The Noodle Shop
3 S. Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801
*No website, but there is info on Yelp
The Noodle Shop is a cozy spot situated across from The Asheville Art Museum, in the oh-so-hip(ster) downtown area. With plenty of outdoor seating, it’s the perfect place to people watch, if you’re into that sort of thing. The servers are friendly and the place is as chill-y as the the temperature. (That was really lame. I apologize.)
The Noodle Shop features Asian fusion dishes with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on both the lunch and dinner menus.
I ordered the Crispy Tofu ($6) for my appetizer. The portion was a decent size, and was served quickly. A light, flaky, and fried coating covered soft and juicy tofu. The chili sauce was very sweet, and I did not detect any heat or spice what-so-ever. I also wish they had put more sauce on it, or served it in a ramekin for dipping.
For my entreé, I order the Stir-fried Noodles with rice noodles and added tofu. The dish was $8.50, and they charged $5 for the tofu. This dish was comprised of thin rice noodles, carrots, yellow onion, bean sprouts, green beans, and tofu. The flavor was predominantly soy sauce. Ok… The only thing you could taste was salty soy sauce and unmarinated tofu. The noodles were cooked nicely, as were the vegetables, but unfortunately their flavors were overpowered. (Photo was edited for brightness. I sat outside and it wasn’t very sunny.)
Dig it or Ditch it?
I wanted to dig this place because of its awesome location, but unfortunately this is a “Ditch It” for me. The Stir-fried Noodles seriously lacked in the flavor department and seemed to be what I imagine drinking a soy sauce packet would taste like. Since a pack of tofu costs around $3, I thought charging $5 for the tofu was a little steep, especially since there wasn’t that much of it in the dish. I sound extremely cheap, but hey, it’s the truth. There were other vegan options on the menu, and this place has good reviews on Yelp, so perhaps I just didn’t order the right thing. With so many other great restaurants around, I don’t think I’ll be visiting The Noodle Shop anytime soon, but I will return in the future and try something else. As always, props go out to any and all places that offer plant-based and cruelty-free options. Let me know if you’ve been here and how you liked it!