Everyday Noodles Restaurant Review Pittsburgh

Another noodle offering in Pittsburgh. This one is Spearheaded by Michael Chen, a boss in the Pittsburgh restaurant scene and former owner of China Palace/Sushi Too. You also might have heard of his son Allen’s food haven in Lawrenceville: Tamari.

Everyday Noodles opened on February 27, 2013 in what used to be the Sriani Gallery on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill. Any restaurant can sell noodles (some even claim to serve fresh ones even though they are pre-made), but this place is the real deal. Thanks to a contract with a master noodler from Taiwan, Pittsburgh can have a taste of authenticity without even crossing a bridge.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the open view to the action. I always think an exhibition kitchen in a restaurant conveys confidence and professionalism, and Everyday Noodles has no shortage of either. There are a couple of benches right against the the glass so you can watch noodles being made start to finish right before your eyes. At times it might seem as if there are too many cooks in the kitchen, but there’s no goofing off or unnecessary chatting, just pros at work.

The restaurant is meticulous. It’s a newly remodeled space, which helps, but the business goes beyond that with care for food preparation and respect for their customers. All of the chefs are dressed in clean white attire and sport plastic mouth guards that block spit from getting into the food when talking or breathing. This is the first time I’ve ever seen these in Pittsburgh and Everyday Noodles should be commended for using them.

The same professionalism and care is also maintained by the front of the house. Every staff member is friendly and they all do a great job of serving. A+ in that area.

The menu is well-done. Easy to decipher and fun to fill out. That’s right, at Everyday Noodles the menus are waiting for you in the center of the table with a cup of pencils. As you drool down the list you make a check next to the items you want. Straight-up dim sum style with no chance of a mix-up.

Out of the 43 items, 2 are gluten free, 3 are spicy, and 7 are designated as vegetarian friendly. This is too limited and they really have to work on it. Some of the dishes offered could potentially be more accommodating. For example, they could offer meat substitutes in some of the choices, such as tofu in the Dan Dan Noodles, or foregoing the use of lard (pig fat) in the Pan Fried Green Onion Pancakes.

It’s nice to know that Everyday Noodles does not use flavor enhancing-compounds in their food. The same cannot be said of the competition across the street which is known for using loads of the tasty white powder MSG. Whether you’re for or against the presence of monosodium glutamate in your grub, it says a lot about a restaurant when they’re able to bring out the flavor without the use of an additive.

The prices appear to be reasonable at first, but that’s mostly because the portions are smaller. This allows for ordering multiple dishes in one sitting – the way Chinese food was meant to be enjoyed. The caveat is that it quickly adds up. Braised Minced Pork Over Rice: $6, House Oxtail Soup: $8, and Taiwanese Style Sesame Cold Noodles: $6. Then, out of nowhere, it costs $9 for 8 Vegetable Dumplings! Granted these are deliciously fresh morsels of homemade goodness, but in no world should anyone be paying over a dollar for a 3 inch noodle filled with chopped up greens. All of the dumpling items could stand to come down in price by at least $1-2.

Some might consider the bubble tea at Everyday Noodles to be pricey as well. As if taking a step into the noodle shop suddenly transports you to a larger, more expensive city. True, $4.50/cup is higher than some of the pearl milk teas you’ll find in NYC! But, before your mind gets boggled, consider this: it’s primarily a restaurant, not a grab and go boba joint. Of course they’re going to charge a premium. Also, they only serve one size which can be considered a large. Thirdly, in addition to bubbles (tapioca) you can select up to two tasty toppings to suck up with your balls: azuki red bean, green bean, caramel pudding, mango pudding, grass jelly, and coconut lychee jelly. If you prefer hot tea, go for the Tea Forte which is served with a very zen like presentation.

A few words of advice:

  • Tables fill up fast and it quickly becomes a madhouse.
  • It’s called Everyday Noodles, not All Day Noodles. They annoyingly close in the middle of the day from 2:30pm-4:00pm Monday through Saturday (this seems to be a Mike Chen phenomenon since Sushi Too did this too). This makes it more difficult to avoid the jam-packedness of the place.
  • It’s nice to see noodles being hand-pulled right before your eyes, but if you’re there when they are pounding out the dough, the slamming might be enough to trigger your anxiety. Video example below.
  • If you choose to sit at the benches near the kitchen window, you better not have a winter coat or a purse because there really isn’t anywhere convenient to put it since the bench doesn’t have a back.

You can find the full menu at everydaynoodles.net. Like most food businesses, their website needs work. Why would anyone use stock images of dumplings when they make thousands of them in-house each day? The About Us section is occupied by lorem ipsum and no sign of their Facebook account. But who cares, the food is awesome overall.

Where is it?
Everyday Noodles (map)
5875 Forbes Avenue (Sq. Hill)
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 421-6668

What are the hours?
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 2:30pm then 4:00pm – 9:30pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30am – 2:30pm then 4:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday: 11:30am – 9:00pm

Everyday Noodles on Urbanspoon

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