Quincy has a lot of decent restaurants, with many of them being in the downtown area and the North Quincy neighborhood, but there are a few good ones that can be found in other parts of the city, including along Wollaston Beach, the nearby Wollaston neighborhood, and around the former shipyard near the Weymouth border. And then there are those places that are in less heavily trafficked areas of Quincy and known mainly to locals, including a little Thai restaurant that is within a short walk of the downtown area yet is very easy to miss. But to those who know about Little Duck on Granite Street, it is a regular stop that is a top choice for quick, cheap food.
Little Duck is located just west of the Burgin Parkway in a small commercial strip that includes a local bar. Both the exterior and the interior of the place have the feel of a sub shop or a pizza place, with the inside having fluorescent lights, a counter where patrons place their orders, and a total of eight tables--four to the left of the counter and four to the right. Duck "decoys" are placed along the windows in keeping with the duck theme here, while heat lamps are set up during the colder months to keep the somewhat drafty place warm and pop music plays from the speakers. Really more of a takeout place than a sit-down restaurant, Little Duck nevertheless features food that rivals what you might find at some of the best Thai spots in the Boston area.
For such a small place, Little Duck has quite a large menu, including a good number of traditional Thai dishes that you might not see in some of the more Americanized Thai restaurants around Boston. Appetizers include a dish called beef paradise, which features delicious deep-fried beef marinated in a sauce that has a tangy citrus taste, along with a sweet chili sauce for dipping; squid tempura, or breaded squid that comes with a sweet and sour sauce; tender and fresh pork dumplings that have a slightly sweet ginger dipping sauce; a glass noodle salad that has shrimp and pork (and a good amount of spicy heat), and a tofu soup that also contains glass noodles and minced pork, as well as a mix of bright and earthy tastes coming from the cilantro, scallions, and mushrooms.
The main dishes at Little Duck feature something for everyone, with all kinds of rice, noodle, curry, meat, and veggie options. For those looking for authentic Thai fare, the crab choo chee (crabmeat in curry with bamboo, baby corn, and pineapple), crispy garlic duck (which comes with an array of vegetables), and fish lard pik (fried fish with roasted chili peppers, onions, basil, and hot sauce) are just a few options. A dish that is hot--but not too hot--at Little Duck is the chicken thunder, which features thick cuts of white meat chicken and several veggies in a spicy chili sauce, and a hint of garlic that goes nicely with the basil leaves that are mixed in. An item that isn't hot at all and is a good option for those who might want to stick with more familiar dishes is the excellent version of pad Thai that can be ordered with anything from shrimp to chicken to duck to tofu to veggies, and has more in the way of ground peanuts than your typical pad Thai dish. Soup entrees can also be found here, including an herb noodle soup that has just a bit of heat and a duck noodle soup that has beansprouts, scallions, and cilantro. Rice dishes include a hot and spicy basil fried rice, while curry options include a mild massaman curry and a hotter yellow curry. Desserts and drinks are limited at Little Duck, though fried bananas can be ordered here, as well as a classic Thai iced tea.
Little Duck isn't exactly a place to spend a couple of hours lingering over a meal, but for a quick sit-down dinner, or a relatively inexpensive takeout meal to bring home, this friendly little spot near downtown Quincy is certainly a terrific choice. Chalk up another winner in this southern suburb of Boston, with this one being a true hidden gem.
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