Looking for Thai cuisine near the campus of Boston University? Look no further than Nud Pob, located on 738 Commonwealth Avenue. This family-run establishment — which boasts “modern interpretation of classic dishes,” according to its website — has been serving the BU community for years, keeping prices affordable.
Owner Eddie Chen said his favorite part of work is serving the BU community.
“Lots of students at BU, they love our food,” Chen said. “Seeing them everyday makes us happy.”
Chen said they took over the business in 2011 because he and his wife had wished to open up a restaurant in the United States. They had lived in Thailand for two years, where he learned the language and other parts of the culture.
Chen said they had to shut down for the first two months of the pandemic. He said he had no choice but to sign up for third-party food delivery services like Grubhub, UberEats and DoorDash to keep the business going throughout the pandemic, but the services charged high rates.
Due to these high rates, as well as high supply of ingredients with inflation nationwide, Nud Pob was forced to raise their prices to keep up, Chen said.
“All the vegetables, the rice, the food from the U.S., from Thailand, from China, they all raised up in price, either 40 percent, 100 percent,” Chen said. “There is nothing much we can do about it.”
He said they’ve had to raise their prices, which has been a concern, especially since most of their customers are students.
“We don’t want to [hurt] our customer[s], which are the students,” Chen said. “Students are not the moneymakers. They only have a limited amount of money to spend, so we try to save some money for our customers as well.”
The business was struggling even with government assistance from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, Chen said, so he and his wife put their own savings into the restaurant to keep it open.
“The money was showing up…in my account,” Chen said. “But because the funding [was] draining so fast, the money was gone without me even realizing it was there.”
Isabel Rubin, a graduate student in College of Engineering, said the food is good and the location is convenient. Rubin, whose favorite menu items are the curry dishes and the Crispy Chicken Basil, has been coming to Nud Pob for about a year.
“It’s very close to all of my classes,” Rubin said. “It’s like my favorite restaurant around here.”
Rishab Sudhir, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the food comes out really quickly.
“It’s so fast. You get it in like, two minutes,” Sudhir said. “If you really need food quickly, you come here, get your food and leave.”
Chen said new customers should try basic dishes first before “leveling up” to their more authentic dishes. For example, he said, their menu includes a basic Pad Thai, a Thai Style Pad Thai (more authentic) and finally Tom Yum Pad Thai.
“If you want to try our food and you have no idea what you want to try, there’s a board with the picture[s] near the counter,” Chen said. “Just close your eyes and pick one. You will get a good one.”