Remember that post I wrote a few days ago listing all of the local Providence flavors I have yet to try? Well, I think writing that post was a blessing in disguise, because my husband finally suggested Noodles 102 for dinner the other day! It was cold, and he was craving a “hearthy meal” as he described it, and since Noodles 102 is only a few blocks from our home, we agreed it was the perfect opportunity to finally experience what they are most know for– a big ole’ bowl of steaming hot noodles!
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was how tiny it was. There were maybe six or eight tables, and half of them were taken already. However, my husband pointed out that behind a curtain was another room with more seating. It was closed off the night we went, which made it seem that much more cozy.
Another thing I appreciated about Noodles 102 was as soon as we sat down, I noticed heat was coming up from the floor. My feet were nice and toasty all night!
The whole process happens kind of quickly here– as soon as you sit, menus are presented, and only a few minutes later, a very attentive and friendly waitress came over for our drink order. We were ready to order everything at that point, so we did! The menu features many vegetarian and vegan appetizer options, like lettuce wraps, edamame, and my absolute favorite, nime chow aka fresh summer rolls. I had to give their nime chow a chance, and when the waitress asked if I would like tofu in it, I immediately said yes please! I also ordered some green tea to drink.
The nime chow came out in minutes. At first glance, I noticed how plump they were– they were packed with plain tofu, rice noodles, carrots, bean sprouts, and either mint or thai basil leaves (I couldn’t tell!). They came out with a sweet peanut dipping sauce, which I literally could drink by the buckets. This nime chow (and the husband agrees) was by far the freshest and most substantial nime chow we’ve ever enjoyed. Definitely a win in the appetizer department!
As for my main, I obviously went for one of their famous, customizable noodle bowls. First, I had to choose my noodle– options ranged from udon to soba to bean thread to explicitly gluten-free rice noodles. There were at least ten noodle types to pick from, and I went for the gluten-free black rice noodles, which supposedly are made locally! Then, comes the broth option– I could have gone for coconut curry, spicy miso, or just one called “vegetarian,” which is the one I selected. Lastly, I chose the vegetable and tofu (verses meat) combination to go along with the broth and noodles.
I dug into this bowl head-first, and, honestly, I didn’t come up for air until it was all gone (except to squirt some sriricha in it). Despite its size, it was so light and fresh, packed with veggies like onions, corn, carrots, bok choy and tofu as well. They don’t skimp on the noodles either– I love black rice, and naturally loved the black rice noodles! It’s definitely the kind of meal that clears all of your sinuses and leaves you sweating, even when it is fifteen degrees outside! My bowl was the ideal winter meal!
I told my husband I could eat here every week, and I could. The food is amazingly flavorful, but so healthy too! I ate a lot, but it settled very well, and I certainly did not feel weighed down, which is important to me. I even had room for the other half of my Hail Merry Raw Chocolate Almond Butter Tart later that evening!
Noodles 102= two thumbs up! It was everything I hoped it would be, and I feel so accomplished that I get to now check it off of my Providence bucket list!
Do you enjoy Asian noodle bowls? What are your favorite combinations?