Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Spice and Dice

We Minxes love Thai food and ever since the demise of our regular haunt, Bangkok Place, we're always on the lookout for a new favorite. While we really enjoyed a meal at Bangkok Garden, being in Columbia makes it a bit of a haul and not exactly good for any spur-of-the-moment meal decisions. Recently, Mr Minx received a coupon for a place called Spice & Dice, located in a nondescript office park on Joppa Road about halfway between Goucher and Loch Raven Boulevards. That's not far from us, so we made a point to have dinner there one recent Tuesday evening. 

Spice & Dice has a bright and happy interior that, sans tables, would work well as a daycare center. Ignore, however, the many colors and patterns on the walls and concentrate instead on the menu which has a large selection of appetizers, plus curries, stir-fries, and noodle dishes. On our first trip, we sampled the fish cakes and the chicken laab from the appetizer section, plus the gingery chicken ped king and the vibrantly-spiced duck with basil sauce, all washed down with generously-sized glasses of sweet and milky Thai iced tea. After that successful experience, we vowed to visit again soon, this time with camera in tow.

A few weeks later, we met my father and brother for dinner at Spice & Dice. After taking some time perusing the many interesting menu options, Dad opted for the jasmine rice soup followed by pad thai with pork. The soup was outstanding, its light broth tangy with lemongrass and full of tender chicken. The pad thai was a fine rendition of the ubiquitous noodle dish, served with an extra helping of crushed peanuts on the side.

Jasmine Rice Soup
Pad Thai with Pork
We also sampled two appetizers, the chicken teriyaki dumplings and fried calamari. The dumplings were drizzled with an unfortunately goopy sweet sauce that did nothing for them and were otherwise forgettable. The calamari was slightly chewy, as it often is when served in the diamond-scored-rectangular chunks that tend to be typical of Asian restaurants, but was otherwise tasty, particularly when dipped in the lightly spicy pink mayo-based sauce.

Chicken Teriyaki Dumplings - pretty but meh.
Happy Calamari
As fans of Thai basil, my brother and I both ordered dishes that featured that ingredient. Or so we thought. His chicken with basil dish displayed no evidence of that herb's presence, but otherwise had a lively garlic flavor.

Chicken in Basil Sauce
My dish, shrimp with eggplant, contained a decent amount of basil leaves in a sweet-ish sauce that had partly been absorbed by the chunks of bright purple Asian eggplant. It was a bit inconvenient to eat the tail-on shrimp, but otherwise I happily hoovered up this dish, lusciously-sauced romaine leaves and all.

Eggplant and Shrimp with Basil
Mr Minx opted for the jungle curry, a preparation that contains none of the coconut milk present in other Thai curries. It had a very distinctive and unusual herbal flavor, predominately galangal and ginger, and was quite unlike any other Thai dish we've tried.

Jungle Curry with Pork
Some of the dishes at Spice & Dice are a bit on the sweet side - probably a nod to American palates - and the teriyaki dumplings were nothing special, but everything else was quite delicious.

While the decor was busy, the restaurant was not. I hope more people find this cute spot and stop by for a meal so it'll stay around long enough for us to become regulars.

Spice and Dice Thai Restaurant
1220 E Joppa Rd #108
Towson, MD 21286
(410) 494-8777

Spice and Dice Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.

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