Why, oh why, have I never done a post on Crazy Noodle? I've known about the vegan-friendliness of this Midtown noodle house for ages, but for some reason, I rarely eat there. It's my omni partner Paul's favorite restaurant. He gets noodle takeout at least once a week, but my weekly dining budget (one to two meals per week) typically goes Imagine Vegan Cafe. So I just don't get the chance to eat here often enough.
Crazy Noodle has — you guessed it — noodles! But unlike some places in town, they offer the option of vegetable broth. There are a number of vegan soups on their menu, but my very fave is actually not on the menu. If you request it though, they know exactly what you're talking about — Vegan Mandou-Guk.
The non-vegan mandou-guk is on the menu, but the cook there knows how to veganize it without any explanation. And that's nice. Mandou are Korean vegetable dumplings, and they're typically cooked in a chicken broth and topped with eggs.
But the vegan version uses a veggie stock and no eggs. The dumplings are tender and quite large. I get two bites out of each one. But the best part of this soup (to me, anyway) are the Korean rice cakes. They're chewy ovals of rice noodle, and I just love them. You can see lots of them floating in my soup pictured above. I'd never tried Korean rice cakes until having them in this soup, and now I buy them at my local Asian market to use in soups at home.
Also excellent is the Spinach Daen-Jang-Guk.
This one is on the menu. It's a spicy rice noodle soup cooked in a veggie broth with spinach and tofu. I love all things spicy, and this one does not disappoint. I had some house guests last weekend, and they're not as big into spice as I am. I didn't know that when they ordered this soup, but I'd say, if you're a spice-aphobe, you might want to avoid this one.
There are a number of other veggie soups, and veggie broth can be subbed in many that aren't vegetarian on the menu. There's also vegan Jap-Chae (sweet potato noodles with veggies, sesame oil, and soy sauce). And for those who like their noodles cold, there are noodle salads as well. The cold Bibam Vegetable Noodle (veggies, noodles, soy or spicy sauce) is perfect for cooling off on a hot day. Noodle picnic anyone?
Crazy Noodle is located at 2015 Madison. Call 901-272-0928.