When I was a kid, the downtown area of Silver Spring was pretty run down. Most people didn’t hang out down there…it was just a place to pass through from one part of town to another. There was a historic movie theater and a few restaurants, but that’s about it. When Metro built a station in Silver Spring that helped, but only to a small extent. About 10 years ago there was a big push to revitalize downtown, to bring more people there to eat, shop and be entertained. Downtown Silver Spring has absolutely exploded, with lots of shops and restaurants, a huge AMC theater and a park. On nights and weekends they close down the main road to traffic through the official downtown area, so bands can play and the crowds can stroll through the area. At night there are probably thousands of people in that downtown area. And during the summer, little kids in bathing suits play in the fountain–it’s a perfect baby-sitter.
There’s a number of restaurants there, but my parents and I usually go to Thai at Silver Spring. We’ll also go to Redrock Canyon Grill, Macaroni Grill, or Eggspectation, just to change things up. It was my first night in town, so we decided to go to Thai at Silver Spring. The service is always good and the quality is solid. I usually get the crispy duck with basil leaves. But of course, this time I have to get something different.
Before I go any further, let’s revisit my history with calamari. Growing up, it was one of those foods I refused to eat. The thought of eating squid just made my stomach turn. One night way back in the day I was at dinner with Kara and Coach White, and he ordered an appetizer, but refused to tell me what it was. For some strange reason I decided to be adventurous and try it…and I loved it. He made the mistake of telling me what it was about halfway through, and I refused to eat anymore. And I didn’t eat it for years after that. I don’t know what made me finally try it again, but once I did, I couldn’t get enough. But it had to be fried.
We started with the calamari, served with a sweet chili sauce.
The calamari wasn’t quite as good as Kang’s, but it was still hot, fresh and delicious. The sweet chili sauce was a perfect accompaniment.
I couldn’t decide between the Sizzling Seafood and the Sizzling Ginger Beef. I asked the waitress, and she didn’t even hesitate to recommend the seafood.
Normally when I hear “sizzling” I picture the plate coming to the table actually sizzling…like fajitas at a Mexican restaurant or the steak at Ruth’s Chris. There was no sizzling on my plate so I was a little disappointed. But one bite, and I quickly changed my tune. The veggies were cooked tender-crisp, which I love. The sauce was spicy and delicious. The scallops, shrimp & mussels were cooked perfectly. I even ate a little of the calamari, even though it wasn’t fried.
There’s no question I’ll go back, because I already loved the place. And I’m excited to try other items on the menu.