Spice Thai Kitchen Melrose

Hello again!

I heart Thai food.  So the other night, I decided to hit up a small Thai take out place in Melrose.  Spice Thai Kitchen is near the Melrose Highlands Commuter Rail stop.   The Kitchen is  a take out joint with one table.  It is really clean and bright, which makes me happy.

The hostess was really helpful.  I explained that I could not have anything that contained wheat or barley (as this was not a Jewish deli, I felt I could omit reference to rye*).  She made some recommendations right away and said she would have to check on other items.  The hostess was aware of a few items on the menu that contained gluten products.   Most of the menu is open for g/f diners, including the spring rolls**.  The hostess seemed most confident in certain items, mainly the curries.  Their curry recipes are naturally gluten-free.

I did not get the sense that Thai Kitchen had to answer allergy questions often (maybe they will in the future, but they have only been open a few weeks), but the staff was more than willing to accommodate my needs and go back to confirm my order was safe before I paid.

The mango curry was really good: it was kind of nutty and sweet and spicy all at the same time.  My husband had some lo mein, which was not gluten-free.  He said it was nice, but a little bland.  Then again, what can you expect from lo mein?

Spice Thai Kitchen is located in Melrose: http://www.spicethaikitchen.com/

*Anyone who knows about a gluten-free friendly Jewish deli in the Boston area, please email me!

**Given the size of the store front, I am guessing they only have one fryer.  The oil used for frying the spring rolls is probably the same as that used for making crab rangoon, which does contain gluten.  Depending on your level of sensitivity, you may want to steer clear of the fried items or at least ask further questions.

G/F suitability: 3/5

Ambiance in 1 word: tidy

Taste: 5/5

Restaurant Review: Friendly Toast

The Friendly Toast in Kendall Square is a great place to go for drinks or food.  It’s kitschy and cute.  I also like that there is enough space between the tables so one does not feel like a sardine in a can.  I especially love the retro hamburger patch kid improved upon with a south-of-the-border flair, complete with poncho and handlebar ‘tashe.

I have been to the Friendly Toast twice and really like the staff there. They actually offer to check with the kitchen to confirm if something is gluten-free and they seem pretty knowledgeable about cross-contamination.  I was told I could not eat the regular fries as they are cooked in the same fryer as gluten products, however, the sweet potato fries are baked and therefore ok to eat.

This is one of the few places offering gluten-free pancakes in the Boston area (that I know of).   The pancakes were really good.  They were giant, light and fluffy, basically everything a pancake should be. They were laden with coconut, cashews and chocolate chips.  I was a little miffed that the pancakes came out bare instead of doused in coconut sauce, but hey, a little maple-syrup product will fix just about anything.

I was disappointed that I could not dig in to the cheese fries with strawberry jalapeno dipping sauce.  I did taste just one and it was so tasty that I am going to work on a gluten-free at home version.  The sauce was sweet with a little kick at the end.  There were at least two kinds of cheese used to enhance the fries; cheddar and blue cheese.  It sounds like a weird combination, but it comes out just right, salty and sweet with just a hint of heat.

The Friendly Toast is located in Kendall Square across from the movie theater.  There is another branch in Portsmouth.  http://www.thefriendlytoast.net/

G/F suitability: 4/5

Ambiance in 1 word: fun!

Taste: 3/5