Summer Better than Others
By John DiGilio in Food on Aug 5, 2011 4:40PM
If the title has you a little confused, you can rest assured that this is indeed a restaurant review. A play on the name of the eatery, however, was too good to pass up. If you are going to name your restaurant after most folks' favorite season of the year, it better live up to the moniker. We have written before about the dangers of setting the bar high on your food and service by choosing a name with grand connotations. Thanks to the fun, fresh flavors we encountered at Edgewater's Summer Noodle & Rice, we can say that here the name is more than apropos.
There is a bit of sensory overload when you first enter this quaint Thai restaurant. Just steps from the dingy Granville L stop, the bright orange interior and kitschy decor are certainly eye-catching. Then again, with a name like Summer, you should expect a little bit of radiance. After taking in our surroundings for a few moments and sinking our teeth into a few entrees, it suddenly seemed to us that the palette was fitting. We had come to Summer looking for some decent Thai food (after several bad experiences at other local places). What we found was sunshine on a plate at a price that made us feel warm inside.
The menu at Summer is extensive. In addition to an excellent selection of appetizers, soups, and salads, there is a long list of rice dishes, curries, and noodle entrees. We were particularly thrilled to see that the vegetarian options were plentiful and temptingly creative. The prices made us smile too. Most entrees are under seven dollars. We started with the signature Summer Roll. It was a work of art and every bit as tasty as it looked. Shrimp, herbs, rice vermicelli, carrots, basil, and romaine lettuce were wrapped in rice paper and beautifully arranged on a plate with a sweet house sauce and peanuts. We followed with the Bangkok Chow Fun entree in which flat, delicate noodles were stir-fried with broccoli, carrots, baby corn, and egg in a sweet soy sauce. We chose tofu as our protein for this dish and it was generously added. The portion size was just right and again the food was beautifully arranged. There was definitely a theme to the presentation here and were not complaining!
As good as our food was, so was the demeanor of the staff at Summer. Our server was helpful and attentive. The two mini cupcakes that they brought us with our bill added a sweet and whimsical touch to what was an excellent meal. Did we feel like we were sitting on a beach catching a few rays? Well, not quite. But we were full and happy and enjoyed our dinners greatly. You see, the thing with seasons is that they come and go. When it comes to this place, however, the good food goes year-round. Oh . . . and the fact that this Summer came without humidity was an even bigger plus. So take that, Mother Nature!