Visit Date: March 15, 2018
822 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232
Bill with tip: $45.30 (3 entrees, 1 appetizer, 1 beer)
Frank’s Noodle House is located a bit off the beaten path in Portland’s Eastern district. A lovely old home has been turned into a den of earthly noodle delight. I first heard about Frank’s in an article in the Oregonian about cheap places to eat in Portland. The pictures and the description hooked me. Later on, I learned it had also been featured on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives – a fact that probably would have taken it off our list of go-to places had I learned of it early on. Happily, for all of us on a Thursday in Portland, I didn’t find out about it until a few days prior. Also, we had seen the menu.
The interior of the restaurant still looks like a home, although now space is taken up by old-school Formica tables and padded chairs. Nothing fancy, but nothing wrong either. Think old-school Chinese restaurant.
Frank’s Noodle House is known for the wonderful handmade noodles it produces. Yes, there are other things on the menu (and they sound delicious), but we went for the noodles. After a quick perusal of the menu, we made our decisions. The three of us ordered a plate of steamed dumplings, and one each of the noodles with beef, vegetables, and squid. I also ordered a Hite (a Korean beer I had never heard of).
Small bowls of kimchi (delightful) and some sort of fermented vegetable (cabbage? cucumber?) appeared on our table. I sampled. The kimchi was delightful. We could not figure out what the other item was. It tasted odd.
Let me just say that even though we arrived early (around noon) in the day and it was not terribly busy I did not expect anything fast about the service. I was wrong. My wife’s noodles with squid came out about 4 minutes after we ordered. Our dumplings and our other two dishes came out about 2 minutes later. We all got a bit worried. We had all gone with a 2 (on a 0-4 scale of spiciness), but the noodles before me were *very* red in color. Looks can be deceiving, however, and once I dug into my plate I was both excited and shocked to find they were not overly spicy at all. In fact, they were thoroughly delicious. My wife and her friend were likewise excited at the culinary delight before them.
We traded bites of each others’ dishes. The squid was excellent. Even the vegetables with noodles were delicious. Overall though, the noodles were the star. Chewy but not overly so. Firm and delicious.
We moved on to the dumplings. Boy howdy. Delicious filling wrapped up in a silky pasta. Delicious. And a nice gingery/salty sauce to dip them in. They disappeared quickly.
But the noodles. Oh man, the noodles. I will definitely go back for the noodles. And the dumplings. Yes, more of those, please!
But I will skip the Hite…