Pad Thai from Basil n Spice on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA

As someone who works in downtown Worcester, I’ve driven by Basil n’ Spice countless times since it opened. To say I was excited I’d finally be trying it would be an understatement.

I love restaurant spaces that are tucked away and not overly conspicuous. This little nook blends the best of both worlds with a subtle location that is easy to spot from the hustle and bustle of Shrewsbury Street. Inside, the mixed-material walls (exposed brick and painted yellow walls) set a warm and welcoming tone.

On to the food. The menu was substantial with many authentic Thai dishes rather than unnecessary filler items. There were several appetizers I wanted to order, but I didn’t want to fill up before my meal.

I made up my mind before going to dinner that I would order one of the six curry dishes. I must confess, I heart curry–all varieties of curry. I am a lover of spice and heat too. But when I learned it was National Noodle Day, I broke down and opted for the Basil Pad Thai with chicken. What can I say? I’m a sucker for gimmicks.

You know that feeling of regret after your server walks away and you instantly think, “I’ve made a mistake. I wonder if there’s still time to change my order?” Yup, guilty as charged. Fortunately, my concerns were unfounded.

When my stir-fried plate of noodles came out and the aroma hit my nose, I knew I made the right call. The presentation was beautifully balanced with a lot of colors. This dish was a little spicy, but the menu indicated as such. It had perfect pockets of heat and just the right amount of fresh basil leaves cooked in.

Usually, Pad Thai is heavy, however, these rice noodles were pretty light. The sprinkle of peanut-crumble topping and the side of fresh red cabbage, carrot, and bean sprout slaw added a nice crunch. This was easily some of the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had.

The service team was very friendly and patient toward our big group. At least four servers waited attentively on us. My water glass never made it less than half-full–I’m more of a half-full than a half-empty person–and the wait time between ordering and receiving our meals was pretty quick.

The food was so delicious that I almost forgot to mention my cocktail. I am a red wine girl, but I decided to try something a little different: a Lychee Mojito. While it was a tad sweet for my palate, but all of the sugar paired perfectly with my meal.

I’ll definitely return to Basil n’ Spice… I still have six curry dishes to devour!