The one challenge of living on Long Island once again is the availability of vegan options. There has not been much progress since I went vegan here 16 years ago. Though this fact helps me save discretionary funds I would freely give away at restaurants and pushes me back into the kitchen, it takes a bit longer to decide where to spend a special night out. Luckily there is an authentic Thai restaurant in Williston Park: SriPraPhai.
If the name rings a bell, maybe it’s from my visit to their Woodside location in October 2011. SriPraPhai is what I would describe as “the real deal,” the most accurate match to the street food and dishes I savored during my months in Thailand. I love that they have a location on Long Island, though it seems quite random. In a way it contributes to their authenticity. It’s not glamorous, Thai fusion on overly-sized white plates. It’s not a concept. It’s just great Thai food.
For an appetizer, we had to have something deep-fried. Deep-frying adds deliciousness, I’ll freely admit. We threw around the idea of ordering the “Stuffed Golden Bag,” just because it sounds funny. But we decided on the scallion dumpling, a simple deep-fried scallion and dough. It arrived glistening and tasted delicious.
Their vegetarian menu is a few pages and descriptions are simple translation. With an open mind ready to explore new bites, I decided on the exact same entree I ordered on my Woodside visit. A food blogging no no! But I know exactly what got me so excited: the coconut rice. If the whole plate was a pile of their coconut rice, I’d be happy. However, a pile of wettish mushroom disc shared the stage. The mushrooms didn’t have much flavor, so the pile remained intact. The papaya salad was outstanding, the perfect mix of sweet, salty and crunchy.
For dessert, the sweet treat I was obsessed with in Thailand: kow dom mat.Sweet coconut sticky rice and a steamed banana… fantastic as ever.
After dinner we headed to Baci Gelato, a popular spot that offers a selection of dairy-free gelato. Creamy, delicious soy-based and coconut-based options–oh yeah! The whole case here was vegan-friendly.
I chose mango and coconut scoops, topped with a mini sugar cone. It felt like summer spooning that little bitty spoon in my mouth and enjoying this cold treat. Too bad it was a brisk, unseasonably cold spring evening.
With the green budding trees and the singing bird mornings, summer’s coming. And I’m ready!