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Noodle Houses

who couldn’t love these?



Recently I made macaroni and cheese for a friend. The friend said, “I hate macaroni and cheese” and I was floored, because saying “I don’t like macaroni and cheese” is like saying “I don’t like puppies.” It doesn’t compute.

So if like my friend you are an enemy of noodles, please stop reading. If like the 99.99 percent other normal people in the world who regularly worships at the altar of great noodles, keep reading. I am suggesting two splendid Asian noodle houses where a bowl of comfort food is both affordable and worth a trip.

Pho Vietnam
56 Padanaram Rd, 
Danbury 
203-743-6049

PhoVietnamRestaurant.com

There is nothing about Pho’s curbside appeal that would signal how good this place is. It is one of a short line of stores in a tiny strip mall across the street from Jim Barbaries.

Pho is a small place and it is not unusual to see people waiting for a booth or table clustered in a pack by the door. I have never been to Pho when it was not crowded, so be prepared for a wait.

While it is possible to get dumplings, spring rolls as light as clouds in transparent wrappings, and a divine starter of red curry mussels here, the heart of Pho Vietnam is noodle soups. When it comes to noodle soups, the Vietnamese could have taught my Jewish grandmother a thing or two. Although Granny’s chicken soup was perfect and as good as penicillin for curing all ailments, it was fairly minimalistic: chicken, noodles, celery, and carrots. Vietnamese noodle soups are spangled with all sorts of wonderful things beside the broth and noodles. You can pretty much customize it, as you like. From a short list you can add chicken, brisket, tendon, tripe, spiced meatballs, rare slices of beef, poached egg, shrimp bok choy, chicken, or shrimp. Your order will come in a wide deep bowl, steaming hot, the surface covered in a merry mix of cilantro, scallion, and onions. The house motto is “Slurping Encouraged” and indeed you will.

There is really no dainty way to enjoy Vietnamese noodle soups and that is part of the fun. It is a hot mess of the best sort. The most popular noodle soup at Pho is the one with the most titillating name: Pho King—a big bowl of noodles with braised short ribs and poached eggs.

Pho also has great noodle dishes in other guises. Here Pad Thai gets a Vietnamese twist, and the threadlike noodles are abbreviated with shrimp, calamari, and mussels and any of the other proteins on the menu. Buns (pronounced boons) are a popular choice. The bun bowl is a noodle salad with cilantro, carrots, peanuts, lettuce, and your choice of a protein. I liked the Beef Bun which features rice noodles, herbs, beef, and garlic. Pho is the kind of “little black book” places that foodies hold dear. It is the perfect equation of reasonably priced food and exotic taste adventures. 

Mecha Noodle Bar
1215 Post Rd,
Fairfield
203-292-8222

MechaNoodleBar.com

If you go to Mecha on a Saturday night you might think this is the hot spot for all of Fairfield County. The restaurant is crackling with good vibes and cool looking customers. As with Pho Vietnam, you may have to wait a bit for a table, but it is worth the wait, not only for the food but also for the people watching. The experience here is all bustle and hearty eating and although you sit shoulder to shoulder with other diners at the long table in the center, you can feel the conviviality.

Mecha’s short menu has some wonderful dishes that do not come in a bowl of broth, so before I go on about the heart and soul of the place (bowls of noodles) I should mention those I especially liked. The roasted mushroom dumplings are very savory and delicate at the same time. They come in a rather non-Asian cream sauce, and are something that always makes me return to Mecha because I have not tasted anything like them anywhere else. The Bao rolls are also extremely popular. If you are unfamiliar with Bao (pronounced bow as when you get a round of applause, not the thing tied around your neck or a Christmas gift) it is a ivory-colored steamed Asian bun, into which is layered beef, chicken, or pork, then topped with pickled vegetables and a squirt of spicy aioli. A Bao is about the size of your palm, often ordered two at a time. They are a great snack and a wonderful contrast of textures and flavors, spicy and sweet, vinegary and pillow soft. Next to me a man ordered the KFC Bao, a funny twist on the Kentucky colonels fried chicken. At Mecha the nugget of fried chicken is tucked nicely in a Bao bun and made extra crispy with the picked vegetables. A health-conscious vegetarian friend was very pleased with the crispy kale salad served with a big poppadum and dressed with very nice miso vinaigrette.

Getting down to business, I ordered a huge bowl of Ramen, and an equally huge bowl of Pho. My order alone took up most of the small table and I looked like a complete pig sitting in front of two giant bowls. I truly did not expect such generous servings. I happily slurped away, dribbling it down my face and shirt but no one seemed to notice my immense dinner or my slovenly table manners. Everyone was too busy tucking into his or her own giant soups.

I must say that one of the things that make eating at Mecha so great is the wide range of craft beers, exotic sakes, and designer cocktails they serve. I passed on the above because I saw my favorite drink in a cooler. This drink of all drinks is an ice-cold Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico. Coke aficionados know that Mexican Coke is still made with cane sugar and not corn syrup as they do here. It is like going back in a time capsule to the 1950s.

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May 2018

Get up close and personal with Muscoot Farm’s new arrivals. Like this Dorset lamb. Visit their Farmers Market and the eleven historic buildings (love the ice house and blacksmith building)...

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Lyndhurst
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Cost: $25

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Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
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Cost: FREE

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Preview to the 3rd Annual Art Show at the 42nd Annual South Salem Presbyterian Church Memorial Day Fair & Races. A celebration of our local Artistic Community with wine, hors d’oeuvres...

Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at door

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
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Sponsor: South Salem Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 914-763-9282
Contact Name: Carolyn Patterson
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A community-based, family-oriented event with dance performances, professional dance instruction, bands, DJs, and social dancing for youths and adults.​ We are thrilled to continue our...

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Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center
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The big glitzy musical Sister Act fared better than the original movie. It received four Olivier Award nominations for its original stage production at London’s West End Theatre. It...

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Westchester Broadway Theatre
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Cost: $22

Where:
Blu Pointe Landing
100 Front Street
Newburgh, NY
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
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Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
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Where:
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
400 Cantitoe Street (Rt. 22)
Katonah, NY
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Lewisboro Library
15 Main Street
South Salem, NY  10590
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Cost: 0

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
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Sponsor: South Salem Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 914-763-9282
Contact Name: Judy Office
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Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

This hilltop paradise, now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of the guided...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
American Legion Hall
136 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

The big glitzy musical Sister Act fared better than the original movie. It received four Olivier Award nominations for its original stage production at London’s West End Theatre. It...

Cost: $59-$89

Where:
Westchester Broadway Theatre
One Broadway Plaza
Elmsford, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

This hilltop paradise, now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of the guided...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

The big glitzy musical Sister Act fared better than the original movie. It received four Olivier Award nominations for its original stage production at London’s West End Theatre. It...

Cost: $59-$89

Where:
Westchester Broadway Theatre
One Broadway Plaza
Elmsford, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

This hilltop paradise, now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of the guided...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. For more information and to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Department of Social Services
112 E Post Road
White Plains, NY  10601
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914-997-6700
Contact Name: Toyae Liverpool
Website »

More information

The big glitzy musical Sister Act fared better than the original movie. It received four Olivier Award nominations for its original stage production at London’s West End Theatre. It...

Cost: $59-$89

Where:
Westchester Broadway Theatre
One Broadway Plaza
Elmsford, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

This hilltop paradise, now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of the guided...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Jessica Meyrowitz is a knitter, designer, and founder of It’s a... Yummy.  Her company creates products using a custom made, oversized, 100% merino wool yarn.  To truly appreciate...

Cost: $85.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
792 Route 35
@ The Little Red Schoolhouse
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

The big glitzy musical Sister Act fared better than the original movie. It received four Olivier Award nominations for its original stage production at London’s West End Theatre. It...

Cost: $59-$89

Where:
Westchester Broadway Theatre
One Broadway Plaza
Elmsford, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

This hilltop paradise, now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of the guided...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Hudson Chorale, rapidly becoming the area’s premier mixed-voice chorus, will present an evening and matinee performance of its spring concert in central Westchester on Friday, June 1, 8:00...

Cost: Advance Sale-$25; Door-$30; Students-$10.

Where:
Pleasantville Presbyterian Church
400 Bedford Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: Hudson Chorale
Telephone: 914-747-2408
Contact Name: Angela Usobiaga
Website »

More information

The big glitzy musical Sister Act fared better than the original movie. It received four Olivier Award nominations for its original stage production at London’s West End Theatre. It...

Cost: $59-$89

Where:
Westchester Broadway Theatre
One Broadway Plaza
Elmsford, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

KMA opens its doors to babies and their new parents and caregivers at these once-a-month, stroller-friendly tours.  Enjoy a conversational stroll through the galleries and a chance to...

Cost: Free with admission. FREE admission with your first stroller tour.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

This hilltop paradise, now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of the guided...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Paper Quilling also known as paper filigree, is the art of rolling paper into intricate and interesting shapes. During this workshop, participants will be able to learn the techniques on basic...

Cost: $40.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
792 Route 35
@ The Little Red Schoolhouse
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

The big glitzy musical Sister Act fared better than the original movie. It received four Olivier Award nominations for its original stage production at London’s West End Theatre. It...

Cost: $59-$89

Where:
Westchester Broadway Theatre
One Broadway Plaza
Elmsford, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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