In our travels around town, we had frequently passed the Blue Spice restaurant on Central Avenue (previous home of Garcia’s Mexican restaurant) and promised to give it a try. We got our opportunity recently, eager to sample some “modern gourmet Thai” cuisine. We were seated right away and immediately noticed the soothing decor filled with warm wood tones, blue linens and flower petals floating in various containers throughout the space. We couldn’t help but notice the restaurant’s water theme, in fact, this branch of Blue Spice is named the “Water House.” There are two other branches of the restaurant – in Delmar and Clifton Park.
We looked over the menu while a friendly server took our drink orders. Son and Daughter opted to try the house lemonade while Dad stuck with a Coke and Mom went with the Blue Breeze – an iced tea with ginger and lime. The lunch menu included a few appetizers, several salads and many curry and noodle dishes. While we debated what to order, we noticed the raised dining area next to us built to accommodate several large sunken dining tables and colorful cushions for seating. We also took note of a fully equipped children’s play area tucked into a space near the restrooms which would come in very handy for those with younger children.
1614 Central Ave., Colonie
• Food – 4.5 C’s (out of 5)
• Service – 4.5 C’s
• Family friendliness – 4.5 C’s
With grumbling stomachs, we finally decided on a round of appetizers – veggie spring rolls and crispy wonton skins with a sweet turnip filling called “Crusty Angelina.” Both arrived shortly and beautifully presented on clean, simple white plates. While Mom thought the wontons were a tad too sweet, both kids enjoyed them enough for seconds. The spring rolls were a pleasing mix of crispy crust and warm veggie/noodle filling. Next came the soup and salad course included with our entrees. The tofu noodle soup was the definition of comfort food and the simple mixed lettuce salad with sweet honey dressing also satisfied. For his main dish, Son ordered the sticky rice open burger that arrived unexpectedly as bite-sized morsels of grilled marinated pork slices skewered to rounds of sticky rice. While this was a definite departure from his usual style of burger, he declared his dish “the best lunch I’ve had in a while.” While Mom tried not to be offended by his comment, Daughter pronounced her chicken pad Thai the best she had ever had. She said the egg was yummy and the sprouts and peanuts provided a great crunch against the “slimy-ness” of the noodles. Dad also enjoyed his beef kee mao – a Thai version of “drunken noodles” prepared with beef, egg, veggies and flat rice noodles in a spicy basil sauce. Mom loved her entree as well – the salmon panang – a salmon filet cooked in a curry coconut milk sauce with vegetables and fresh basil. The coconut sauce provided a perfect background note for the distinct flavors of the mushrooms, red peppers, salmon and peas. In fact, we were all very impressed with the powerful flavors and fresh ingredients used in our dishes.