On Tuesday, I met my friend Hannah for lunch at Spice in Union Square in Manhattan. There are several Asian restaurants in this neighborhood alone that offer inexpensive lunch specials. At Spice, $7.50 gets you one each of 11 entrees and ten appetizers. Hannah and I both chose the green salad with taro chips and peanut dressing for our appetizer. I usually love green salads from Thai restaurants specifically for the peanut dressing. This one, sadly, did not impress. The limp greens were doused in copious amounts of dressing, which was also excessively salty. I did however enjoy the crunchy shreds of taro chips on top.
For her entree, Hannah ordered the Hawaiian ginger and pineapple vegetables with stir fried onion, scallion, mushroom and yellow beans. It was a standard mix of vegetables stir fried in a pungent ginger sauce and dotted with just a few chunks of pineapple.
I chose the vegetable pad thai, which had a healthy amount of ground peanuts and vegetables. Spice gets points for appearance, with a playful scallion garnish sticking straight up out of the noodles. The sauce was slightly darker and saltier than some other pad thai I’ve had, but flavorful with wonderfully chewy noodles. Thus far I have not found any Thai that lives up to my beloved Tamarind House. Even with the subpar salad, the $7.50 lunch special is hard to beat.
39 East 13th Street
New York, NY