By Kylee Dawson
KEVIN B. KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Daniel Beltral, a chef at Nothing But Noodles, cooks up an order of Spicy Japanese yesterday afternoon. The restaurant specializes in pasta dishes and offers them at a reasonable price. Nothing But Noodles is located at 3225 N. Swan Road.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
I thought my mom was crazy when she told me there's a restaurant in town that offers "nothing but noodles." After eating at Nothing But Noodles three times, I still think she's crazy, but the food at this restaurant rocks.
Not only are there great Mediterranean, American and Oriental noodle dishes; practically all of them cost less than $6. Most of the dishes start out vegetarian, but you can add chicken breast, lean beef, shrimp, tofu or veggies to any bowl for an extra charge.
Nothing But Noodles, which opened in April, is full of several other pleasant surprises. For instance, all of the wonderful sauces are cooked fresh to order and can be tweaked to suit your palatable preferences.
There are even low-carb bowls for all you Atkins sheep out there. With less than 12 net carbs, they're made with all the same yummy sauces, veggies and meats, excluding the noodles.
Like all of the noodle dishes, they are made fresh to order with sauces made from scratch. You read correctly. And the freshness is what makes the difference.
In addition to being a Pad Thai connoisseur, I am also a huge fan of Italian pasta, particularly with Pesto sauces. Call me a wimp, but I really did cry when I tasted the Basil Pesto pasta ($5.99) at Nothing But Noodles.
It's made with all the typical ingredients: basil, olive oil and garlic. But their recipe calls for cream and also includes tomatoes and mushrooms. The freshly grated Parmesan cheese is what sets this dish off.
|If you go...|
Nothing But Noodles
3225 N. Swan Road #105
Everyday 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Once my taste buds recovered from their Mediterranean fantasy, I decided to try something from the east. Big surprise, I chose Thai.
Honestly, I wasn't too thrilled with the Pad Thai Noodles ($5.59), but then again I am an expert on the dish and not every Pad Thai dish is perfect.
As for spice, Nothing But Noodles does have a few spicy dishes clearly labeled with little peppers. But I didn't find the Pad Thai to be extremely spicy.
Nor was the Santa Fe Pasta ($5.89), a unique signature dish of green chili sauce with sautéed onions, tomatoes and, the best part, that titillating dash of Parmesan.
Having tried all three cultural flavors of Nothing But Noodles, I can honestly say, for the first time in my life, that I have a new favorite fast food restaurant.
Nothing But Noodles is almost a misleading name for this restaurant because it offers so much good stuff besides noodles, including full salads, which are all $5 or less. Half salads are also available for $3 or less.
There are also side dishes, like freshly grated mozzarella, basil and tomato drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a dash of fresh cracked pepper.
Be sure to save room for dessert, especially the desserts from the Cheesecake Factory. If that doesn't make your mouth start watering, how do chocolate chip cannolis or key lime pie sound?
Also, if you have a hankering for cotton candy, you never have to go to a county fair again. They make it fresh at Nothing But Noodles everyday. With about a dozen different flavors, including green apple (really tasty), piña colada and bubble gum, it's just another characteristic that makes this place stand out. Served in large cups, it only costs $1.
Big evil chain restaurants are undeniably plentiful, even in the Third World. But Nothing But Noodles definitely raises the bar (yes they have alcohol, too) by offering high quality meals for reasonable prices.