With a name like Sons of Thunder one wouldn’t expect to find a pocket of quiet, and one would be right. Sons of Thunder is located in that unnamed stretch of the city by the Queens Midtown Tunnel exits, bordered by Murray Hill to the west and Turtle Bay to the north. We found the noise level to be tolerable–barely–but think it’s worth a visit for their take on poke, a Hawaiian raw fish salad that they serve over steamed rice or tortilla chips. We really enjoyed the poke over steamed rice–it was fresh, delicious, and a fairly healthy meal. They also offer chili and hotdogs, french fries, and shakes. It’s an odd menu, but the crowds prove that it works.
The noise level of the space varied depending on where you were at any given time. There was loud music blaring in the back dining room, thanks to a large speaker mounted by the entrance to the space. Most of surfaces in the dining space were hard, except for some fabric covered panels mounted on the back wall. The panels must have absorbed some sound, because despite all the hard surfaces, the blaring music, and a nearby table of six chatty and loud co-workers seated near us, we were able to tolerate the noise level.
We followed our first review with a very short second visit a week later. That visit clocked in at 75.1 decibels. This time we focused on the hot dog options, which did not disappoint. What was disappointing was the unnecessarily loud music in the dining area. Despite the lower decibel reading during this visit, we believe the music was louder during this second visit than the first but there were fewer fellow patrons as we visited shortly after Sons of Thunder opened and before the crowds descended. Because the space has a lot of unforgiving hard surfaces, it will never be pleasant. But if the music volume was reduced just a few notches, the space would have been fine. As it was, it was merely tolerable.
Sons of Thunder is not a place for lingering. To be frank, if it didn’t serve really good food in a in a park of the city not known for its food scene, we wouldn’t have bothered reviewing it. To be safe, aim for off-peak hours. Avoid if crowded.
Monday through Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Street (betw. 37th and 38th Streets), New York, NY 10016