Mom goes to The Noodle Hut
The Green Mango, a Thai take-away, has been a long-time favorite of my family, so we were happy when they opened a sit-down restaurant in Regent Square called The Noodle Hut. The first time my husband and son had lunch there, about 2 weekends ago, they were almost the only customers in the place. Then the Post Gazette restaurant critic known as “Munch” wrote a favorable review in last week’s paper. So when Bill wanted to eat lunch there on Saturday I had some misgivings, which he laughed off, reminding me of his and Calvin’s recent experience. “Okay,” I said, guardedly, also forgetting that there was a big neighborhood-wide yard sale going on in Regent Square that very day.
We arrived 5 minutes before the restaurant opened, to find one woman waiting to get in. We waited along with her, and as we stood there more people arrived behind us. When the teenage girl came to unlock the door she was clearly flustered and surprised. She gulped audibly and asked if we were all together. This was hilarious, since we were so patently not together, being an elderly woman with a newspaper, a gay couple with mustaches, and several heterosexual couples of widely divergent ages and socioeconomic appearances, from young hippie to elderly preppie and those like us who are somewhere in between. We would probably count as old hippies (in appearance, anyway) since we still mostly wear the jeans and sweaters we have been wearing for 30 or 40 years, albeit in larger sizes, and don’t pay that much attention to the effect we are projecting unless we happen to be bending over to pick something up or squatting to tie our shoelaces, causing the waistband of those pesky newfangled low-cut jeans to ride below our lengthening butt-cracks and our teen age son to scream like a girl if he catches a glimpse.
But I digress; I won’t give a full review of the restaurant—you can go to the link and read the one Munch wrote for that. I’ll just say that what we ate was sublime. We shared an order of the summer rolls with chicken, which we have frequently gotten from The Green Mango and they were a little spicier than usual but just great, so fresh-tasting with the cilantro. I got something I had never had before and I don’t know if Green Mango even had it on their menu, the Noodle Hut Special Soup; it’s a bit like pho, spicy and good. Bill ordered the Thai Beef Salad and liked it although thought it had a few too many onions.
We were the first in the restaurant to place our order, and it arrived fairly quickly. The poor waitress was all alone and every table was occupied; she was even answering the phone and taking take-out orders. After awhile someone else came in to help her out; she’d evidently made a phone call, but while we were there people were lining up outside. Even in Pittsburgh, or maybe especially in Pittsburgh, it’s not a good idea to go to a restaurant the weekend after it gets a good newspaper review!
Addendum to this review: subsequent visits to The Noodle Hut have been very rewarding; no crowds, terrific food, and good service. This is a restaurant that deserves your patronage. Try the “Queen Tilapia”, as well as the beef noodle soup on the new menu.