Monday, September 18, 2006

The Hot Noodle, California, MD

The Hot Noodle
22576 Macarthur Boulevard
Maryland 20616

A Google map can be found here.

Telephone: 301-862-9188

When I see a restaurant that serves many different kinds of cooking, I often walk in another direction. It irritates me if a restaurant seems to be unable to make up its mind about what kind of food it wants to serve. But if I applied that principle to the Hot Noodle, I would miss out on some really very good food.

This restaurant, which is convenient to people visiting Patuxent Naval Air Station or St. Mary's College of Maryland, is located in a little strip mall in an area with offices that seem to feed off the Naval Air Station. Advertising that you can have "The Great Taste of Asia All Under One Roof," The Hot Noodle is a place where you can get Chinese Potstickers ($5.95), Pho ($6.95), Pad Thai ($7.45), or Korean Short Ribs ($13.95). I think the owners are probably Vietnamese so I usually stick to Vietnamese dishes, but friends and family have had food from all over the map. I cannot remember having a bad dish here. And this restaurant offers really good value for money in a nice comfortable setting.

I usually start with the Spring Rolls (3 for $4.95) or the Shrimp Summer Rolls (3 for $4.95), which are "freshly sliced shrimp, lettuce, island mints, carrots, cucumbers, vermicelli noodles, and bean sprouts, hand wrapped in cool rice paper, and served with zesty peanut sauce." The peanut sauce is just wonderful!

The excellent Vietnamese Steak ($10.95) is made of tender cubes of very good beef cooked in a wok and served with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions with a lime and pepper sauce. It is my favorite dish in the restaurant.

There is a wine list, but I have always been traveling so I have never has any wine here, but they serve very nice limeade. The portions are generous, and I have always been too full for dessert.

My only gripe here is the way they print the menu. Red text on green is barely legible to most people, and would probably be a nightmare for people with color perception difficulties! Some of the writing is in small print over pictures, and that is difficult to read too. But I hear they are changing their menu. I only hope that means the presentation rather than the dishes.

Dinner for eight last Saturday (September 16, 2006) was only $113 the other night. We had shared starters, a main course, and soft drinks. An exceptionally good restaurant with excellent value for money!

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