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Cheap Lunch

valleyvittles Apr 26, 2010 11:04 AM

As we drove by the QT and it’s grubby little strip mall on Cactus near Cave Creek Road, I noticed a sign for a new restaurant, Noodle & Rice. For the next few days many coupons for it turned up on various sites including Restaurant.com. Given such an aggressive marketing campaign, we had to give it a try. Armed with our coupons, we arrived at lunch time. It’s a small place with a total of about twelve tables and booths. Make sure you get a booth, because the chairs are deadly uncomfortable. The plastic faux brick black wall and institutional gray paint give the place a kind of depressing air, lightened only by the turquoise banquettes and some leftover prints of Italian food on one wall. However, our server had a pleasant smile, and the menu showed promise.

Noodle & Rice is an Asian restaurant, serving Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food. The prices at lunch are so reasonable we didn’t even need to use our coupons. There are 22 entrees that can be had for $3.95, but for another $2 you can add an egg roll, soup, and a drink. I suggest you do this, because the hot and sour soup is one of the best I’ve had, and the egg roll is delicious too. China Mist iced tea is served here, and if you opt for hot tea you have your choice of several different kinds, served in a cute little teapot and matching cup. I opted to get chow mein noodles instead of white rice for an extra fifty cents, and I’m glad I did, because they were right up there with the hot and sour soup. Actually they outshone my entree of pad prik with beef and vegetables in a spicy brown sauce, because the beef was a little on the tough side, although still quite flavorful. Ken had shrimp in lobster sauce. The shrimp were properly cooked and the sauce was good, but, not being a green pepper lover, he thought there were too many on the plate. Oddly, at the end of our meal, we were not given fortune cookies.

There are lots of things I want to try when we return. Appetizers include pot stickers
($3.95), and chicken satay ($5.95). Tom Yum and Tom Kar soup (which has coconut milk in it) are both $3.50/$4.95. I love Tonkatsu sauce, so I may go for the chicken ($5.95). Panang Noodles ($6.95) are crispy wide rice noodles served with chicken or beef in a curry and coconut milk sauce. The most expensive thing on the menu is soft shell crab with either black pepper or curry powder at $10.95 A little less are two fried talapia (sic) dishes, one with Thai herbs, peppers, eggplant and basil, the other with a curry sauce sprinkled with minced kaffir lime leaves and fresh chili (both $8.95. Happily there’s Thai iced coffee and tea, and for dessert green tea or coconut pineapple ice cream.

Give it a try, with prices like these you don’t have much to lose.

2017 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix
602-368-8889