Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Everyday Noodles (Squirrel Hill)

Everyday Noodles
Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill

Everyday Noodles opened in Squirrel Hill in late February to much fanfare and excitement. The owner, Mike Chen, is none other than the father of Tamari's owner, Allen Chen, and has himself opened several Asian restaurants around town previously.

What's distinctive about Everyday Noodles, however, is its explicit attempt to follow authentic Taiwanese cooking. Authenticity is something I greatly appreciate, especially in Asian cuisine, as there are few things that annoy me more than being offered fortune cookies at the end of a Chinese meal. (In case you didn't know, fortune cookies originated in...drum roll...the United States!)

I was definitely intrigued, and paid two visits there in its early days. The first thing a diner should know about Everyday Noodles is that there will most likely be a wait.  The moderately-sized casual eatery does not take reservations and is nearly always jam packed, to the degree unlike any other restaurant in the neighborhood. But while you wait, feel free to grab some bubble tea and enjoy the fresh noodle-making "show" in the glass-encased area of the open kitchen near the entrance. (That is, if you're not at the end of the line that sometimes stretches out the door!)

Fresh Noodles at Everyday Noodles
Fresh noodles in the making

See the chef in action here:

Between my two visits, I have had the opportunity to sample a few different dishes. I highly recommend the Pork and Crab Meat Soup Dumplings, which Everyday Noodles has become quite known for. Chinese people are very picky about their soup dumplings - the wrapper, in particular, must be thin, but not too thin that it breaks easily on contact. It takes a highly skilled chef to make soup dumplings just right. The ones at Everyday Noodles are excellent, with filling that is juicy and flavorful.

Pork and Crab Meat Soup Doublings at Everyday Noodles
Pork and Crab Meat Soup Dumplings ($11/8 pcs)

Pork and Crab Meat Soup Dumplings at Everyday Noodles
Pork and Crab Meat Soup Dumplings

I also enjoyed the Taiwanese Style Pork Belly Slider, topped with chopped peanuts and cilantro, and served in a fluffy white and slightly sweet Chinese bun. It wasn't Momofuku-good, but it was solid nonetheless.

Taiwanese Style Pork Belly Slider
Taiwanese Style Pork Belly Slider ($6)

I've also had two different noodle dishes at Everyday Noodles, for which diners have a choice between thin or thick noodles. I tried the Braised Beef Noodle Soup with thin noodles, which was not bad, but I was really wowed by the Dan Dan Noodles Szechuan Style (with thick noodles) which was served in a delicious peanutty sauce and was not nearly as spicy as I would have imagined.

Braised Beef Noodle Soup at Everyday Noodles
Braised Beef Noodle Soup ($11)

Dan Dan Noodles at Everyday Noodles
Dan Dan Noodles ($7)

Overall, I enjoyed the food at Everyday Noodles, and hope to try some desserts next time. I also have no complaints about the service; in fact, on both visits the owner himself was seen working alongside the waitstaff, greeting, serving, and chatting with the customers.

By the way, the Chinese name for Everyday Noodles, 天天見麵, is a clever play on words: The first two characters (天天) in the name mean "everyday," while the third character (見) means "see." The last character (麵), though, is what's most interesting, as it means "noodles" but is homonymous with the word that means "face." In fact, if you look carefully at the design of the Chinese logo (see it on their website here) and focus on just the red part of the name, it actually reads 天天見面, with the last character being "face" (面) in red and the black part added to create the character for "noodles" (麵). The last two characters in red then, together, means "to see (a person)." Thus, when reading just the red part of the restaurant's name, it means "see you every day." Adding the black part gives it a dual meaning - literally to "see noodles every day."

Indeed, Everyday Noodles, I'd love to see you - and your noodles - every day.

Restaurant info:
Everyday Noodles
5875 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 421-6668
(412) 421-6669
On the web:
On Facebook:

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