I watch too much Travel Channel. WAY too much Travel Channel. And ages ago I saw one of those millions of programs that features someone traveling around and eating things, and they ate soup dumplings, and Immediately I knew OMG I NEEDED TO HAVE THOSE.
Except soup dumplings were nowhere to be found in Pittsburgh. We have pretty a pretty diverse food culture, but soup dumplings were nowhere to be found. And I had a big sad. I did briefly contemplate driving to DC or NYC or wherever might have them, because yes, I am that kind of person who will drive long distances for a specific food item. Before I got around to planning out a trip, TA DA, Everyday Noodles opened in Squirrel Hill and SAVED THE DAY!
All of Everyday Noodles’ noodles are made in house. This means 2 things: (1) they are super fresh and delicious, and (2) they won’t sell you take-out. Wah. Apparently the owners don’t want you to have anything less than a stellar noodle experience, so you’ve got to go to them to get what you want. This gave me a big sad one day when I was feeling sickly and noodles and broth would have made it all better (but given that Squirrel Hill is just covered in noodles eateries, Mr. Beez was able to easily find an adequate substitute).
Everyday Noodles is a small venue with lots of two-seater tables (that can be combined to seat 4, 6, etc) and one large table. They had a brisk business when we were there, but it wasn’t crazy packed. If you’re a party of two, it’s easier for them to get you to a table. Because we were three, they had to do some seating acrobatics to get two 2-tops together so we had to wait a little bit (maybe 10 minutes). The hostess was very conscientious and communicated well with us to explain why some parties of two got seated more quickly, etc. Those kinds of seating difficulties are inherent to the restaurant business, and I did appreciate that the hostess communicated with us about when tables were expected to free up and in what order. In general I found the service to be kind, attentive and friendly.
Mr. Beez ordered a spicy beef noodle soup. He likes spicy food, but this was spicy even for him. He was very happy with it, although he had to eat it slowly because it was spicy spicy.
We ordered the minced pork & rice dish for Baby Beez. I was SUPER THRILLED to see the marinated egg on her plate because I love those things (even though they look yucky). Boo hoo for me, she felt the same way, and she gobbled it all up. I guess she gets first dibs since it’s on her plate and all. The minced pork and rice were good, but the noodles are truly the specialty of Everyday Noodles, so it would be a shame to pass over those delicious noodles for a good but unexciting dish.
We ordered a side of the tofu nuggets with our meal as well. I expected this dish would be trying to be chicken nuggets, but it really wasn’t. The tofu was actually silken tofu that is coated and fried. The result is a crispy, thin outer coating and the nugget itself is creamy. The sauce is salty and sweet, and the texture a little strange but addicting. It’s weird but good.
And the star of the evening: the soup dumplings! I expected these to be little more than a novelty. I imagined biting in to one, soup spraying everywhere and scalding my throat, and me chewing and gasping “Aren’t these things crazy?!“ It was nothing like that at all, actually. These were not a novelty food, they were a solid, delicious belly-warming comfort food. OMG they were good. I did let them cool a few minutes before chowing down, so when I bit into one my throat didn’t get all burned up. But the soup and the crab and pork filling and the ginger and the sauce together were like taking the best, super-chunky bite in a bowl of soup. I need more soup dumplings in my life. I am not the kind of person who orders the same dish every time I go to a restaurant. I’m the one who always likes to try something new, so even if I really like a dish, I rarely order it multiple times. I loved these soup dumplings so much, though, that I can’t imagine having the opportunity to eat soup dumplings and picking something else instead.
EDITED TO ADD: I have been informed that the no-carry-out policy they had when they first opened (the experience described above was in the first week or two the place was open) has since been repealed, and now they will allow you to order carry out. I can’t imagine soup dumplings would hold up too well on a drive home, though.