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Favorite Dish: Doodles' Hot and Sour Noodles


My personal belief is that the previous century's greatest addition to the culinary experience was neither food- nor drink-based. No, for my money, a good meal is made great by the ability to draw on a paper tablecloth, and at Doodles, you are handed crayons and told to do just that.

Artistic license aside, the other reason I go to Doodles is the noodles. The name itself is a clever combination of the restaurant's two specialty dishes, dumplings and noodles. As a lover of all things peanut, my choice is obvious: the Hot and Sour Noodles.

At first glance, the dish resembles a salad, with a top layer of iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots and crumbled peanuts. A bit of digging reveals another world hidden beneath this light cover - one composed of crunchy bean sprouts, chives, cucumber slivers and, of course, noodles soaked in a peanut sauce that is, indeed, both hot and sour.

 The delightful surprise this dish holds is an astonishing transformation - once the leafy cover is cleared, the remaining mixture of noodles, sauce and toppings becomes a flavorful, soup-like mixture that my dining companion dubbed a "noodleganza."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | CiN Weekly