Spice & Ice Restaurant is a gelato and Asian grill food establishment in Albany, Oregon.
Oh, and to intentionally mess with gelato and cake lovers everywhere, they also have gelato cakes!
While Spice & Ice has many tasty Asian items on the menu, it was actually their take on an American classic that intrigued me the most: the steamed cheeseburger. For a grand total of $11.11, I got their steamed cheeseburger and a side of their Asian Caesar salad (without the chicken, since that would have cost more).
Now THIS is how a burger should be. The burger was made to order, the cheese melting all over the steamed 100% ground chuck beef patty. The cool veggies were kept away from the hot cheese and beef to ensure a fresh veggie experience.
My first bite of the burger was just plain awesome. I did want the house sauce on the side (basically mayo and some other stuff), but forgot to tell them (oops). I absolutely loved the juiciness of the burger and the melted cheese. The Kaiser roll was toasted, a big plus in my book. I can do without their house sauce on the burger. Mayonnaise or any type of mayo concoction on a burger does not work for me. I'd put some mustard or hot sauce on there instead. Still, it was one of the best burgers I've had in a long time.
The fries, to me, looked and tasted like McDonald's fries. They're OK, but not the best, in my opinion.
The Asian salad was good, too, just not mind-blowing. I specifically told them to put the dressing on the side, but they messed up on that one. I liked the tomatoes and olives to give some color and slight zing to each bite. The croutons were fine, nothing special. I failed to see their Asian take on the Caesar dressing; I did not get too much of the garlic or ginger in there. I may order this again since it *can* be a healthy option, but if so, I'm making sure that dressing stays on the side. The salad was way overdressed for my liking.
The thing is, I do believe the cashier misunderstood me. I would definitely pay $7 for that cheeseburger again, but I wanted the salad (with dressing on theside) instead of fries. That should have only upped it to $2 more instead of $4 more. Looks like I got jipped about $2, but oh well. Again, the food was good (especially the cheeseburger), but the couple of mess-ups with the food order (one my fault and a couple being their fault) does detract from the overall experience.
Spice & Ice also does a promotional deal where you can get free entrees or a small gelato if you order those dishes enough times. I like the place's ambiance, a very bright and inviting dive.
In the end, I am a fan of this place and would go back just to get that cheeseburger again. Spice & Ice also has several other menu items that interest me, such as their beef curry, Szechuan cuisine (insert meat here...beef, pork, or chicken), and gelato. I'm even more interested because they offer spicy dishes on their menu. For me, it's worth the 25-to-30-minute drive to Albany to come back. Spice & Ice gets props; they are one of the only places I know that serves steamed cheeseburgers (I'm checking out another one in Oregon real soon), and they do it well. Yes, I'm docking points for the mess-ups on my order, but other than that, thumbs up all around. 8/10