Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
When D and I heard about a new “noodle” restaurant in Shadyside, that doesn’t have a phone because they want people to dine in and enjoy their noodles at the peak of freshness, we knew we had to get down there! Noodlehead has only been open since October 2012, but it already has a loyal following and it’s only getting more popular as people give it a shot. Noodlehead is run by Michael Johnson and his partner Watcharee Tongdee, they used to own and operate Typhoon in the same space for 9yrs. The restaurant is an interpretation of noodle huts found in Tak, Thailand where Watcharee is from, just on a larger more modern scale. The space is gorgeous, a mix of weathered wood and corrugated metal with a concrete floor mix match seating and retro style lighting. It’s very inviting when you walk in, it’s a seat yourself restaurant that is also BYOB, which is always nice.
Noodlehead has a very small menu, 3-4 apps and 10 noodle dishes. If you are not a fan of spicy foods this may not be the restaurant for you, at the bottom of the menu there is a spice scale from 1-5(1 being mild and 5 being extra hot), but it also says that all dishes start off a “lil spicy”. The portions here are not small, but they are by no means large; an app and 2 noodle dishes are enough food for a couple. The app we decided to try was the sweet and spicy pig wings, 3 chunks of pork (wish the portion was a little larger) that were fall off the bone tender and were sweet to start but got spicier as you ate. These were awesome; we were tempted to order another plate of them. The “wings” were served with vinegar-marinated cucumbers, to help take away they spice of the wings, way better than the standard carrots and celery.
For entrees we both ordered the “street noodles” spice level #2, her noodles came with tempura shrimp, mine with Thai fried chicken. D’s dish has thin egg noodles and mine had rice noodle; both dishes came with bok choy cilantro and green onions all tossed in what we could best describe as a chile spiked oil. D and I can handle a little bit of heat but the 2 had our lips tingling. It was so delicious however we couldn’t stop eating! The flavor is always more important than just spice, and this place knows that, they combine the two perfectly. Along with dinner tonight we brought the last bottle of wine we had from our Seattle trip; it is a 2011 Muscat Canelli from Columbia Valley, it’s a slightly sweet white wine that paired exceptionally well with the spicy meal we were enjoying.
This place immediately put itself on the short list of restaurants we would come back to again and again! The service was friendly and extremely quick; they were attentive without being overbearing (which is great with us). Thankfully they were more than happy to keep bringing us more water, which will be needed if you dine here. On a side note, this place is CASH ONLY, so be sure to have it on you. This place is very reasonable compared to most places in Shadyside, apps are between $5-$7 and noodles run between $6-$9. If you haven’t been to Noodlehead yet we have just one question, what are you waiting for?
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242 South Highland Ave.
Pgh, Pa 15206
Open daily 12:00pm-10:00pm
Cash only and BYOB