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pete ganz

Spring Grill

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We passed this place on the walk to Mignon. It looks like it's getting ready to open in a few weeks. The menu sounds promising...here's the website.

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You can send away for an "Award Card" from the promotion link on their website. Don't know what that will give you though! Looks like an interesting menu. Pete, let us know when it opens.


Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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I've been watching this place for months, noticed on Weds that they finally had their menu up in the window & a lot of restaurant furniture waiting to be arranged.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Odd...the email address where you write for the awards card is @hilton.com! Anyone else find that interesting?!?

Rosie, you're right--the menu sure looks good--let's hope they deliver the goods! One thing the Rutherford.Lyndhurst area lacks is Thai/Vietnamese. I'd be thrilled if something good opened that close by.


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I just called to see if they had opened yet and the person who answered the phone said they'll be open next Wednsday

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I requested an award card, and rec'd it today. It's a coupon worth $10. Can't wait to try it..

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We had dinner last night at Spring Grill. It was their second night open. We should have waited a couple of months before trying this place.

We ordered a coconut milk soup w/chicken, and entrees chicken w/lemongrass and a grilled shrimp dish. The very inexperienced waitress asked my dinner companion if she would like her entree when I was served my soup. I explained that the soup needed to come prior to the entrees.

As we waited every single table around us had started talking amongst themselves about the food they neither received or came out incorrectly. It was a disaster.

Of course my soup and the entrees came out at the same time. I ate my soup as my companion ate her entree. Big surprise. The soup was okay, very typical. The entrees were okay as well. Nothng inventive and Wondees does a much better job and is less expensive.

The staff is young and inexperienced. I don't believe anyone had a clue as to what to do. They were very nice and apologetic, offering us free dessert.

I would wait a few months on this one, if I go back at all.

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Menu looks fairly unappealing and ho-hum-ish; I would stick to Thai Chef in Englewood-- they seem to have pretty much gotten their act together with the service, the food is excellent, and the ambience is very pretty.

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We decided to try Spring Grill last night in spite of the caveats above. Heck, it's my town, gotta keep tabs on what's happening!

We got there rather late, a little after 9:00. Judging what I could from the expressions on the faces of the 4 other couples dining there, the service problems mentioned above seem to have been worked out, everyone looked very happy & seemed to be enjoying the experience. I took that as a good sign.

They immediately brought out a generous plate of crispy shrimp chips and a curry/peanut dipping sauce that was totally addictive.

My options from the menu were limited, thanks to my low-sodium diet, which means no soy sauce, which rules out a huge range of dishes. I spoke with our waitress about that & asked about the "Currie Noodle (Egg noodles with chicken, red onion, mustard greens in a yellow curry coconut sauce)." She checked with the chef & came back out to say that the curry sauce was already made and did have some salt in it. I decided to try it anyway.

Sheila went with the "Shrimp and mixed vegetable in a garlic soy sauce over crispy egg noodle."

We started by sharing a "Green Papaya Salad - Green papaya, tomato, string bean, garlic and peanut in a spicy lime vinaigrette dressing side of sticky rice." Our waitress asked if we would like that as an appetizer, we said yes, & she followed through. It was crisp, fiery, & thoroughly refreshing. A dash of fish sauce in the dressing almost overwhelmed the lime flavor, but we both felt it was a very successful dish.

The Curry Noodle arrived in a large bowl, swimming in an aromatic sauce. I found green onion & bean sprouts rather than red onion & mustard greens. That's probably a fault but I didn't really care, the textures were still complementary, the dish was very flavorful & not obviously salty. It was a very mild curry, particularly after the spicy salad. They thoughtfully provided a spoon so that you could scoop up as much of the almost soup-like sauce as you wanted. I consumed most of it, couldn't quite make it to the bottom off the bowl.

I took two bites of the crispy egg noodle dish and just sighed, the sauce was delicious, the vegetables perfectly cooked. I miss the days when I could eat a dish full of soy sauce and not worry about it.

We didn't have room for dessert.

After the meal, I could tell by the aftertaste of salt that I'd gotten more than I get in cooking at home, but not an excessive amount (compared with a disastrous experience at an NYC Thai place last month, which is a story that doesn't belong here).

Service was very friendly & pleasant, the owner? manager? stopped by to converse a couple of times, assured us that they served only the freshest food, with daily seafood deliveries.

We still need to get ourselves moving earlier to get up to Wondee's one of these nights so that I'll have a current local standard for comparison.

Is this "destination dining"? Your call. If you're coming from up north, you may not have a reason to go past Hackensack. If you see something on their on-line menu that looks appealing & you're in the area, you'll probably enjoy it. I could wish for a larger selection of non-soy-sauce-based dishes, needless to say. But I'm glad that they're in my town, they're a nice change. I'd say that they compare favorably with Toon's on Bleeker St. in the West Village in NYC (not sure if they're still there), where we ate Thai food happily for many years before moving to Jersey. We'll be back.


Edited by ghostrider (log)

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Yup, it's safely within the Rutherford borderlines, so BYO it be.

I saw several big buckets of ice on other diners' tables which, on closer inspection, each contained several bottles of beer. I think 1 table may have had wine, but beer clearly was the beverage of choice at that moment.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Since it was a raining, last night, I decided to stay close to home, and try Spring Grill.

I agree the shrimp crisps are addictive, and the Peanut curry sauce was a nice touch.

We ordered the summer rolls for an appetizer, and they were excellent. It came with two rolls split and presented like a Japanese hand roll: very nice indeed.

Ghostrider, I also have to agree with you on the inexperpienced Waitress. She was totally clueless. My friend actually had her roll in the dipping sauce, when the young waitress came over and asked if we were finished...lol

For one entree, we chose the shrimp with lemongrass, and my friend was in heaven. The sauce was delectable, and she kept going back for more and more, until the dish was absolutely empty!

The other entree was some sort of chicken dish, (sorry can't remember the name). It came with slices of chicken with a sauce drizzled over it, accompanied by a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, and chopped peanuts. This was good, but the other dish was the clear winner.

For dessert, I chose the Thai Custard. I was curious as to what flavorings/ spices were used, but I guess I asked my question the wrong way, and instead she tried to describe what a custard actually is...." well, it has and eggs, and is round, and it looks like a pudding..." Yup that's a custard. In any event, I did eventually get out of her that it was pumpkin, but it was tasteless, and boring. Pass on it.

The prices are slightly higher that other Thai Restaurants in the area, but I think it is definitely worth a trip, and I will be going back.


Edited by Cook456 (log)

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This place is perplexing to me, it's so close to being really good, but doesn't always hit the mark...

We've eaten there 2 or 3 times since I last posted about it, & went back again tonight. Started with the Fresh Spring Roll, which was everything it should be, nicely sauced, well presented with a julienne carrot garnish, & almost too much for 2 people to share.

Sheila has become fond of the Evil Jungle Thai Noodle Steak Salad as an entree, and I don't blame her. It is good, but I keep searching for something else since that seems more of a summertime dish to me.

Tonight I had the Tiger shrimp with avocado, cashew in a Mussamun curry coconut sauce. It almost worked. Ingredients were good. Sauce tasted delicious, a good curry flavor, touch of sweetness & some heat from the spices, but it was a bit richer than I like. Onions in the sauce weren't completely cooked. Result: indigestion.

Last time there, I had what's listed as Rice Noodle - Sauteed chicken, Chinese broccoli and Chow Fun noodle in yellow bean sauce. It was quite fine, I really like the fact that they have the Chinese broccoli. Had started with the green Papaya salad, which was tasty but not as fiery as the version I'd had shortly after they opened.

We've eaten at Thai Chef in Montclair a couple of times and in my mind these places are pretty similar - some upscale atmosphere & presentation, & Thai cooking with a touch of French and pan-Asian influence.

My personal taste inclines me more towards Wondee's down-home approach, where they seem to have a bit of a lighter touch with the curries, and offer a wider variety of choices on their menu. But it's still nice to know that I can get a really good chow fun with Chinese broccoli right here in town.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I've been meaning to add to this discussion...I finally had a chance to try Spring Grill a few weeks ago; a friend and I ordered take-out from them for dinner one night. We had spring rolls (YUMMY), pad thai (ok), duck curry (WINNER!!!) and because she had never had it, I ordered beef pho (DON'T BOTHER). The woman who took the order over the phone worried me because when I ordered "beef 'fuh'," she said "beef satay, okay" TWICE before I said "no...the soup...fuh...er, FOE" and then she got it. Sigh...

But everything in the order was correct, very nicely packaged, and they threw in the shrimp chips with peanut sauce (drinkable on it's own, imho). Total was about $38, and the $8+ for the pho killed me b/c it was flavorless. But the duck curry was awesome--will definitely order it again!!


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I was torn between the duck curry & the tiger shrimp thing that night. Looks like I guessed wrong. Nice to know about the duck! I know we'll be back there cuz the place is so convenient.

We've ordered takeout a couple of times & they always include the chips & that wonderful peanut sauce. It's an attraction!


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Went here for dinner Tuesday..

Started with a Thai Iced Tea. Yum..very nice with cooling effect that would come into play later on when I had the grilled calamari.

The grilled calamari was very well done. Ive had this 3 different times at Spring Grill and it's been done the same way each time..perfectly. It's served with a red chili sauce with crushed peanuts inside. Very very good...and hot! Thank you Iced Tea!

Went with the steamed fish in chili-garlic-lime sauce for the entree. This came to my table and the immediate and pungent smell of fish sauce blasted me. So I was happy :)

The sauce was excellent. The hint of cilantro added a nice backdrop for the lime and chili. The fish was cooked to a perfect temperature. Good stuff and I made sure to get every last drop of that sauce.

27 dollars b/f tip.

I feel this place has gotten lots better since my last visit. Service flowed better and the flavors were a lot clearer and better tasting in my view.

Ill be back..


Edited by Spinner (log)

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I've had some serious Thai cravings over the past couple of months & have been sating them at Spring Grill, a Thai place with a history, some of which is noted above. Over the last few years they have really stepped up their game. After four meals there in this New Year, I've concluded that Spring Grill can compete with any Thai place in the region (defining "the region" as a westward semi-circle with a 15-mile radius centered on the Meadowlands) & will likely do it just a little better.

Spring Grill opened in fall of 2004 as a pan-Asian place with an emphasis on Frenchified Thai & Vietnamese dishes. They've always had a knack for presentation. Out of the gate, they did some dishes well, but too many of their offerings seemed bland, with flavors toned down in an attempt to meet a particular view of the American palate. Still, we continued to dine & order takeout there sporadically, sticking with the dishes that we knew we liked.

A couple of years ago, Sping Grill had an obvious change in the FOH, & perhaps in management & kitchen as well. They also expanded their menu, dropping many of the Francophile / Vietnamese offerings & adding many more traditional Thai dishes. The result seems to have been an upswing in both their food & their fortunes. The other night, when I was in to pick up a takeout order, I noticed two large Thai families there having celebratory meals of some sort. You like to see that, recession or not.

A few of their standout dishes:

Green papaya salad - fresh, crunchy, fiery & invigorating. They get the balance of flavors right.

Vegetable dumpling - "Panfried vegetable (chives) dumpling served with Thai chili soy sauce." Two large gooey dumplings, nicely browned & crisped on the outside, stuffed with what seems a mixture of spniach & chives. Nice hoisin-like dipping sauce with some bite. Never had anything like these elsewhere. Chewy & delicious.

Tom Yum - the traditional soup, enhanced with a nice handful of meaty mushroom halves & a proper dollop of chili oil.

Evil Jungle Thai noodle salad - "Grilled beef with noodles, avocado, mango & mint over green salad" It's not filet mignon, but the beef chunks are nicely grilled & the combination of flavors is as superb as the presentation.

Thail basil fried rice - simple, fragrant, a nice chili-pepper kick to it. Immensely satisfying.

Kow Mok Gai - "Grilled tender breast of chicken with yellow curry coconut rice." Three chicken filets, dusted with Thai spices & beautifully grilled. The mildly peppery, aromatic rice is one of my favorite things here, pressed into a huge heart-shaped wedge that tastes as good as it looks.

Penang curry - you know what it is. Fragrant (there's that word again) with lime leaf. It'll warm your innards. A fine rendition.

Not everything on the menu works. The Pad Khing is inexplicably sweet, syrupy & cloying; when I crave that, I'll still drive up the road to Hackensack for Wondee's more rustic version. But a couple of years ago, I'd have ranked Wondee's as the area's destination Thai place and Spring Grill as a nice place to have close at hand. Today, I'd rate Spring Grill as the destination. Most of their dishes equal or top anything I've had in restaurants from Montclair to Ridgewood. They've put a lot of thought into their food and have created an extraordinary restaurant.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Thanks Ghostrider,

I'd forgotten Spring Grill.

Did you know that a new Thai restaurant opened on Main Ave in Passaic Park? I've had a few orders of take out and they are also quite good.. It's a small place just off Van Houghton with parking behind the restaurant.

I've had some serious Thai cravings over the past couple of months & have been sating them at Spring Grill, a Thai place with a history, some of which is noted above.  Over the last few years they have really stepped up their game.  After four meals there in this New Year, I've concluded that Spring Grill can compete with any Thai place in the region (defining "the region" as a westward semi-circle with a 15-mile radius centered on the Meadowlands) & will likely do it just a little better.

Spring Grill opened in fall of 2004 as a pan-Asian place with an emphasis on Frenchified Thai & Vietnamese dishes.  They've always had a knack for presentation.  Out of the gate, they did some dishes well, but too many of their offerings seemed bland, with flavors toned down in an attempt to meet a particular view of the American palate.  Still, we continued to dine & order takeout there sporadically, sticking with the dishes that we knew we liked. 

A couple of years ago, Sping Grill had an obvious change in the FOH, & perhaps in management & kitchen as well.  They also expanded their menu, dropping many of the Francophile / Vietnamese offerings & adding many more traditional Thai dishes.  The result seems to have been an upswing in both their food & their fortunes.  The other night, when I was in to pick up a takeout order, I noticed two large Thai families there having celebratory meals of some sort.  You like to see that, recession or not.

A few of their standout dishes:

Green papaya salad - fresh, crunchy, fiery & invigorating.  They get the balance of flavors right.

Vegetable dumpling - "Panfried vegetable (chives) dumpling served with Thai chili soy sauce."  Two large gooey dumplings, nicely browned & crisped on the outside, stuffed with what seems a mixture of spniach & chives.  Nice hoisin-like dipping sauce with some bite.  Never had anything like these elsewhere.  Chewy & delicious.

Tom Yum - the traditional soup, enhanced with a nice handful of meaty mushroom halves & a proper dollop of chili oil.

Evil Jungle Thai noodle salad - "Grilled beef with noodles, avocado, mango & mint over green salad"  It's not filet mignon, but the beef chunks are nicely grilled & the combination of flavors is as superb as the presentation.

Thail basil fried rice - simple, fragrant, a nice chili-pepper kick to it.  Immensely satisfying.

Kow Mok Gai - "Grilled tender breast of chicken with yellow curry coconut rice."  Three chicken filets, dusted with Thai spices & beautifully grilled.  The mildly peppery, aromatic rice is one of my favorite things here, pressed into a huge heart-shaped wedge that tastes as good as it looks.

Penang curry - you know what it is.  Fragrant (there's that word again) with lime leaf.  It'll warm your innards.  A fine rendition.

Not everything on the menu works.  The Pad Khing is inexplicably sweet, syrupy & cloying; when I crave that, I'll still drive up the road to Hackensack for Wondee's more rustic version.  But a couple of years ago, I'd have ranked Wondee's as the area's destination Thai place and Spring Grill as a nice place to have close at hand.  Today, I'd rate Spring Grill as the destination.  Most of their dishes equal or top anything I've had in restaurants from Montclair to Ridgewood.  They've put a lot of thought into their food and have created an extraordinary restaurant.

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Spring Grill is close to my house and I've been there a bunch of times, though admittedly a few years ago. We found it just meh, nothing special, and haven't been back since 2005. I'm amazed that you are saying it can compete with Wondee's up in Hackensack, so based on your recommendation I'll give it another try.


"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Spring Grill is close to my house and I've been there a bunch of times, though admittedly a few years ago. We found it just meh, nothing special, and haven't been back since 2005. I'm amazed that you are saying it can compete with Wondee's up in Hackensack, so based on your recommendation I'll give it another try.

Well, you can sort of glean my history with the place from this thread. I do think that they've gotten substantially better since they revamped the menu. Maybe I'm exaggerating in ranking them with Wondee, maybe in part that's my hometown bias showing. I'll be interested in your evaluation.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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