You’d think that after a sweltering second-anniversary party during which Courtney Barnett, Widowspeak, Neon Indian, and Porches all took the stage, Baby’s All Right would take a week off or something. But no. Tonight Williamsburg’s buzziest venue unveils a new food menu that’s a result of a collaboration with its Bangkok sister restaurant.
At a preview dinner last night, Baby’s owner Zachary Mexico told us that during a late-night hang, he managed to convince his old traveling buddy, writer-turned-cook Jarrett Wrisley, to do a stateside version of their Soi Thong Lor spot, Soul Food Mahanakorn. Much like Ivan Orkin did when he opened Ivan Ramen in Tokyo, Wrisley, a Pennsylvania native who had traveled around Asia as a food writer, quickly gained a following of locals, expats, and tourists when he opened the three-story shophouse in 2010. The idea was to serve a market-minded menu of Thai comfort/street food, amid a cocktail-friendly ambiance
At Baby’s x Soul Food, you’ll find some fixtures from the Soul Food repertoire, including samosas wrapped in spring-roll dough (inspired, per the menu description, by a “not-quite-Thai and not-really-Indian” restaurant in Bangkok), Moo Bing (skewers of marinated and charcoal-grilled pork, “like the fat man’s near the Silom strip clubs”), and Mieng Kham (lettuce wraps with smoked pork and Thai herbs).
New dishes were created with some help from Michael Sablan, who was previously at Mission Chinese Food and Northeast Kingdom, and also did a Burmese pop-up in Greenpoint. Among them are the Khao Soi Cowboys, crunchy-and-squishy sliders in which a tangle of crispy noodles sits atop a mound of pork shoulder cooked in a Northern Thai Khao Soi curry. “Khao Soi noodles are great but they’re messy so we made them into a sandwich,” the menu explains. The Risky Chicken, similarly, is a bun-ified mash-up of fried chicken and papaya salad.
On the drank end of things, there are “custom buckets,” or shareable cocktails served in 32-ounce plastic cups, Thai beach-style. After a few Fool Moon Parties (vodka, Malibu, and orange and pineapple juices), you’re likely to turn into the worst cliché of a Bangkok tourist, so get ready to ride that scooter cab to Pumps.