Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sabaidee Thai Restaurant

Name: Sabaidee Thai Restaurant
Location: 36 Jenison Ave., Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: (607) 766-0557
Cuisine: Thai
Price: Most entrees less than $10

Sabaidee is the second Thai restaurant in the Binghamton area that I've visited, after Thai Basil in Endicott. It used to be located off Hooper Road in Endwell but they've recently moved to Johnson City, on Jenison Ave. behind the M&T Bank and around the corner from Mekong Vietnamese. There used to be a Chinese restaurant at this location a number of years ago and it was perhaps the sketchiest, seediest place I'd ever entered. Frankly, it was kind of disgusting. Hence, I was a little bit hesitant to enter Sabaidee, but was pleasantly surprised by what the folks did with the place. They make good Thai food at insanely low prices--most entrees are around the $7 mark--and the location offers them a nice low-key (dare I say) elegance. They've got a nice little dining room setup with some stools also available for seating by the counter where you pay. It isn't lavish by any stretch, but it's colorful and mildly charming.

I stopped in for take-out around 1:30 PM on a Wednesday. There wasn't anyone else around, otherwise I probably would've decided to eat there. I don't really dig being the only patron in the entire place, you know? So I opted for take-out. I was greeted as I entered the door and after a quick glance over the menu I opted for the Masaman curry with pork, a lunch special for only $5.95.

Less than 10 minutes later(!) I was back in my car with some wonderfully aromatic Thai food in tow. I headed back to my office where I opened the bag and found a container each of Basmati rice and the curry I ordered.

For those unfamiliar, Masaman curry is originally a Muslim dish consisting of meat, potatoes, onions, peanuts, pineapple, and coconut milk with various spices. I've had this dish a couple times before and liked it: this was the best version of it I've had yet. Keep in mind I am not at all an expert in Thai cuisine, but I was very satisfied with this, and for only $6, I found it to be a lot of food and a major steal. I certainly wasn't hungry for the entire rest of the day. One minor complaint is that I felt the potatoes were a little bit harder than I would've liked, but this dish had really nice flavor. I think there was something like cinnamon in there to give it that extra flair. Whatever it was, I was very satisfied and am eager to try Sabaidee again for take-out, given how close it is to home for me in JC.

Of the two Thai restaurants I've visited so far, Thai Basil definitely offers the better ambiance and the richer experience. However, the food at both places is about equal in my mind, and there's no doubt that the service at Sabaidee is much more efficient and the prices are significantly lower. For a sit-down Thai meal, my vote goes to Thai Basil, but for take-out, I think Sabaidee represents better value.

Grade: B+

Sabaidee Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks - you are saving me so much time with these wonderful reviews!! - Elise

  2. My husband and I recently ate at this restaurant. We were ASTONISHED at how amazing the food was... the vegetable soup was so fresh... it tasted like the veggies were just picked from a garden! I had the coconut soup with seafood... AMAZING!! The seafood was succulent, and SUPER FRESH!! We also ordered a meal and were amazed at the AMOUNT that we received for about $7! MUCH cheaper than our visit to Thai Basil in Endicott. We now order take out from Sabaidee and we will continue to be repeat customers! Definitely somewhere to try...Don't be fooled by their appearance, once you are inside you'll be glad you went!

  3. Anonymous, thanks for commenting! I agree 100%, Sabaidee is a place definitely worthy of more customers and is a book best not judged by its cover! Great place for takeout. We are very fortunate to have some good Thai options in this area.

  4. I got take out from Sabaidee this past Saturday based on your review. I had never even really eaten Thai food before and I LOVED it! I ordered the veggie eggroll appetizer, the chicken satay appetizer, the pad thai dinner with chicken (ordered at 3 out of 5 for spiciness) and the pineapple rice with chicken. I also got a Thai iced tea. Everything was very good. I even loved the iced tea. The young guy who waited on me was very friendly, even to my 4 year old Son who waited at the counter with me. I will definitely be going back to Sabaidee again soon. I also want to check out Thai Basil and Thai Thai. Thanks for your reviews.

  5. It is so cool to see this blog up and running - it wasn't up when I was still in town. I live in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand now but before I moved from Binghamton my fiance and I made Sabaidee our go to restaurant. Thai Thai was ok, near to the school I worked at, and Thai basil was decent but pricey, but Sabaidee is truly a gem in terms of authentic Thai cuisine. After returning from the West Coast and eating Thai from heralded restaurants large and hole-in-the wall in LA and San Francisco, as well as Cambridge Mass, Sabaidee was the best I'd ever had. Although I have been in Thailand for 8 months now, I am still yet to taste a Tom Yum Gai as flavorful as the one from Sabaidee (though the flavor is intense, especially if you order it extra spicy). The stir-fries like Pad Kra Pow and Prik Thai are outstanding, but my favorite is always the beef Pho. Although a Vietnamese dish (I believe the family is from Laos, neighboring both countries), the Pho at Sabaidee is far better than most Vietnamese restaurants I have tasted - including an absolutely enormous bowl of rice noodles, beef stock, beef, meatballs, basil, mung bean sprouts, served with lime, sugar, hoisin sauce and red chilli to customize the flavor. The green curry is also exceptional, and my fiance loved the peanut tofu with vegetables added, which by the way is not a dish here in Thailand. If I had a friend who was stopping through Binghamton and had only one meal to eat, I would send them either here or Taj Restaurant. Even in Thailand, Sabaidee could be open for business. It is very very authentic.


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