Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tasty, Inexpensive, Eager to Please; Thai Spice a Winner; Easy-on-the-Budget Lunch Prices for Southpoint Workers Carry over into Dinnertime

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tasty, Inexpensive, Eager to Please; Thai Spice a Winner; Easy-on-the-Budget Lunch Prices for Southpoint Workers Carry over into Dinnertime

Article excerpt

Byline: Jay Magee

If you like Thai cuisine and you like it hot, but not enough to burn a hole in your wallet, there's a new Thai in town worthy of some dine time.

Early last month, Thai Spice Kitchen took over for the defunct Hunt Club Subs N Grill in an outparcel to a small strip center on Bowden Road in front of Mr. Taco. And from this diner's first impressions, their spice is plenty nice.

Thai Spice offers table-service lunch and dinner in a dining room boasting 12 tables and a singular menu with a familiar array of soups, salads, meat dishes, noodles and curries (entrees $5.99 to $12.95). If you're looking for clever, Asian-themed decor or even the wall-mounted animal heads from the previous tenant, though, you're out of luck.

The new proprietors seem to know their target customer - Southpoint-area office dwellers - and have priced their dishes with lunchtime rates that carry over to dinnertime. Two can easily dine for under $25, including starter, entrees, dessert, beverage (no alcohol is available), tax and gratuity.

We began with the Thai Spice Rolls ($4). These thick, fresh-style spring rolls were packed tight with fresh chicken chunks, veggies and vermicelli, and are standalone tasty, but even more so with their complementing sweet-chili dipping sauce. They're also gluten-free. We also got a trio of Crispy Rolls ($4 as a starter; one roll included per entree ordered), which were much thinner, lightly fried and unfortunately for my fiancee, not so free of gluten.

Our entrees quickly followed. I sampled the Pad Kee Maow, or drunken noodles, with lightly fried tofu ($5.99; up to $8.95 with other meat or seafood protein choices). What I got was a clearly dinner-size portion that would set you back up to three times the cost at higher-end Thai eateries. The heat (3-out-of-4 spice) was spot-on; noodles had a fire-engine red complexion and were well-tossed with evenly distributed tofu chunks and a potpourri list of veggies too long to list here.

My fiancee's gluten-intolerant palate was not to be denied in the entree lineup. Our Green Curry ($6.99; spice level 1) featured thinly sliced beef and veggies in a flavorful curry broth with a dollop of white rice. …

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