Dive In – Sugar & Spice

As an EC it is nice to get off campus. Without the pressure of 7:40 am study group, but with the pervasive thought of how to start paying back debt in less than a year, finding a fun but inexpensive place to eat can be a challenge. Last week we went in search of a place with parking but not too many people, with good food but not high prices and with atmosphere but not too much scene. We found all this at Sugar and Spice.

We left campus en route to a swanky dinner at Elephant Walk in Porter Square. Everything we had heard about the food justified the drive, the search for parking, and the price.

Forty-five minutes and no parking space later, we abandoned that idea and decided to try out the random Thai restaurant on the edge of the large mall at the center of Porter Square. We could park there and that alone made it perfect.

The hostess sat us immediately and, since we were parched from our quest for parking, we ordered drinks and spring rolls before she even walked away. It was only then that we noticed the two-sided plastic menu, but we were committed at that point and with an open mind, we began to peruse our options.

Our drinks arrived almost as fast as we were seated – always a good sign that the restaurant knows what is truly important – and it was also an accurate preview of the evening’s service. The spring rolls arrived next before we had even had time to flip the menu; they were piping hot, very crunchy, and light enough to take all of the guilt out of fried food.

We decided to order two different curry dishes: one yellow, one red, one vegetarian, one chicken, one with rice, and one with noodles. Needless to say, they were very accommodating.

Then something odd happened. The hostess returned and asked us if we would mind changing tables so that they could seat a larger party, to which we happily obliged. As we settled into our table, our waiter approached with only one dish, and explained that there had been a slight misinterpretation in the kitchen and that they were remedying the chicken-tofu swap immediately. Apologies, apologies Surprisingly, none of this ruffled us, mostly due to their smiles.

What happened next was fantastic. The chef sent us an order of Summer Rolls to try on the house while we waited. (I love that they noticed I was ordering vegetarian and made sure to send over the tofu version.) In place of a gummy wrapper surrounding bland white noodles, was a thinly wrapped roll of cabbage and tofu with a light tasty peanut sauce. The meal only improved with two amazing curries, one as spicy as I ordered it, and both filled with fresh vegetables and lean chicken. The slight mishap from earlier was forgotten; we loved our meal.

An evening which started out with a hungry search for parking ended with a sated walk back to our conveniently parked car. Sugar and Spice is absolutely worth the trek.

Sugar and Spice,
1933 Mass Ave,
Cambridge MA

September 26, 2005
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