Noho Nibbles: Noodles

Hannah Elbaum ’19
Assistant Copy Editor

On a Saturday afternoon whim, my friend and I decided to venture downtown for dinner, a first for us first-years. Coming from the Quad, we were excited to explore but did not want to walk too far. Noodles was the perfect distance: definitely off campus but still close enough to be an easy walk. Despite the cold, blustery weather, Noodles was warm and bright with the homey scent of soup wafting through the air. We were seated promptly and recognized several other Smithies sitting a couple of tables away.

The vibe was laid-back, with several local residents walking in to pick up a to-go order and others hanging out and chatting long after they finished their meals. Pictures of different items from the menu adorned the walls. The tables, plates and walls were all bright, bringing a liveliness into the space while we watched bundled-up people walk past the picture window in the front of the restaurant.

After perusing the extensive menu, my friend and I decided to split an appetizer of vegetable fresh rolls. For our entrées, I chose a tofu noodle soup, and she had a beef teriyaki rice bowl. The fresh rolls came quickly and were accompanied by a delicious peanut dipping sauce. We downed those quickly, and not long after, our entrees arrived. Both came in large, Fiestaware bowls. My soup was chock-full of the rice noodles I had chosen, squares of tofu and vegetables. Across the table, my friend’s beef teriyaki smelled delicious, and she nodded happily, her mouth too full to speak when I asked how her food was.

Given our college-student budget, we had aimed for a place that would not break our bank accounts but would still make us feel like we were treating ourselves to a break from the dining halls. Noodles was fairly priced, especially given the large portion sizes and quick service.

As a vegetarian with a gluten allergy, it can be difficult for me to find tasty and nutritious options. Usually the word “noodles” brings up images of wonderfully glutinous pasta that I cannot indulge in. At Noodles, however, all the soups can be made with a choice of five different noodles, three of which are gluten-free. The soups and rice bowls have several different protein options, including beef, chicken and tofu. In addition, the servers were kind and knowledgeable when I asked which menu items would be safe for me.

While I continue to explore downtown over the next three and a half years, I will definitely make my way back to Noodles for more soup, especially on cold, wintery days.

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