Posts Tagged ‘spicy’

Pan-Asian Food at Noodle Street

If any of you have ever been to Noodle Street on Commonwealth Avenue, you know that the menu might as well be a Choose Your Own Adventure novel.  When you open the menu, you first choose what type of dish you’re looking for – an entrée, a noodle dish, a rice dish, or a curry-based dish.  You can create any combination of noodles or rice, eggs, tofu, and veggies, and style of cooking.

Personally, I’m attached to the Drunken Noodle entrée, which is a noodle dish based in a spicy, basil sauce.  Because I’m picky, and I don’t like eggs in my asian food,  and nor do I like tofu (despite the number of chances I’ve given it, I can’t get past the texture), I usually get the Drunken Noodle with rice noodles, vegetables and extra vegetables.  I realize that sounds redundant to those of you unfamiliar with Noodle St.’s menu, but “vegetables & tofu” (I ask for no tofu) and “extra vegetables,” are distinct menu options.

My second favorite option here is the red curry, even though it isn’t the spiciest of the curry options.  The flavor and weight of the red curry complements my usual option of vegetables and extra vegetables, and a side of brown rice brings a nutty flavor to the food that white rice can’t compete with.  If your spice tolerance isn’t at the level mine is, the brown rice also takes some of the edge off the red curry, allowing you to devour even more in each sitting.

Finally, my third favorite option is the pad thai.  Pad thai is based on a peanut sauce, so it’s actually very mild.  It doesn’t lack for flavor though: the vegetables don’t overpower the peanut flavor of the pad thai.  It is in a completely different category from the spicy red curry or the spicy basil infused drunken noodle, and if I find myself at Noodle Street often, I welcome the change.  I like this dish with the wide noodle, even though the wide noodle itself is a type of rice noodle.

I have found that if I emphasize the “extra vegetables” part, I end up with a better ratio of vegetables to noodles than one part vegetables, 3 parts noodles. The vegetables included are fresh basil, red bell peppers, green chilis, snow peas, crinkle-cut carrots, onions, green beans and broccoli.   The combination mixes well and all of the vegetables are always cooked just right.

That being said, Noodle St. is notorious for its exceptionally cursory service.  While I’ve never received something I did not order, and I have never found anything wrong with my food, I have had to physically flag down waitresses to have my water refilled, I have had parts of my order forgotten, yet they still appeared on my bill.  The final positive side to Noodle St. is that most entrées cost around $10-$15, so it’s a completely viable restaurant dinner option for college students.

  • What’s your favorite dish at Noodle Street?
  • How do you feel about pan-Asian food in general?
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