Nashville Restaurants and Food
Noodle House Thai Restaurant
5270 Murfreesboro Road
We’ll take a road trip for food, especially if it’s a nice day, and even more so if the restaurant in question has received good reviews. So, we set off for La Vergne with high hopes and hungry stomachs. We’ve been hearing from readers about the Noodle House Thai Restaurant for a while. Recently the folks at the Nashville Foodies blog had nice things to say about the joint. We figured the 45 minute trip would be worth it. Well, we arrived to find the Noodle House closed. A sign on the door explained they were closed for the whole weekend. Not bearing a grudge, because restaurant people have lives too, we returned the next weekend, and we’re certainly glad we did. Under new management and with a new menu Noodle House offers up really good Thai food.
We kick our visit off with appetizers. The curry puffs are fried to perfection. Inside the crisp egg roll shell curry, chicken and sweet potato combine for an almost Indian flavor. The fresh chopped veggies, with a sweet sauce on the side, make for a nice counterpoint. The apps are like much of the menu, in that while Thai dominates there are frequent side trips to China and other Asian countries.
Tom Kha Chicken soup has a great separation of flavors, one of the things that make Thai soup so enjoyable. The savory soup gets a bite from galangal, chunks of lemongrass and kaffir leaves. The mushrooms and onions still have their texture giving the soup a nice freshness.
The grilled duck curry is listed as a chef special, and judging from the exceptional flavor there will be further investigation of the 15 other items on that page of the menu. The duck really holds up well in the delicate, spicy curry. The crispy skin and strong flavor does the dish well. Pineapples add a pop of sweet and green peppers a nice snap. The pretty presentation in the bowl shows that the chef does indeed take care with the specials.
Another chef special, Lomo Saltado, shows the kitchen isn’t afraid to mix it up. The Peruvian specialty is surprising to see on a Thai menu. Pumpkin shows up in the curry recipe and on the desert menu as a custard. The menu does keep the usual format of noodle dishes, rice offerings and curries. You’ll find many of the favorites here, and a few twists to shake things up.
Veggie Eater: I hesitate to say that this is some of the best Asian food I’ve had in Nashville; my hesitation isn’t due to personal insecurity, but because the last time I pronounced a restaurant as a “favorite” or “best”, it went belly up in record time. I started with the Tofu Fresh Roll. The rice paper wrapper was much thicker than the standard wrappers I am used to, and it had a wonderful, glutinous texture. It enveloped julienned lettuce and carrots, small chunks of tofu, rice and cilantro. The rolls are served at room temp and are accompanied by a hoison-y peanut sauce. The rolls themselves were generous in portion and helped quell my growing hunger. I then went for the Pad Bean Thread Noodles, tofu option (you can also choose veggie as an option). I love cellophane noodles, but you can rarely find them at a restaurant for a main dish (they occasionally make a co-star appearance in spring rolls). I was not disappointed. The noodles appear to have been lightly pan fried with sliced peppers, the ubiquitous mini Asian corns, tofu, celery, onion, carrots, and egg. The noodles were lightly sauced to allow all of the ingredients to shine through. The tofu appeared to have been marinated and then either pan fried or broiled, to add additional flavor and texture. I am very much looking forward to my leftovers for lunch. I’ll have to start conjuring up reasons to get to La Vergne in the future. There are tons of veggie friendly options on the menu.
Meat Eater: It’s a comfortable, although schizophrenic, dining room. We counted three different floor coverings and two different table sets. It doesn’t matter: the staff is quick and friendly, and the atmosphere relaxed. To be fair though, we were about the only ones in the house on our Sunday lunch visit. The cheesy elevator music may be the only negative. The food rises above it all and makes the Noodle House Thai Restaurant definitely worth a return trip. We paid $48 with tax and tip for two appetizers, one soup and two entrees.