#199 - Main Street Noodle, Stillwater OK

Last week I took off work Monday & Tuesday for my birthday. I never used to do that, but you know what? Life's too short. So my feeling is, as long as I don't have a work responsibility on my birthday, I'm not coming to work. My original plan was to do a whole lot of nothing both days. But Monday I ended up meeting Shawn for lunch in Tulsa and running a bunch of errands. And then Tuesday morning I drove to Guthrie and hit several thrift/antique shops. I had thought about eating lunch in Guthrie, but honestly there aren't a whole lot of options, and nothing jumped out at me. 

When I first moved to Stillwater I think there was just one restaurant and a lot of closed down businesses in the heart of downtown. Over the years they have worked hard to revitalize the area, bringing in several restaurants, a wine bar, and several new shops. They also host monthly Fridays, Food Trucks & Tunes in the summer & fall, a Christmas parade, and a Halloween festival and parade. 

One of the more recent restaurant additions was Main Street Noodle. It has gotten great reviews online, and I've heard friends rave about it. So I decided to try it out. It's not a very large place, seating maybe a total of 50 people. There is a small patio out front; and as you walk in the door there are booths along the right wall, a few tables on the left side, the kitchen takes up over half of the left wall, and then a semi-private dining space towards the back with 3 tables. 

The menu isn't huge. They've got appetizers, Pho, ramen bowls, and noodle bowls. I've never tried Pho, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup. I also hadn't eaten ramen since I think college, so this was going to be an adventure. They also have a substantial sushi menu, but since I ate my weight in sushi the day before, I passed.

I like how they have chopsticks and spoons out on the tables, so you don't have to ask for anything.

I had absolutely no clue what to get, and when I told my server that this was both my first visit and that I'd never tried Pho, she got so excited. She sat down and went over every single item with me, with complete patience for my questions. And she really knew her stuff. I was super impressed. 

I definitely like that they have pictures of a lot of the dishes on the menu, to help you decide. That's how I selected my appetizers, and went with the croquettes and crunchy shrimp rolls. I don't usually get apps, but I was absolutely starving. And besides, the pictures drew me in

The croquette was outstanding. Freshly fried, screaming hot, super crunchy outside, creamy mashed potato inside. I like that they add corn, peas & carrots so it's like you're getting 2 food groups at the same time.

The shrimp was just okay. It wasn't bad at all, it just didn't do anything for me. The sauce, on the other hand, was delicious.

It took me a really long time to decide what to get for the entree, going back and forth between a ramen bowl or Pho. I finally decided on Pho

Also at the table was an array of sauces and spices

Hoisin, sriracha, sweet chili oil, white pepper,
Nanami Togarashi (traditional Japaense mix of spices), soy sauce
My server put a mix of everything together for me. She explained as she went along, but honestly I was kind of mesmerized so I just watched. The dish also comes with a side of bean sprouts, jalapenos, basil & lime

And finally, the pho

I got a half serving, and was stunned at the size. You would have to be absolutely starving, and not eat any apps, to even attempt the full. 

I have to say, I wasn't a huge fan of the meat. I'm such a visual person, the color of the meat was kind of unappetizing, and it just didn't have a lot of flavor. But that's because of how they cook it, by pouring the boiling broth over the meat. On the flip side, the broth and noodles were awesome. The broth had amazing flavor, and it was made even better when I poured the sauce into the bowl. I added the bean sprouts and a couple of jalapenos. I didn't even think of squeezing any lime in or adding basil until after the fact.

I tried, but I couldn't finish the bowl. The server offered me to take the rest of the broth to go, but I have no clue what I would have done with it. I'm going to have to look into that in the future, because I could have definitely eaten the rest later.

Will I go back? Most definitely. I really enjoyed the Pho, and want to try the Ramen noodle bowl as well. 

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