One day a colleague – we’ll call her Trinity – asked me if I felt like joining her to try this noodle house she heard was delicious and somewhat authentic. Never one to say no to delicious authentic food, I jumped in her car and joined for one of the most amazing plates of noodles I’ve ever had in my whole life.
These misshapen, chunky, scrumptious noodles are made by hand by Frank and his wife every day in the same way – or so I was told by Trinity who is from Hong Kong – that shops and street carts make their noodles all over China. Apparently, kids also make them out of Play-Doh in their homes, but, as my friend found out the hard way, you can’t eat those noodles. Frank’s noodles however, are absolutely and wonderfully edible.
[Youtube clip of Frank's wife making noodles]
The problem with Frank’s noodle house is that it’s only three blocks away from my house and so I eat there way more than my little wheat sensitive stomach would like. But fret not, there are other dishes on the menu worth trying if you’re avoiding the wheat like I am. Although I was unimpressed with the cashew chicken, the broccoli chicken was perfect for my tastebuds, just barely crisp, not too fried and a light yet flavorful sauce.
[Adding broccoli to any dish makes me feel like I'm eating healthy.]
According to OregonLive, Frank used to work at a Korean restaurant long before I moved to town and got to try it, and many of the dishes, including the marinated meats in the famous noodles, are Korean inspired. The kimchi fried rice is particularly tasty and goes well with the above chicken and broccoli dish.
[Every visit at Frank's Noodle House starts with some delicious complimentary kimchi and pickled radish, which I love so much I ate before remembering to take a photo.]
During my visit to Frank’s with Trinity, we followed our complimentary kimchi with two dishes I had never before eaten: Shanghai dumplings and jellyfish salad. I have to admit, I’m a big fan of both. The jellyfish in the salad is cut to the same texture and size as seaweed and overall the taste is very similar, although a bit more chewy.
While I have yet to have jellyfish salad again since my visit with Trinity, I have had Shanghai dumplings multiple times from various locations, as I have developed quite an obsession for these soup filled balls of goodness.
[These dumplings inspired an obsession with finding even more Shanghai dumplings.]
If you want more soup than is stuck in the dumplings, try Frank’s entree-sized noodle soups, which are so heart warming and satisfying that the chicken noodle soup once cured my bad head cold. Scientific fact.
While all the other dishes are good to great, the handmade noodle dishes are the reason I (and everyone else) keep coming back for more. Cooked in a house special red sauce with cabbage, red and green bell peppers, celery, onion and your choice of squid, pork, chicken, beef or no meat, they not only have an amazing flavor, but the texture is absolutely perfect. The noodles are also available in a black bean sauce, but I have yet to venture away from the famous original version.
[We ordered the beef this time and it was perfectly marinated and sliced thin.]
To compliment your noodles, or in an attempt to add vegetables to your life, try the stir-fried green beens, which are perfectly cooked and seasoned with sesame seeds and mushrooms in a brown sauce.
The details: Frank’s Noodle House
Location: 822 NE Broadway, Portland, OR
Gotta try: The handmade noodles
Price range: $ – cheap date
Overall rating: 5/5 stars – go there NOW
Staff Friendliness: 4/5
Go there again?: As often as possible