Restaurant Review-Everyday Noodles (Pittsburgh)
Everyday Noodles is a new restaurant to the Pittsburgh dining scene, taking up shop in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. (Ironically enough it opened roughly around the same time as another Asian style establishment, Ramen Bar, which is just across the street.) We had to make a decision as to which one we should try first and we settled on Everyday Noodles as its menu stood out to me more.
Everyday Noodles is the creation of Mike Chen and his son Allen. (The latter is the owner of Tamari, a restaurant I would highly recommend; my review for it is here.) As the restaurant’s website notes, “it was inspired by Mike Chen’s trip to Toronto three years ago, when a dining experience motivated him to bring authentic Chinese cuisine to Pittsburgh.” He now works with the Taiwanese goverment to bring cooks here to train the employees. He hosts them for six months until the next shift when three new visitors with different skills join the rotation.
Probably the neatest part about the restaurant is that you can literally watch the dough being made into dumplings, buns, and noodles. The tables are positioned in such a way that you can watch the “action” behind a plate glass window. I will say this, I had no idea about the beating that noodle dough must sustain. The noise would be enough to frighten anyone who was not aware of what was going on.
This is not your typical American Chinese menu (i.e. there’s more than General Tso’s and beef lo mein). Some exotic offerings include Jelly Fish Salad, Pickled Mustard Green with Pork, Baby Bok Choy, a Taiwanese Style Pork Belly Slider, and Bubble Tea. We learned that the dumplings are the restaurant’s specialty and while we did not get any, there was a whole speech given to the diners next to us on the “craft” of eating them. We will for sure try them on our next visit.
Everyday Noodles, like most restaurants in the Squirrel Hill section, is on the smaller side so there is not a ton of seating. They do take reservations for groups of eight or more, but getting there about 5:30 PM on a Saturday night, we had no problem being seated. Service was prompt and attentive the entire meal and you could tell from the body language of the wait staff that they were there to please the customers.
To start we split an order of the Five-Spiced Eggplant ($5). It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, as I was envisioning the European aubergine. However, even as a cold dish, it was quite delicious and the accompanying sauce (we’re not quite sure what it was but it tasted akin to Hoisin sauce) was equally good.
From the dim sum section of the menu we also split the Pan Fried Green Onion Pancake ($6). I love this type of dish as it is neither rich nor spicy nor filling. It’s just a terrific side to whatever your main course may be.
As this was our first time dining there (plus we didn’t ask), we discovered once our entrees came that the selections from the dry noodles part of the menu are meant to be shared as they can easily feed two people. (I have an inkling this might be the same for the Noodle Soups and the Rich Entrees.) It wasn’t a big deal since nothing on the menu was that expensive and being local we were able to take leftovers home with us. D ordered the Dan Dan Noodles Szechuan Style ($7) while I had the Noodles with Minced Pork Sauce (also $7). We both liked our selections immensely.
To drink I ordered my favorite, Bubble Tea ($4.50) although I was slightly confused when the waiter told me I could customize it with a choice of two toppings even though I hadn’t really wanted to do so. But I went with the Azuki Red Beans and Green Beans, not knowing what else to try.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at this new dining venue. The service was terrific, the food delicious (and a welcomed different too), and the prices very friendly on the wallet, especially for the amount of food you get. Be sure to try out this latest addition to the Pittsburgh dining scene.