I truly enjoyed my first visit to the Noodle Bowl — and found it very much changed on my recent lunch. The owners have turned down the lights and ramped up the atmosphere. The same delicious noodle based dishes moved off a hot service bar and onto a table service menu. Those are both great changes — that lend an entirely new feel to the restaurant.
What did not change was the food. The owners cook from the heart here and it shows in every dish. What that does mean is that sometimes, the service is slow. To me, it’s well worth the wait.
For my lunch, I chose a pair of beautifully prepared summer rolls. Sticky rice paper wrappers snug up tightly around filling made with plenty of lettuce, rice noodles, shrimp and tangy mint leaves. There’s a mouthful of texture and plenty of flavor. The accompanying peanut sauce is mildly sweet and adds just the right amount of extra tastiness.
I followed that with sweet and spicy chicken — think sweet and sour chicken without the fried batter. Tender pieces of chicken perched atop a mound of rice noodles — a side of broccoli and bok choy added color and variety.
The sauce did indeed live up to its billing — delivering nice sweetness on the front end and plenty of peppery fire on the finish.
There are plenty of menu options that include curries, stir fries and soups — including a tasty Pho that I had on a previous visit. A nice touch is an all pictorial menu for those unfamiliar with the variety of noodles or who like to see what to expect on the plate. A small beer and wine list offers plenty of choices for diners wanting more than tea or soft drinks.
The Noodle Bowl/7052 Hodgson Memorial Dr./692–1394
Serious chocolate lovers will welcome Chocolat by Adam Turoni, now open for wholesale business at 2423 De Soto Ave. in the Starland District.
Turoni, a Culinary Institute of America–trained pastry chef, has spent the past two years handcrafting chocolates for Wright Square Cafe. He still produces an exclusive live for the cafe’s two locations — and offers his skills to other wholesale customers from the Starland location.
I worked with Adam last February when he prepared and paired specialty chocolates to accompany a wine tasting I hosted. Every bite was elegant and differently delicious — and proved perfect choices for the wines we poured.
Adam’s shop is by appointment only (located across the street from PERC Coffee Roasters). He can be reached by phone, 570–510–1820, or online, www.chocolatat.com.
Tacos are back on Broughton
The former T–Rex Mex location will reopen in the next few weeks as Taco Abajo — being billed by developers as an “authentic Mexican tacqueria.”Expect tacos, burritos and similar hand food. Opening will likely precede issuance of an alcohol license, but owners are anticipating offering super–valued margaritas. 217 1/2 W. Broughton St.