Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Sweet Rice

spotlightThai food is awesome. Scripture commands this and science confirms it. But with more than one billion Thai restaurants in the Northern Virginia area, the prospect of choosing a good one can seem overwhelming. Luckily for me (and, by default, you), Falls Church has each end of the town covered with solid Thai food, and Sweet Rice, oddly located on Route 7 between Don Beyer Volvo and a U-haul rental place, provides an inexpensive and cozy solution to your Thai-food deficiency problem.

spotlight

Sweet Rice (Photo: News-Press)

 

Thai food is awesome. Scripture commands this and science confirms it. But with more than one billion Thai restaurants in the Northern Virginia area, the prospect of choosing a good one can seem overwhelming. Luckily for me (and, by default, you), Falls Church has each end of the town covered with solid Thai food, and Sweet Rice, oddly located on Route 7 between Don Beyer Volvo and a U-haul rental place, provides an inexpensive and cozy solution to your Thai-food deficiency problem.

While I cannot confirm how “authentic” the food is, as my request to be flown out to Thailand (first class) to sample the cuisine was denied, it certainly seems as authentic as any other place in the surrounding area. The Kanom Jeeb, dumplings with your choice of pork, shrimp or crabmeat, were a  filling appetizer, and although they could have been a tiny bit juicier, the sweet soy sauce helps.

Speaking of sweet, get some Thai iced coffee or iced tea. It’s sweet, creamy goodness will counteract the horrible humidity you will experience going in and out of the restaurant (as of July 2010). It’s not as sweet as it is in many other Thai places, but this is a good thing, considering that other restaurants make their iced coffee and tea so sweet that one may run the risk of becoming a diabetic on the spot. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have any crazy Thai sodas listed on the menu, like lemongrass or Pepsi Green, but this wasn’t a deal-breaker.

It might be a tad redundant to state that a Thai place serves Thai food, but because I overheard another patron wondering where the “American” food was, it bears repeating. Sweet Rice, a Thai restaurant, serves Thai food. The Gang Ped Yang, roasted duck with red curry, cherry tomatoes and pineapple, was delicious, although the sauce was unevenly distributed across the duck, which gave it a half-sauced appearance that, while exemplifying the duplicitous nature of life, did not help its appearance. The cashew chicken was classic, but not particularly exciting. All of the dishes could have used a bit more spice, although finding the proper amount of spice in Thai cuisine is harder than finding the Loch Ness monster. While the dishes were pretty good and definitely worth the money, there wasn’t much of a “wow” factor that Americans with short attention spans such as myself desperately need. Topping any meal you have with black sticky rice with mango will probably be the best decision you make all summer.

While the food was good, the atmosphere was a little weird. On a Saturday night, my chums and I were virtually the only people in the place, save for the clueless patron asking where the burgers were. Although the restaurant is small, it felt almost cavernous given the lack of other people. Since the food is good enough to be bringing people in, we could only assume that Sweet Rice’s odd location could be to blame. The small number of parking spaces, the easy ability to overlook it and the fact that it’s sandwiched in between what are essentially two parking lots may hinder the restaurant’s ability to bring in customers, who should definitely be brought in. For those of you unwilling to deal with the lack of parking and the difficulty of getting in and out during moderate or heavy traffic, I would suggest getting delivery. But however you get it, you should be putting this Thai food into your system.

Sweet Rice Thai Cuisine

1113 West Broad St., Falls Church

sweetricethai.com • 703-205-9300

Hours:

Monday – Thursday

Lunch, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Dinner, 5 – 10 p.m.

Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, Noon – 11 p.m.; Sunday, Noon – 10 p.m.