Taste

Go beyond Chinese classics at Wendy’s Noodle Cafe

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Try tasty caramelized rice cakes with fried egg at Wendy’s Noodle Cafe.
Photo: Sarah Feldberg

The Details

Wendy’s Noodle Cafe
3401 S. Jones Blvd., 889-3288.
Daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

When you think of interesting Asian dining, perhaps your head goes straight to the refined flavors of Chada Thai & Wine or the Italian-infused menu of Trattoria Nakamura-Ya. These days, mine often goes to Wendy’s.

At first glance, Wendy’s Noodle Cafe looks like your typical Chinese restaurant. There are noodle soups, stir-fries, steamed Shanghai soup dumplings and pretty photos of potential dinner items gracing the walls, but dig a little deeper and Wendy’s breaks out of the been-there/ate-that mold. Start with the ribeye bao burger, chewy steamed buns stuffed with tender shaved beef (“burger” is a stretch) and onions in sweet sauce. Served with a nicely acidic green salad—yes, at a Chinese restaurant—there’s more than enough to share. Venture further into alternative offerings with the East Meets West menu—Portuguese curry, anyone?—or mix classics with contemporary, sampling tasty caramelized rice cakes bound together with a flash of fried egg or seafood udon with thick noodles and plenty of chili. It’s a spiced-up version of standard Chinese fare, much like Wendy’s itself.

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