At the noodle bar

The Saturday (February 6th) Rhymes With Orange:


Ah, a noodle bar — one in which the customer picks a type of pasta and a type of sauce. There are in fact such places, though they seem not to be called noodle bars.

Now noodle bar is one type of X bar snowclonelet composite, type [d] in my 10/18/14 posting on this family of snowclonelets:

[usu. with modifier] a small store or booth serving refreshments or providing a service: a dairy bar. [d]

My examples: sushi bar, tapas bar, snack bar.

Searching on noodle bar pulls up, first, establishments offering Asian noodles of one kind or another. In my area:

A Taste of Vietnam Noodle Bar & Grill, Broadway in S.F.: Vietnamese cuisine with Thai influences

Slurp Noodle Bar, Castro St. in S.F.: Chinese – Pan-Asian noodle specialist

Toss Noodle Bar, Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley: Ramen and curry options

San Jose Noodle Bar: Vietnamese

SEA (South East Asian) Noodle Bar, Santa Rosa

The prototypes are Tampopo’s noodle restaurant in Tokyo (in the movie Tampopo) and classic noodle bars in China, like the Noodle Bar in Beijing, serving hand-pulled (in view of the patrons) noodles:


Then, noodles being both an Asian and an Italian thing, we get some fusion places:

Noodles Italian Cafe and Sushi Bar, Naples FL

Noodle Station, Hanover NH: Asian-Italian fusion noodle bar

Then, both in Italy and the U.S., there are noodle houses:

Noodles Italian Spagetti Bar in Milan

Loose Noodle Pasta House, Monterey CA

at least 6 Italian noodle houses in Portland OR

But all these are noodle restaurants, offering specific kinds of noodles in combination with specific sauces or broths. There are also pick-your-own places. For example, the chain restaurant Olive Garden offers a Create Your Own Pasta Bowl: you pick from 6 pastas, 5 sauces, and meat toppings. At a higher end of the scale, there’s Chef Lucia’s Piatti Pronti in Arlington Heights IL, offering 15 pastas and 18 sauces:

[the menu’s Italian spelling is a bit rocky here; and the explanations are just translations of the Italian names, not always good as descriptions of the pasta] Pick a Pasta… capalini [cappellini] (angel hair), farfale [farfalle] (butterfly), fettuccini (little slices), gnocchi (knots), gomito (elbow) [usually in the plural: gomiti], conchiglie (medium shells), orecchietti (little ears), pappardelli [pappardelle] (flat ribbons), pastina (little pasta [tiny pieces of pasta]), penne (pens [short ribbed tubes]), rigatoni (large lined pens [larger ribbed tubes]), rotelle (wheels), spaghetti (little twines), tortellini (little pies [ring-shaped]), tripolini (rigged [ruffled?] ribbons) – fresh pasta 2.00 extra [unaccountably missing the twists, rotini (as in #1) and fusilli]

Pick A Sauce… Arrabbiata 10.00, Artichoke Alfredo Sauce 11.00, Basil Marinara 9.00, Bolognese 11.00, Carbonara 12.00, Cavolfiore  [cauliflower] 11.00, Ceci [chickpeas] 10.00, Creamy Sausage & Peas 12.00, Genovese Basil Pesto 12.00, Hearty Pot Roast 14.00, Lemon Ricotta Pesto 12.00, Mushroom 11.00, Puttanesca 11.00, Radicchio 12.00, Rapini [broccoli rabe] 11.00, Spicy Tuna 12.00, Tre Formaggi 10.25, Vodka 12.00

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