Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rice Avenue

Last week we went to Rice Avenue at 7219 Roosevelt Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens. This Thai restaurant is not exclusively vegetarian, but you can get some great vegan dishes here. Don’t forget to ask them to hold the fish sauce.

Thai Spring Rolls
Most spring rolls I've eaten have the prerequisite shredded cabbage, maybe some carrots and mushrooms. These were instead filled with savory glass noodles. I've only really had glass noodles in summer rolls before so I'm used to them cold and chewy. These were hot and soft and whatever else was in there with them was YUM (I think mushrooms). The rolls themselves were perfectly fried and not too big. And as if that weren't enough the sweet/spicy chili sauce was AMAZING. It was perfect on that cold rainy night. -Ev
I wasn’t expecting much from these, but they were a pleasant surprise. The filling was surprisingly savory and flavorful and the dipping sauce was light but very tasty. -Jim

Mango Avocado Salad
We had a scare when this got to the table. The entire dish was sprinkled with white grainy stuff resembling cheese. We asked the waiter and found out that it was rice that had been toasted and ground, a unique touch for this unique and delicious salad. The three main ingredients were avocado, mango and onion, which is a simple but brilliant combination. The onions were sharp and crisp, the mango was soft and sweet, and the avocado was smooth and… um…. whatever word you’d use to describe the flavor of an avocado (all I can think of is “good”). The whole thing was pulled together by a sweet and tangy dressing. Overall, this was a creative and tasty salad. -Jim
The different flavors and textures worked well together and the ground rice in particular provided a nice grainy crunch. It was at once tart and sweet, crunchy and creamy. This would be really good on a hot day. -Ev

Tofu Ginger
The Tofu Ginger at Rice Ave is one of my favorite things. Not just one of my favorite foods. One of my favorite things. I know, you’re thinking, "I’ve had tofu ginger at Thai places before, what’s so special about this one?" My answer: It’s perfect. That sounds like I’m dodging the question, but I’m not. The unique thing about the Tofu Ginger at Rice Ave is not that there are unique ingredients or flavors, it’s that they get it just right. The tofu is fried to perfection. The veggies are tender but still very fresh and flavorful. The sauce (oh, the sauce!) is savory and salty and exploding with flavor and yet still somehow light and simple. Even the jasmine rice served with the dish has just the right amounts of fluffiness and stickyness. If I absolutely had to find something about the dish that I didn’t like, I’d say I could do without the carrots. Their sweet flavor clashes a little too much with the rest of the dish. I’ve found a workaround, though. I just eat all the carrots first. -Jim
This is one of those meals where every bite is a different explosion of flavors and each one of them is delicious. So good -Ev

Vegetable Pad Thai
A tried and true dish at Rice Ave. You have to specify no egg and no fish sauce but there is no sacrifice of flavor. This dish has a lot of great veggies- scallions, broccoli, bok choy, carrots and little bits of firm bean curd. The sauce is more on the tamarind-y side which I like and there are tons of fresh bean sprouts and yummy crushed peanuts to go on top. Not only is Pad Thai one of my favorite dishes, but Rice Avenue is one of my favorite places to get it. (You can order Tofu Pad Thai as well which has soft-fried tofu cubes in it like in Jim's Ginger dish). -Ev
I'm not a huge Pad Thai fan (weird, right?), but the Pad Thai at Rice Ave is some of the better Pad Thai that I've tried. -Jim

The Bottom Line
I’ve been to a lot of Thai restaurants and Rice Ave is my favorite. The menu is a standard Thai Restaurant menu, so don’t come here if you’re looking for something wild and experimental, but do come here for food that is consistently outstanding. -Jim
Agreed. Not only are their dishes delicious, but the staff is super-friendly, and the food is cheap. Hooray for cheap! -Ev


Anonymous Erica said...

I love Rice Avenue. And their peanut sauce is to die for!

I am glad we got to the bottom of the possible cheese incident. Leave it to Rice Avenue to save the day once again!

10:47 AM, June 14, 2006

Blogger jenny said...

I've never been to Rice Avenue, I think it will top my list the next time I'm in NYC!

Living Vegan

8:02 PM, June 14, 2006

Anonymous Isa said...

Why don't you ever take me there? Are you ashamed of me?

11:50 PM, June 14, 2006

Anonymous Eppy said...

I love it when you folks take me there. It totally makes me feel like you aren't ashamed of me.

11:57 PM, June 14, 2006


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