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The duck soup kicks

J&T Thai Street Food becomes a third option

Duck soup, an unsophisticated bowl of goodness
Duck soup, an unsophisticated bowl of goodness
Place

J&T Thai Street Food

5259 Linda Vista Road, San Diego

Before I left on my Euro Odyssey 2015, I would have divided (if pressed to do so candidly) the local Thai food scene into two camps: Sab-E-Lee and Everything Else. I know. Haters gonna hate.

In all fairness, Everything Else was, and still is, pretty good in terms of virtually identical take-out food. Sab-E-Lee just stands out as the Grand Poobah of local Thai dining. Perhaps hole-in-the-wall Asia Cafe in Chollas View could rate, but that place is really Something Else and ultimately neither here nor there.

Now there is a third category to my otherwise rock-solid division of Thai food. J&T Thai Street Food makes for a sort of triangular third option between the insane spicy goodness of Sab-E-Lee and the relative banality of just about every other Thai joint. In part, this is because the place is crazy cheap. $3 chicken wings and lettuce wraps are a smoking hot deal. Same price on the tom kha or tom yum soup (both good), with $1 extra for the “expensive” meats such as shrimp. Your curries and noodle dishes are all $7.50, and all seem worth it.

But the kicker is the duck soup. $8 for a bowl of piping hot, tangy broth teeming with rice noodles and concealed hunks of roast duck. I want to say it’s heavy on the tamarind, which gives it this sweet richness that’s somehow more intriguing than the straight-up umami MSG — sorry, “autolyzed yeast extract” (or other glutamic acid euphemism) — kick we’ve come to expect from noodle soup.

This isn’t an elegant soup. Far from it. It’s a downhome, unsophisticated bowl of goodness that smashes together everything you like about pho with all your favorite things about soy sauce flavored ramen. Go get some.

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Duck soup, an unsophisticated bowl of goodness
Duck soup, an unsophisticated bowl of goodness
Place

J&T Thai Street Food

5259 Linda Vista Road, San Diego

Before I left on my Euro Odyssey 2015, I would have divided (if pressed to do so candidly) the local Thai food scene into two camps: Sab-E-Lee and Everything Else. I know. Haters gonna hate.

In all fairness, Everything Else was, and still is, pretty good in terms of virtually identical take-out food. Sab-E-Lee just stands out as the Grand Poobah of local Thai dining. Perhaps hole-in-the-wall Asia Cafe in Chollas View could rate, but that place is really Something Else and ultimately neither here nor there.

Now there is a third category to my otherwise rock-solid division of Thai food. J&T Thai Street Food makes for a sort of triangular third option between the insane spicy goodness of Sab-E-Lee and the relative banality of just about every other Thai joint. In part, this is because the place is crazy cheap. $3 chicken wings and lettuce wraps are a smoking hot deal. Same price on the tom kha or tom yum soup (both good), with $1 extra for the “expensive” meats such as shrimp. Your curries and noodle dishes are all $7.50, and all seem worth it.

But the kicker is the duck soup. $8 for a bowl of piping hot, tangy broth teeming with rice noodles and concealed hunks of roast duck. I want to say it’s heavy on the tamarind, which gives it this sweet richness that’s somehow more intriguing than the straight-up umami MSG — sorry, “autolyzed yeast extract” (or other glutamic acid euphemism) — kick we’ve come to expect from noodle soup.

This isn’t an elegant soup. Far from it. It’s a downhome, unsophisticated bowl of goodness that smashes together everything you like about pho with all your favorite things about soy sauce flavored ramen. Go get some.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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