I have been to Spice Rack Plano (2865 McDermott Rd # 105, Plano, TX 75025), quite a few times so far. And every time I visit, I will ponder over the same question, is it worth the hassle to go here?
Short answer is, Yes. At least for now.
Spice Rack is an Indian Grocery Store + fast food center. A medium to larger grocery store in size with a surprisingly larger kitchen. On most occasions I see more crowd at the fast food kitchen than in the grocery area. May be that would explain the larger size kitchen. And you can get most of Indian groceries, vegetables and meat (chicken and goat) as well.
On many occasions I found that groceries are relatively expensive here, so, unless some thing is essential and got no time, I won’t buy here. Having said that, almost all my visits to Spick Rack can be attributed to the fast food Kitchen.
Its more or less close to South Indian cuisine despite the presence of varieties of national and global interest. And you get a wide variety of it. Starting from traditional breakfast items like Idly, Dosas to any-time snacks like Samosas, Masala Vadas and likes. Its not all. The biggest crowd drawing factor is the availability of curries-to-go and biryanis and few other lunch/dinner items. I must say, Price point is a big attraction too.
What is Biryani anyways?
I really loved breakfast items and snacks there, (particularly samosas) but not a big fan of (oily) curries or (often tasteless pulihora) Biryanis. We shouldn’t call ‘Biryani’ what most Indian restaurants serve in the name of Biryani. Spicerack is no exception. But what make matters more complicated and worse is what they do in the kitchen when they just ran out of Biryani. They could just say, they ran out of it, but they always prepare something on the fly that looks like Biryani and taste like crap to be a Biryani. Again, this appears to be a quite common thing in most Desi restaurants.
It is like a typical Desi IT Consultant. You can never ask a desi IT Consultant what are his/her skill sets? They will always answer with a question, what are you looking for. If you ask for something, whatever it is, they ‘will find the expert in them’ in that field and give you an almost picture perfect resume.
The real hassle
The real hassle at Spicerack is not about the quality of the food. The food quality and authenticity of Indian cuisine is comparable or little better than many restaurants in the DFW Metroplex and deserves 5 or 6 rating out of 10 on its own to be an Indian kitchen in USA.
The real hassle is about everything else. The way they take orders. The way they fulfill orders. Kitchen often times looks so chaotic, you can’t believe they could give you exactly what you order. There is no token number system or attach a customer name to those orders. When they are ready, they just call out items in an order. You must be ready staring at them to catch that and pick your order. If you order multiple orders, it will even be tougher. As they will not keep track of delivering everything in your order. They kept calling out item names and will keep giving whenever something in that order is ready. You must keep track of for yourself to make sure you get everything you paid for.
And when it comes to cash counter, I have no memory of niceties. Do they really have to care, when you are already at the counter checking out? It appears something like that many a times.
I believe, much to blame for their carelessness attitude and my going there occasionally, despite all of this, is the lack of alternative around this place. And the crude but true factor that works beautifully with many of its customer base; if they keep prices relatively lower, many don’t care about the rest.
So, finally, is it worth the hassle going there? Yes, if you want some snacks from its Kitchen. For everything else, you may give it a try and decide for yourself. I would say, No, but depends on what alternatives you have.