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1001 THAI

Scratch-Made Food in a Well-Loved Spot

1001 Thai

camera / (Clockwise from left) Mango Sweet & Sticky; Beef Meat Balls with homemade chili sauce; Bacon Wrapped Asparagus & Shrimp; Mummy Shrimp

Hidden gems are often neighborhood favorites tucked away somewhere one might least expect them, but well loved and patronized by those who live nearby. That’s certainly the case with 1001 Thai, whose straightforward name takes its cues from its location at the intersection of 10th and Northampton Streets and the types of cuisines it serves.

Located in a brick Victorian home, 1001 Thai may initially look familiar to those who might drive past it and expect to see signs for something else—Cherubina Ristorante, which closed in 2016 when owners Fran and Harry Cregar retired. Dean Curtis and his chef partner Pheraphat Phromsom (he goes by Peter) took over the space in May 2016, making extensive renovations and upgrades in preparation for their November opening.

That location has served them well—but in a way that might surprise readers.

“We have a lot of customers who used to be Cherubina customers,” says Curtis.

On the surface, it might not make much sense— it’s not as though one well-regarded Italian place replaced another. But when you consider the fact that both restaurants feature scratch-made food from family recipes that have been tweaked over time, the cuisine type that’s offered almost doesn’t matter. It’s about the approach. Consider, too, that the space, whose plaster walls have been “refloated” and repainted in a bright, warm yellow, still affords the same level of intimacy: Guests are dining in what amounts to someone’s home. And they experience the same level of welcoming hospitality for which Harry and Fran Cregar were known—20 years in one location certainly can attest to that.

The space suits the owners well. Phromsom, a 48-year-old native of Bangkok Thailand, says, “I thought I’d like to have a restaurant just like this, in a home.” The pull of America was strong, ever since he was a child. He arrived in Los Angeles with two suitcases and $400. He credits his mom for teaching him to cook; he started helping prep vegetables around the age of seven. When he came to America, his first job in the city involved making Thai desserts in a restaurant. “I knew my dream was America; I came prepared,” he says.

Curtis has something of an itinerant background—his day job involves industrial design— but he’s worked in various jobs over the years: on yachts in the Atlantic and ferrying small planes in the Pacific, as a well driller, a bush pilot in Alaska and working for the Chicago Board of Trade. “I’m a regular Renaissance man,” says Curtis. He met Phromsom, who, prior to running the kitchen at 1001 Thai, worked at Kow Thai Take Out in Allentown. They decided they wanted to open something less casual and a bit bigger, and began looking for suitable locations—they had even dined at Cherubina, which is partly how they came to know and like the space. A few days after it became available, they jumped at the opportunity, but not without upgrading the facility considerably—the building, of course, dates to about 1897 and needed all kinds of improvements, including a new roof, upgraded plumbing and renovation (and new equipment) for the kitchen

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1001 Northampton St., Easton
610.252.1001 | 1001thai.com
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Tues.–Fri.: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. & 5–9 p.m.
Sat.: 3–9 p.m
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Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
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1001 Thai exterior
Chef Pheraphat Phromsom, Co-owner
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus and Shrimp
Thai iced tea
1001 Thai interior
Mummy Shrimp
Tilapia Sam Rod
Beef Meat Balls

camera / 1. 1001 Thai exterior; 2. Chef Pheraphat Phromsom, Co-owner; 3. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus and Shrimp; 4. Thai iced tea; 5. 1001 Thai interior; 6. Mummy Shrimp; 7. Tilapia Sam Rod; 8. Beef Meat Balls

The menu at 1001 Thai is extensive, and the food has been earning raves; Curtis says there has been strong word of mouth to attract diners. “I wanted to make food with exemplary flavor,” says Phromsom. Thai food’s flavor profile is deep and complex. “Thai food balances sour, spice, sweet and salty,” he says. Additionally, it’s not all spicy, either; dishes are made to order, which enables the kitchen to customize one’s preferred level of heat, from mild, medium, hot to Thai hot. (It also means veggies stay crisp-tender; nothing is cooked ahead of time and then reheated.) Almost everything is from scratch: “I don’t make my own vinegar,” jokes Phromsom. The kitchen sources ingredients locally and seasonally when it can. He even does some small-scale gardening on the premises, growing lots of Thai basil and small lime trees, as the latter’s leaves figure prominently in many Thai dishes. The tofu they use is non-GMO, and no MSG is used in the kitchen, says Phromsom.

What To Order

The dumplings—homemade and loaded with different meats. The Drunken Man Noodles are probably the most photographed/Yelped/otherwise-mentioned on social media. If you’re not terribly familiar with Thai food, Pad Thai, a noodle-based dish, is a good place to start; pick your choice of protein or keep it all veggie. The dumplings are delicious; the Massaman curry, a traditional offering with coconut milk, carrot, onion, potato, pumpkin, pineapple and peanuts, is also a specialty. Wash it all down with a Thai iced tea, with just a hit of sweetness and cream.

If you’re unfamiliar with Thai food, the dish Pad Thai, with rice noodles, egg, scallions, ground peanuts in a tamarind sauce, is always a good place to start. The fried rice offerings are slightly different from what one may associate with the dish—for starters, they’re not as oily as fried rice can sometimes be. (The pineapple fried rice is especially delicious—jasmine rice with curry powder, carrots, raisins, scallions, cashew nuts and, of course, pineapple.)

The dumplings are a hit—imagine pork, chicken, crab and shrimp all in one, served either steamed or fried. The vegetarian spring rolls feature cabbage, carrot, mung bean noodles and come with a sweet and sour sauce. The restaurant’s green and red curries are also popular, along with its Massaman curry, with coconut milk, carrot, onion, potato, pumpkin, pineapple and peanuts. Chances are, however, a simple search on Trip Advisor or Yelp will populate photos of Drunken Man Noodles—flat rice noodles with onion, bell peppers, Thai basil, egg, broccoli, scallions and carrots in a chili sauce. Its depth of flavor and comforting nature make it hard to resist. Noodles are comfort food in any cuisine.

1001 Thai has been fortunate to find success immediately—part of that is their own hard work and good food; part of it has to do with setting up camp in a location with previously good restaurant juju. And the third component connects to the concept of a culinary community—Easton is known for its strong restaurants, which attracts both diners and restaurateurs. Many residents are on the lookout for something new to try, which contributed to 1001 Thai’s immediate runaway success. “We really opened with a bang,” says Curtis.


The restaurant is BYOB and also serves lunch, offering a special of $9.95, with popular entrees such as the Drunken Man Noodles or Pad Thai, along with red, green or pumpkin curry, among others. Lunch comes with a soup or salad. Dinner specials change every couple of weeks, and you can be guaranteed that there are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options too. And, of course, there’s takeout!

“We always say ‘Tell your friends, but only your close friends, so that you can all still get a table,’” says Curtis.