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Least terrible dish at Spring Rolls?

Gary Apr 30, 2008 11:29 AM

Being dragged to a Spring Rolls outlet for dinner -- the location not my choice, but I need to go. So my question becomes: is there any dish that I can order that won't be absolutely terrible? Something plain and basic and edible?

I've had very bad experiences with the Pad Thai there in the past (ruby red and sour) as well as some chicken stir fry dish (drenched in so much oyster sauce so it smelled like low tide). Any suggestions to make me a little less miserable would be appreciated.

  1. m
    mstacey42 May 2, 2008 10:01 AM

    I find their cantonese chow mein to be totally fine. Not amazing, but the vegetables are fresh and the meats and seafood are plentiful. Spring rolls really isn't that bad. It's boring. It's deeply uncool. But it's not gross. There is a good reason why it's popular, and that is that most people find it deeply inoffensive, cheap, and fresh-seeming. Actually...I'll also sign on to saying that some dishes are grossly sour...very odd. The pad thai and General Tso's chicken particularly are weird. Black bean sauced things are alright...and I think I recall the satay sauce being not so bad. Mostly I just go cantonese chow mein, though. I don't like their spring rolls. I think the curries are fine...but unidimensional. Oh...no....I'm gonna go eat there now.....gross. Shamefeasting....

    1 Reply
    1. re: mstacey42
      abigllama May 2, 2008 08:45 PM

      They have the freakiest hot & sour soup, it's a dayglow pinkish/orange colour and more sour than hot. I was horrified at first, and at first I wasn't so happy about the taste but I ate the whole bowl. Then for some reason I get cravings for it occasionally. That soup and the cold lettuce wraps make me happy there. Other deviations from this have been not good and I never wanted to eat them again, especially the pad thai.

      Like the original post, someone will always want to eat there occasionally and that's my standby. Easy on the wallet too.

    2. Ediblethoughts May 1, 2008 07:07 PM

      I'm going out on a limb here to a true main course dish, but I've sometimes enjoyed the curried pad thai. Their mango salad is good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ediblethoughts
        Guzzler May 2, 2008 09:57 AM

        The red curry was okay the last time I went, but the green curry looked rather bland.

        1. re: Guzzler
          badbhoy May 2, 2008 10:20 AM

          I only eat the seafood curry pad thai and coconut vegetable soup. That's it. Every other time I have experimented with something else I have been disappointed. The red curry was the worst I have had anywhere.

          When they first opened a few years ago, they actually weren't bad. But then...

      2. g
        Gary Apr 30, 2008 05:34 PM

        Thank you to everyone for trying so hard! This thread will probably be of use to others in the future in the same boat. Well, maybe.

        Sadly, the experience was much as expected. I ended up going for chicken "Singapore Vermicelli" which was edible but not particularly inspiring. The first bit was okay then after a while I just got tired of it. It had a lot of undercooked onions in it. My wife took the "mix of apps" route and ordered spring rolls; I was going to have one, but they were really over-fried and mushy in the middle, so I passed.

        Ho hum. Spring Rolls strikes again. I'm really not that picky of a person by chowhound standards, but even the basics can be oddly screwed up at this chain. And yet the place was packed and lined up at the door on a weeknight. I've asked before and I'll ask again... why? And only a block away from 2 or 3 pretty decent authentic Thai restaurants, too. Sigh.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gary
          pancake May 1, 2008 05:59 AM

          The green curry was okay, although unpleasantly spicy. Try the veggie one with tofu. It was better than anything else I've ever had there.

          1. re: pancake
            LovesToEat May 1, 2008 07:23 AM

            I always get the Spring Roll Appetizer platter...comes with several types of spring rolls and a mango salad.

          2. re: Gary
            Popdoggy May 1, 2008 05:16 PM

            I cannot agree more. Spring Rolls has the worst food ever - saddest thing is it does belong to a Vietnamese family. You would think they would at least try to be a bit authentic. Being fusion isn't the problem, but everything has a sour taste to it. Why? I ask, why do people keep going to a crappy place and why is the chain in every corner?

          3. e
            embee Apr 30, 2008 03:09 PM

            The Ox(ymoron)

            1. T Long Apr 30, 2008 02:35 PM

              They have a rice paper wrap - think they call it a "summer wrap" which I've enjoyed. Also their pho bowl with grilled chicken hits the spot. Not all Spring Rolls locations are the same....

              1. s
                SxCx Apr 30, 2008 01:23 PM

                It may seem borrowed from Manchu Wok, but I've enjoyed the Tango Mango Chicken in the past.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SxCx
                  Mintycake Apr 30, 2008 01:46 PM

                  Eww I thought the Tango Mango Chicken was too greasy. I second the mango salad with chicken satay. There is also a rice and portablelo mushroom dish that isn't too awful.

                  1. re: Mintycake
                    SxCx Apr 30, 2008 04:31 PM

                    I find it more sweet and syrupy than greasy, hence the Manchu reference. I can't really explain its appeal. Candy coated meat bites? I don't know.

                    And to echo what others have said, I've found nothing wrong with the spring rolls themselves.

                2. k
                  kmoore Apr 30, 2008 12:36 PM

                  Oh Spring Rolls...honestly there isn't much on that menu that is worth consuming, but my vote would be for the mango salad...sorry

                  1. n
                    nothando Apr 30, 2008 12:20 PM

                    I always get the Chicken Shanghai Noodles and ask them to hold the chilli flakes. It's my absolute favourite, try it out! Hope you have a better experience :)

                    1. m
                      MindGrinder Apr 30, 2008 12:19 PM

                      Fortune Cookies?

                      1. TorontoJo Apr 30, 2008 12:09 PM

                        As the other posters have said -- you're best sticking with appetizers. They do deep fried fine. But avoid any of the steamed dim sum. Yuck.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          phoenikia Apr 30, 2008 12:22 PM

                          I'd avoid the S7 Tom Kha Kai soup and the pan-fried chicken & vegetable dumplings (DS 34 on the dim sum section of the menu), too;)

                        2. t
                          torontofoodiegirl Apr 30, 2008 12:08 PM

                          I had some lettuce wrap things that were quite tasty when I was last there -- chicken, etc. with hoisin sauce that you wrap up in lettuce.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                            sgogo May 2, 2008 09:43 AM

                            Yep, these are decent. And quite filling for an appetizer. I had these with the tom yum soup last time, and I was pretty satisfied.

                          2. p
                            phoenikia Apr 30, 2008 11:59 AM

                            I don't mind their spring rolls. Seriously. Last time I was there, I was starving, and the platter of assorted spring rolls actually hit the spot. But that might have been because I was starving;)

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