I Found Noodle Heaven
I’ve always been disappointingly lukewarm on noodles. I never understood the fixation; Ramen was never my preferred college junk; I preferred scallion pancakes and crappy sweet and sour chicken. This was all until I found the Noodle Bar.
Located on Carmine St, just off Bleecker, this tiny noodle stop dishes out delicious and sophisticated hot, cold and broth noodles as well as Chinese, Indian and Japanese appetizers and entrees. Part American diner and part classic Chinese noodle bar, Noodle Bar scored a 10 out of 10 with me on all counts: atmosphere, food, and service.
The cramped space features a 7 or 8 seat bar with red leather bar stools and 3 or 4 tables with simple silver tables and red leather chairs. It’s reminiscent of a classic American ice cream parlor, except for the sake bottles lining the walls, kitschy copies of Mao communist newspapers pinned to the walls, and chopsticks on the tables. In nice weather, the front floor to ceiling windows open to the street, offering excellent West Village people-watching. There is only one waiter, who quietly and efficiently serves his tables.
The food was the real winner though. My boyfriend and I started off with the Indian Roti with Chicken Curry and the Fried Calamari. I can honestly say that I could eat the Indian Roti all day every day and be perfectly happy. Crusty yet still doughy and soft, the Roti was fried perfectly and the chicken curry was sweet, spicy and the ideal complement to the classic bread dish. The fried calamari was lightly breaded, crispy, well-seasoned and paired with an elegant wasabi aioli – similarly well-executed and down-right delicious.
For noodles, I opted for the classic cold sesame-peanut noodles while John had the shrimp wonton broth noodles. My sesame-peanut thick egg noodles were so immensely satisfying. They were refreshing, really excellently cooked, and topped with crunchy cashews. I couldn’t stop raving about them and plan on ordering them for take-out on a regular basis. After dousing his broth noodles with hot sauce, my boyfriend was very pleased with his super skinny egg noodles and dumplings, gobbling them with satisfaction that matched mine.
Noodle Bar approaches its noodle-focused pan-Asian cuisine with zest and creativity. It was refreshingly good with excellent execution and preparation, a very relaxed vibe, and delicious flavors.
Give it a shot for a quick fill-up – remember though, it’s cash only!