More Thai food: Noodle Garden
I think I’ve realized what my two loves have been all these years: Thai food, and Evanston. I live about a half hour from Evanston but find myself driving there constantly. Whether it be to see a friend, eat at a restaurant, or frequent a bar, I just can’t get enough of the place. Thai food has the same effect on me. That being said, let it come as no surprise that I will now tell you all about yet another Thai restaurant in Evanston. Judging from the number of fellow patrons I see each time I’m in there (very few,) this one may be a bit more obscure, but the food…oh the food is absolutely wonderful.
The place is called Noodle Garden, and it has long (much longer than Cozy actually) been home to an outstanding dinner tradition among three old friends: myself, Hanni and Becky (I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d give you your mention – Happy Birthday Becky!)
We have a routine. Between the three of us, we always order two entrees and an appetizer. Ask for another bowl of rice, and it’s the perfect amount of food. The entrees never change, but the appetizer switches from time to time.
Appetizer: Spring Rolls.
Yea, so we began with the spring rolls this time. Light and sweet, these crepe-like rolls come filled with sprouts, tofu bits, and are topped with peppers, carrots, and a sweet and tangy sauce. I prefer them to the potstickers we order other times.
Entree #1: Beef and Broccoli.
There’s something about that sauce that keeps us coming back because the ingredients in this dish are quite simple and self-explanatory. I could eat bowls of rice covered in that sauce. One criticism: I know we’re splitting these meals among three people but the serving could be a BIT larger.
Entree #2: Chicken Pad See Ewe.
I have to say, they make my favorite pad see ewe. I got sucked into Cozy’s and still love it, don’t get me wrong, but after returning to Noodle Garden I remember how much I love theirs. The sauce is sweet and coats the wide rice noodles perfectly. Topped with the sprouts, it’s fantastic.
Often, this would be the end of our traditional meal, but not today. I was struck by the sign on the door that advertised their “Mango with Sweet Sticky Rice.” Being Becky’s birthday, we decided to try it out for dessert.
Dessert: Mango with Sweet Sticky Rice.
I have to say, I ordered this because mango and sticky rice were on my mind from Scrumptious Street’s blog entry, and when this first came out, I was disappointed. I thought somehow they would merge the two ingredients more, rather than plate them side by side. But, after taking a slice of mango and topping it with a mound of the rice, I see why they plated it that way. All you need is the taste of a mango to accompany the coconut-milk infused rice. It was delicious. It took some getting used to, but in the end I absolutely loved it. My partners in crime, er tradition, were not such fans though. They gave it a chance with a bite or two but put their forks down and let me finish it. Even looking at this picture again now makes me drool. Different tastes I guess.
Overall, Noodle Garden has always been a good experience. The ambiance is classic and sophisticated, though I wouldn’t say noteworthy. But because of the lack of people, I was curious what other restaurantgoers on yelp.com had to say. I guess there are mixed reviews, but I give it 5 stars!
1241 Chicago Ave.
-Hillary, going to Evanston again for dinner tonight…this time trying out Addis Abeba