For each installment of Race to My Place, we pit two restaurants with similar cuisines, estimated delivery times and prices against each other to see whose delivery reigns supreme! We compare delivery speed, packaging and presentation, quality and taste, and value. For this Thai food race, our contestants were Bennie’s Thai Cafe and Mangez Avec Moi.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like there has been a huge Thai food craze in NYC in the past few years. Either way, I can’t complain, because Thai food is one of my absolute favorite cuisines. Â It was the most authentic Thai food I’ve ever had in NYC was at Tong Thai Brasserie in the West Village. As the most authentic and affordable Thai food I’ve had in the city, I was devastated when Spice took over, and have been on a hunt for good Thai food ever since.Â I almost laughed at the prospect of finding that here in BPC, but I’d heard good things about both Bennie’s Thai Cafe and Mangez Avec Moi, so I was excited to see how their pad thai and red curry with chicken measured up as I pitted them against each other for this series of Race to My Place.
Delivery Speed: Bennie’s Thai Cafe
Both restaurants delivered their food in a decent amount of time, but Bennie’s only took 29 minutes opposed to Mangez’s 36 minutes.
Packaging & Presentation: Mangez Avec Moi
Although neither restaurant did anything special with their presentation, Bennie’s packaged their chicken curry in a tin tray with a plastic cover- not exactly the best container for a dish with lots of sauce.Â The curry ended up leaking everywhere, so it was a mess to clean up and there wasn’t enough curry to mix with all the rice!Â Mangez’s simple plastic container was much more secure and kept all the food where it was supposed to be.
Quality & Taste: Tie
I have to be completely honest and say that for the first time since I’ve started these races to my place, I’m looking forward to eating these left overs.Â This food was absolutelyÂ mouth watering- I can’t remember the last time I ate food so rich and flavorful.Â Although the two restaurants tied in quality and taste, they each had one dish that was better than the other.
Bennie’s pad thai was the best I’ve ever had, hands down.Â The noodles were cooked perfectly and it was well seasoned with just the right amount of tang.Â They placed some crushed peanuts on the side which made the whole dish even more rich and buttery.Â Mangez’s pad thai came in a much smaller portion and the noodles were really hard.Â It wasn’t as flavorful either, although they provided some sweet and sour sauce on the side so you could control how tangy you wanted the noodles to be.
Bennie’s curry chicken, on the other hand, was a little on the dry side.Â The curry sauce, however, was sinfully creamy and had a really robust coconut flavor which I found absolutely delectable, and they also delivered some of the softest rice I’ve ever gotten from a restaurant in NYC.Â While Bennie’s red curry was pretty rich, Mangez’s red curry chicken was out of this world.Â Their curry was a little spicier and had a noticeable ginger taste to it.Â What really set them apart though, was their succulent chicken.Â The meat was fall-apart tender like a perfect pot roast, and it was incredibly juicy and had an intense flavor of its own, which added another layer to the complex flavors of the curry.Â This was so good I could order this every single day and be perfectly content.
Bennie’s Thai Cafe has some lunch specials that are cheap and give you the most bang for your buck.Â However, none of their noodle dishes are on the lunch special list, so their pad thai is a little more expensive.Â Mangez has most of the popular Thai dishes on their lunch specials list, but it’s not as cheap as Bennie’s specials.Â Here is the breakdown:
Bennie’s Thai Cafe
Pad Thai: $9.95
Red Curry Chicken Lunch Special: $5.95
Mangez Avec Moi
Pad Thai: $7.95
Red Curry Chicken: $7.95
I was genuinely surprised at how good the food from both of these restaurants were.Â My ideal meal would be Bennie’s pad thai with Mangez’s red curry chicken, but I’m not sure if that would satisfy the delivery minimums for each restaurant.Â Either way, I’m extremely relieved that I no longer have to venture far for my Thai food fix!