the restaurant.
PDX Pok Pok is located on Division street. Upon arrival, I picked up on the energetic, lively vibe. The open air restaurant was perfect for a sunny day, and the sweet aromas beckoned me inside. My biggest worry for the meal was a long wait, but they were able to seat us immediately at the counter. If I was in a larger group, the wait could be anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. However, if you’re not rushed for time, you couldn’t ask for a better place to wait than Division. With its plethora of shops to explore, a 30 minute wait might not seem that long. Pok Pok just may not be the best place to go for lunch on a school day.
When most people think of Pok Pok, they think of the fish-sauce chicken wings. This was an item I knew going in that I just had to try. Along with that, I ordered sticky rice, and a green papaya salad. As I waited for my food to arrive, I enjoyed a snack of roasted peanuts.
The wait was shorter than I expected for such a busy restaurant. My food was delivered without delay or error. The chicken wings came with little wet napkins, an amenity that I would find helpful later with hands and mouth covered in sticky sauce. I have to admit, the fish-sauce chicken wings were better than I’d ever dreamed. Perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of sauce. I ate about four before I had to call it quits. The green papaya salad was a refreshing side to the wings. Of course, no Thai meal is complete without a healthy portion of sticky rice.
Pok Pok’s largest downside was the high prices. Most dishes are around $15.00, and when you’re ordering multiple dishes, the price really racks up. This is a place to go for a special treat on the weekend, not an everyday kind of restaurant. I wish I had known about Pok Pok in its food truck days, I’d have eaten there all the time.
I still intend to go back. Although the fish-sauce wings were delicious, I’d like to try their numerous other delectable items. If you’re vegetarian, don’t worry. They offer a lot of vegetarian options, and some options that can come either way. I recommend Pok Pok highly, and encourage anyone to try this renowned Portland food icon.