This RESTAURANT is a sweet gem. Most who go in are regulars….we are regulars and the service is incredible when we walk in.
Chef Andre’ Nguyen owns the restaurant and runs it with his wife, Noel and a few other Nguyen’s to keep costs down, which means it’s not an expensive, nor is it a pretentious restaurant. Chef Andre’ hails from Seattle, working menial chef jobs until he found his passion and his following at Noodles Ranch. (which we affectionally call “Andre’s House of Yum-Yums). But just knowing that Andre’ is indeed an extremely competent chef, makes his food taste all the better.
Generally during the wintertime there is a wait; for everyone knows that Noodles Ranch specializes in “Pho” (pronounced “Fuh”) When you enter the restaurant there are some 5 booths and approximentally 12 or so tables. There is a large tv, which seems to be out of place but yet guests do check out the scores or whatever else may be on.
The ambience is quaint, warm and charming. There are Asian umbrellas hanging upside down and my favorite part, the gorgeous replica photos of Vietnames people from days of yore. The tables are always set, the sauces (brown duck-like sauce and Sriracha) are down.
We always set the pace with an order of spring rolls. BEST spring rolls I’ve ever had. The shrimp is crunchy but not overcooked, the mint very, very fresh….every element, including the peanut sauce goes together so well. They are well thought out, consistent and we get them every time.
Anyone who knows me well enough know I can eat soup anytime of year. If it’s 4th of July, I’ll gladly belly up to a bowl of clam chowder. The same goes with Pho.
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese Soup that is made from broth, seasonings (peppercorns, anise and other secrets that not even I could get out of Chef Andre’.) It has a heavy licorice or anise flavor which makes it unique.
You can order whatever protein you want. I always get the meatballs and tendon; but there is beef brisket, meatballs, tendon, steak,tripe, chicken and an array of seafoods.
The trick to eating Pho is dressing it up how you want….and in our 5 years of going there regularly, we’ve seen it all.
I usually opt for some of the brown sauce, which is dark, sweet and sticky….some Sriracha and then I top it off with the small plate of goodies they bring with it: Basil, Mint,Limes, Bean Sprouts and not the jalapeno’s, but one of these days I’ll venture outside my box. I just don’t like it that spicy unless I’m sick.
Which brings me to my next observation. Pho is immersed in anti-oxidants, vitamins and anything that ails you goes away quickly…..Sometimes when I’m sick I’ll go in, get a bowl full of broth, a scoop of rice and slurp my cold away.
My husband, Joe likes to mix it up. His favorite thing in Bahn Mi (“Bahn-Me) which they only serve at lunch time so on this evening he opted for grilled beef, shrimp and egg rolls. It was a delicious looking plate.
So in this world of where to go, stuck in a rut, eat the same thing everyday, I urge you to give Noodles Ranch a hand. It’s family owned (local), is run by a true chef and the food is amazing.
Are you still reading? Shoo! Off to Noodles Ranch you go! 🙂