Crazy for noodles? Go to Londonderry

March 22. 2017 12:50AM
The garlic noodle entree at Crazy Noodle in Londonderry. 
Crazy Noodle
44 Unit 6 Nashua Road, Londonderry; 965-4914; crazynoodlehouse.wordpress.com

Hours:
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Saturday, noon-9:30 a.m., Sunday, noon-9 p.m.

Cuisine: Asian noodles.

Dinner pricing: Appetizers $4-$9; salads $5-$12; combo plates $15-$16; noodle soup $9.95-$19.95; pan-fried noodles $9.95-$14.95; dried noodles $9.95-$11.95; desserts $4-$7.

The scores for Crazy Noodle
Atmosphere: 16/20
Menu: 17/20
Food: 17/20
Service: 18/20
Value: 17/20
Total: 85/100

We’re suckers for noodles. Any kind of noodles.

So when we heard of a place opening just off I-93’s Exit 4 in Londonderry specializing in Asian noodles, it jumped to the top of our list of places to try.

When we found Crazy Noodle, tucked in a shopping center just off the highway, it crossed our mind that its name might best fit because there are two other Asian restaurants in the same plaza. That’s crazy. However, after tasting the offerings of chef Korakot “Big” Arimsri, we’re confident Crazy Noodle will fill a noodle niche that’s been lacking in southern New Hampshire.

The door of this diminutive restaurant opens into the dining room, with only a shoulder-high partition separating a short corridor where people wait for takeout and the dining area, which offers just six four-tops and three two-top tables. When we arrived, only one four-top was open, luckily for us.

We had some time while waiting for others to pick up takeout, so we grabbed a paper menu from a cup at the register and decided what to order.

We chose a couple of appetizers before delving into the noodles. Our Gourmet (OG) decided to start with the Sriracha Wings ($7), while the Dining Companion (DC) chose the Golden Triangle ($6), crispy tofu with a sweet and sour sauce, and a Sesame Salad ($5). The Fussbudget (FB), along on yet another ethnic culinary adventure at age 7, skipped the edible apps, preferring an app on the DC’s phone.

The wings came out fresh and too hot to handle for a bit, and with a funky, exotic smell we never figured out. Five wing sections — three drumettes and two wingettes — were crispy outside and tender inside, bathed in a puddle of sweet, slightly spicy Sriracha reminiscent of sweet-and-sour sauce. It was a delicious, sticky opening, requiring full use of all of our napkins and a trip to the restroom to wash up when all was said and done.

DC’s Golden Triangle was huge. Twelve tofu wedges, each the size of a playing card cut on the diagonal, were served delicately fried, arranged around a cup of dipping sauce. It took some dexterity to lift a wedge with chopsticks, and each was a tad too large to dip into the sauce. They were plain, as tofu is, but were transformed by a sweet-and-sour sauce augmented with crushed peanut. A quibble, other than the giant size of the order, was the scant supply of sauce. We’d suggest halving the tofu order and doubling up on the sauce.

The DC’s Sesame Salad was very good. Iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, onions and celery were doused in a sweet dressing, topped with peanuts. A fairly big serving, it disappeared and even drew a little interest from the FB, who enjoyed some lettuce.

We really were here for noodles, and Crazy Noodle offers plenty. Noodle soups of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese extraction, dried noodle dishes, and pan-fried noodles. OG ordered the Egg Noodle and Wonton Soup ($12.95), while the DC chose Garlic Noodles ($9.95) from the pan-fried options with an eye toward sharing with the FB, whose new food obsession is garlic pizza. Go figure.

Served in a big, black bowl, OG’s order must have been mis-heard, because there were no wontons (we weren’t charged, either). There was, however, a large portion of ramen-like egg noodles swimming in a deliciously dark, clear broth, topped with barbecued and crispy pork and chock-full of crisp carrot slices, broccoli, dainty baby bok choy and green onion. The FB scooped all of the barbecued pork from the bowl and devoured it from a plate instead. OG had trouble finishing the delicious bowl anyway.

The Garlic Noodles were a big, slippery pile of spaghetti-like noodles tasting mildly of garlic, with carrots and bits of cabbage mixed in. The FB was reluctant given the bright veggies, but gobbled up the noodles after the DC segregated the offending items from the pile.

We made room for dessert, sampling the Banana Tempura ($7) and the Green Tea Red Bean ice cream ($5). A huge scoop of vanilla ice cream came on a plate, drizzled with hot fudge and caramel and surrounded by fried banana pieces. The FB wrestled with the ice cream as it slid around on the plate, a problem solved when our server offered a fork to stab it with. Once tamed, it disappeared. FB turned his nose up at the bananas, though, and they were gobbled by the DC.

The green tea ice cream was the color of mashed peas, decidedly not sweet, but soothingly creamy. Its lack of sweetness was complimented and offset by a dollop of red bean paste, a thick, dark red confection of mashed adzuki beans and sugar that reminded us of dates in taste and consistency. Delicious.

Crazy Noodle touts itself on Facebook as having “the largest made-to-order noodle selection in Londonderry.” That’s a bold claim but we don’t doubt it. We’ll be back to try their many other offerings.


Our GourmetLondonderry

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