Thai Spice

9 Dec

Rating: 1 bottle

My visit to Thai Spice was prompted by two things. The first being that I’ve never tried Thai food before. I grew up in a household that strictly eschewed ethnic food, focusing more on Southern and Italian-American cooking. Throw a lasagna at me and I can rate that shit all day long. My only experience with Thai food is limited to the Food Network and Top Chef (Team Rhodes all the way). So regard my take on any Thai food as a judgement on the food, not on how well it represents Thai. The second reason being I had a sweet coupon for half off making it the perfect opportunity to try out some new food.

Thai Spice is in a strip that’s weird to get to which certainly can’t help their business. I wasn’t the driver that night, though, so not Mhai concern. There’s a huge banner proclaiming cheap $.50 Thai wings (wtf ever that means) outside. I guess I can appreciate a cheap ploy to draw the redneck Monkey Junction crowd into a Thai restaurant, so this is forgiven. The inside is surprisingly nice without being too cheesy. The staff are quick to seat us and get out drink orders. I decide that $3.50 beers are highway robbery while my friend hands over his wallet before they even draw a gun. I start to look over the menu and I’m lost. Noodles with peanuts, chicken strips in coconut milk, what is this. Do these people have some weird obsession with nuts and fruits?

I decide to ask the waitress what she would recommend for an appetizer, and without hesitation she offers the dumpling which aren’t on the menu. Well, good start. The staff’s favorite isn’t even on the menu. For lack of a better plan, I go for it. For the entree, I decide to get the Garlic and Pepper Shrimp, my friend goes for the Spicy Basil Noodle with beef. We both question the spice levels of the dishes since we are both fans of “this may actual start a fire in my mouth” levels. I go for three, he goes for a hundred. I didn’t even know that was an option. He literally said to tell the chef to “do his worst” because “fuck his butthole.”

The Thai dumpling app arrives with a minimal wait and it looks pretty nice. I’m not generally the biggest fan of dumplings but I liked them. They were pork and shrimp filled, which seemed like an odd combination but then again, I know nothing about Thai food. The accompanying dipping sauce was soy and possibly fish sauce? Soy makes everything better so kudos for that I guess. The filling could’ve had more flavor, but once it was in the sauce that was the main thing you tasted so didn’t matter much in the end. Not the worst app I’ve ever had by far. Next up were the entrees.

I will once again warn: I know nothing about Thai food. Mine came in two plates. One with the entree, and one with a ball of white rice. I first attempted to transfer some of the veggies and shrimp onto the rice, but by the end of the meal I was just dumping the sauce onto the rice. The veggies were steamed with the barest hint of the underlying sauce, which was sad; the sauce was pretty good. The veggies and shrimp by comparison were just steamed or boiled and a little overly so in my book. I wish the sauce had been thicker  so as to cling to the ingredients better. The dish could have been saved with less veggies, more sauce, and the whole thing being in a bowl over the rice instead of separated. It was mediocore, I would have expect the same thing from those bags of sauced frozen vegetables.

My friend’s meal was brought out a few minutes after mine, which in my world isn’t the hugest deal. The portions were large and I didn’t mind allowing him to scrom off my plate. Once his entree came out it was all I could do to hold back a laugh … it looked so much worse than mine (the picture came out better.) I tried my first bite and was about to comment on the lack of spice and then it knocked me in the back. I thought the heat was pretty good … a little up front and a slow smoldering burn in the back, though my friend was highly disappointed with what was apparently the “chefs best.” I will agree with him that if he challenges the chef to kill him with heat it should be taken as open season on fire. The beef was over cooked and chewy but was my favorite part of the dish, somehow the flavors of the dish blended well with the beefy flavor. The Thai noodles and veggies were ok. Overall the dish was once again mediocre.

After all this I was very tempted to try a dessert, but there weren’t any listed on the menu. Good; I can go home and eat some ramen. Maybe Thai food just isn’t my thing, but I was very underwhelmed by Thai Spice. The food was all mediocre and not something I’d eat again. The place itself was nice and the wait staff pleasant, but I came for the food and I shouldn’t be debating beef or chicken ramen over my entree. I am forced to rate this place one bottle, because I recommend skipping Thai Spice and taking a shot every time I said Thai instead.

Thai Spice on Urbanspoon

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