Fresh Side, Amherst, MA

I realize that my restaurant reviews have been far and few in between, so here's a little something that I tried today. I've been sick, so my palate might be a If it is and you've eaten any of my last few reviews and demand a re-try, comment now or forever hold your peace!

On a side note, not a single soul who marked "other" on my survey of what to improve has made a motion to let me in on the secret improvements. Tell me! Please!

So Mangia Massachusetts took care of me today. I have a bad case of sinusitis and have been laid up in bed, accompanied by many restless nights of rehearsal and various activities. It's not good. So she babied me today and got me lunch, among other things. She picked up some soup from Fresh Side, a local organic Thai restaurant.

I had a coconut curry soup, and MM had a five-spiced beef soup, and we split an order of Pad Thai tea rolls. The coconut curry soup was a different surprise for me. I expected a traditional coconut soup, a creamy and sweet one, with pistachios, but this was a salty soup.

The soup is made fresh, when you order it, and came with snap peas, scallions, pieces of firm tofu, pieces of bamboo, and tiny cellophane noodles. It really is delicious and the coconut milk makes it starchy without being too flavorful. I was a little disappointed in that there wasn't more coconut flavor, but the textures were amazing. No two were alike- the snap peas were crispy and sweet, the tofu soaked up the spices from the broth, the noodles were al dente. It was lovely. The broth itself was good, too. A nice spice with a slight burn at the back of your throat.

5/10- YUM

MM had the five-spice beef. She liked that it had big chunks of beef and many noodles. The spicy flavor was good at first, but wound up being too strong at the end and numbed up her taste buds, and from then on, everything tasted muted and bland. Her soup also tested the title of "fresh and organic." In her soup, she found a little wormy! He might have snuck in with the fresh vegetables, but still, a rather unappealing surprise. The portions are also big. Neither of us was able to finish the soup!

7/10- LOVELY

And then we split a tea roll, with pad thai fillings- rice noodles, egg, chicken, and peanuts, with peanut sauce on the side. It was like an Asian burrito. It was lovely, and so filling! The textures were wonderful and not gummy or too thick, and the peanuts crunched. With the sauce, it was perfect! I could have eaten two of those on my own, I think. They were wonderful.

9/10- MMMM!

Fresh Side Restaurant
61 Main Street
Amherst, MA, 01003

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