I’m pretty proud of that pun in the title.
So I’m visiting my parents in Pittsburgh. We had just picked my mom up from the airport and stopped for dinner at a Pan-Asian joint. Over a bowl of pretty decent noodle soup I commented that good noodles were one of those foods I could eat every day (see also: sandwiches and dumplings (also: tacos totally fall under the heading of sandwiches)). Mom told me about a place in Squirrel Hill that makes their own noodles every day.
So the next day we were off to Everyday Noodles. Talk about good noodles.
I was disappointed that we arrived to late to watch the chefs making their daily noodles, but that disappointment was very short lived. Partially because the table next to us was occupied with a pair of gals making up fresh wontons.
The menu is a dim sum style presentation. Check off the items you want and the quantities and they bring the dishes to the table as they become ready.
It was kind of daring for my parents to go with me to a place like this because the first thing I focused in on was the marinated beef tendon. (Okay, it was the jellyfish salad, but I was afraid of starting a revolt.) That’s just the way I am, if there’s something weird or that I’ve never tried on a menu before I’m sure to want it.
So I checked off the beef tendons and another noodle dish. My mom pointed to the table where the wontons were being made and got a double order of those. And my dad made sure we got our veggies by ordering some broccoli, and potstickers. I’m not sure who placed the order for soup dumplings but I’m superglad we got an order of those too. I love dim sum. There’s so many options and everybody is happy to be sharing bites and bits of everything.
Not many takers for the beef tendon however. Which is a shame because it was beautifully seasoned and had a wonderful silky, gelatain-y texture.
Everything was flavored with a careful hand. The owners of Everyday Noodles – Michael Chen and his son Allen – brought in a trio of chefs from Taiwan to share their knowledge and train the locals in their culinary expertise. Sometimes when you get Asian food in America, it focuses on one intense flavor. Or it comes drowned in a sauce that obliterates any other taste under a monotone. Everyday Noodles was the complete opposite of that. The flavors were layered and nuanced, even the ones that ended with a super-spicy (for me) kick. There was actual good flavor before the tingle lit up my mouth into fire. Even the slightly sweet dumpling sauce was more complimentary than overwhelming.
The soup dumplings were also new for me. I can’t say enough about how much I loved them and how sad I was that I didn’t have room for more. (This is also a problem I have with tacos. I have a five taco appetite but a two taco stomach capacity.)
At about this point in the meal I got a chance to watch one of the chefs making soup dumplings. It was entrancing. Not a single wasted motion as he rolled out the little circles of dough, filled them with a dollop of filling, and twisted them into their blossom shape.
This place is definitely worth the trip cross-town if you find yourself in Pittsburgh. Definitely highly recommended.