I don’t get to the International District of Seattle (ID) enough, and I think it stinks. This neighborhood just East of Century Link Field is full of Asian grocers, independent shops, and of course loads of great restaurants.
Some of the restaurants are fancy sit down and have been a part of the downtown Seattle landscape for decades. Others are “hole-in-the-wall” joints that are typically fiercely ethnic Asian cuisines, in other words, not designed to Americanize our palates but rather, to give us a taste of what Asian folks have been eating across their vast continent for centuries.
Today I finally made it to Szechuan Noodle Bowl. Szechuan Noodle Bowl is a non-descript restaurant that has been a favorite of one of our local icons, Tom Douglas, for years. In fact, in Tom’s recent book, Chef’s Walks Seattle with Tom Douglas, he mentions this little spot as a place to grab a great bowl of noodles. In fact, he recommends their green onion pancake, their pork and napa dumplings, and on a hot day, their cold noodle salad with boiled chicken and peanut sauce. Who am I to argue with Big Tom? I ordered all three…
So…remember when I told you all that I try to be too critical? Well…lets just say there are some way better dumplings out there and, well, the green onion pancake was very nice too, but for me, the cold noodle salad was probably the best thing of the three, probably because I added some red chili sauce to it to add a little more kick and a little more flavor. My server says that they sell a TON of the cold noodle dishes when the weather is nice, and I can see why. It is equal parts refreshing and full of a tangy, zingy, lightly-sweet aftertaste that I enjoyed more and more with each bite.
Maybe not the very best Szechuan you have had, but it is definitely worth a stop if in need of a quick lunch and you are in the ID looking for something quick, flavorful, and delicious.