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a faaabulous lunch

a faaabulous lunch
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  • a faaabulous lunch

    Post #1 - January 18th, 2005, 4:24 pm
    Post #1 - January 18th, 2005, 4:24 pm Post #1 - January 18th, 2005, 4:24 pm
    I was honored today to have Mike G & Gary venture out to the frozen plains to break bread, or actually suck noodles, with me. The pressure was on, but Sunny delivered at Fabulous Noodles, Whew, a relief.

    We began with my normal -

    Vegetarian Chicken - dried tofu, marinated and slghtly, sweetly sauced. Subtle and light, to please the palate.

    Soup Noodles with bbq pork - having enthused on this repeatedly, let me just say it was very good. A slightly darker broth, and more cooked bbq pork (which may have imparted the extra color). A great dish for a cold day, or any day.

    Then we got adventurous, and, dare I say, gluttonous.

    Beef with bitter melon on crisp rice noodles. Lightly sauced, and a lot more noodles and melon than beef (which I liked, the beef as a seasoning almost). Quite tasty and filling. Helen warned us, too, "very bitter," which obliged Gary, that imp, to grimace and call her over to complain about the bitter, bitter, melon.

    Yu Noodle, Singapore style, with pork and shrimp. A thick round noodle, a little bigger than spaghetti, stir-fried. A dark yellow or orange color. Good with chili oil.

    Faaabuloouuuss Fried Shrimp and Squid - with all the pictures and my whispers (big web site guys...) we had Sunny going and she made this dish up. Sort of salt and pepper fried shrimp and squid in a pile of crisp breading bits from the frier with scallions and pepper bits. Good snacking food.

    Having eaten enough for 6 people, Sunny felt we needed desert and gave us some canned almond jello and fruit. Chinese restaurants are never great for dessert, but this was particularly, well, canned.

    A very enjoyable lunch. Somehow we managed to miss Flip, so I am hoping he will forgive me. Thanks to Gary & Mike for making the long haul into the uncharted wasteland beyond Harlem.

    Fabulous Noodles is on Old Tavern in Lisle, and a brief search will reveal many other posts, if interested.
    Last edited by dicksond on January 23rd, 2005, 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #2 - January 18th, 2005, 4:34 pm
    Post #2 - January 18th, 2005, 4:34 pm Post #2 - January 18th, 2005, 4:34 pm
    Who's Skip?

    Anyway, you guys covered all the bases. Not to mention enjoyed all three of my favorites (Vegetarian chicken, soup noodles w/bbq pork, and the yu noodles). I wish I had been in the area. Instead, I enjoyed 2 4pc chicken (can they even call them chicken?) nuggets from Wendy's while driving with my knee and talking on the phone. Maybe next time
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #3 - January 18th, 2005, 5:27 pm
    Post #3 - January 18th, 2005, 5:27 pm Post #3 - January 18th, 2005, 5:27 pm
    I'm jealous! I had Yu Shiang eggplant at Lao Sze Chuan in Westmont, it was good but not nearly as good as Ed's Potsticker House.

    They don't fry the eggplant at LSC so it loses a lot in the texture department although I bet Antonius would prefer it as the pieces are larger and more eggplanty. Picture will follow once I figure how to get them from my new camera to the webpage.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #4 - January 19th, 2005, 12:32 am
    Post #4 - January 19th, 2005, 12:32 am Post #4 - January 19th, 2005, 12:32 am
    I am sooooo good

    I just have to tell this story, even though it's totally puffing myself up.

    Before Dickson arrived at the fabulous Fabulous Noodles, GWiv and I killed time in the 7/11 in the same little strip mall. We poke around, I look for bottled water, I only see Cokes, then I notice a cooler with ice in it separate from the refrigerator cases. I see that it has bottles of things like Jarritos, the Mexican soda pop. A thought occurs to me. Sure enough, there are Coke bottles in it too. I see a bit of paper label sticking up from the ice, the telltale sign. I pull it out. Heche en Mexico, the bottle says. Suspicions confirmed-- Mexican Coke.

    In other words, I walked into a frickin' 7/11 in Lisle and within about 60 seconds my LTH-honed instincts had discovered something ethnically distinctive and unusual for sale in it, without even consciously looking.
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  • Post #5 - January 19th, 2005, 10:22 am
    Post #5 - January 19th, 2005, 10:22 am Post #5 - January 19th, 2005, 10:22 am
    I'm curious: do we know, or believe, that Mexican Coke is differently formulated? I had always thought that the point about global brands was total consistency in every bottle in every 7-11 from here to hell and back. If it is different, I want to try some.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #6 - January 19th, 2005, 10:24 am
    Post #6 - January 19th, 2005, 10:24 am Post #6 - January 19th, 2005, 10:24 am
    Mexican Coke is still made with real cane sugar, not corn syrup as US Coke. There is a BIG difference in taste.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - January 19th, 2005, 10:39 am
    Post #7 - January 19th, 2005, 10:39 am Post #7 - January 19th, 2005, 10:39 am
    Mexican Coke is definitely different. Note that the paper label attached to comply with US labeling regs usually says "Cane sugar and/or corn syrup"; I'm not sure if it also contains some corn syrup or if, as I suspect, it's just legal butt-covering.

    Here's a thread in which Flip conducted an actual taste test:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1611

    To your point about global consistency, if Coca-Cola owned all the bottling facilities, that would probably be the case; but the bottlers are all local franchisees and so the Mexican ones, for instance, choose to still use cane sugar (I think the price difference favoring corn syrup is entirely an artefact of artificial tariffs, price supports, favors done to one big sugar-producing family in Florida, etc. anyway). As the thread notes, there's also the issue of kosher Coke from New York, which also uses cane sugar and is available in markets in places like Skokie.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #8 - January 19th, 2005, 2:27 pm
    Post #8 - January 19th, 2005, 2:27 pm Post #8 - January 19th, 2005, 2:27 pm
    D,

    Fabulous Noodle's was truly Faaaaaaaaaabulous!

    From the delicious Soup Noodle with BBQ Pork
    Image

    to Vegetarian Chicken
    Image

    and (almost) 'Little' Three Happiness worthy Crispy Skin Chicken.
    Image

    Also quite good were Yu Noodle Singapore style w/pork and shrimp
    Image

    Faaaaaaaabulous Fried Shrimp and Squid
    Image

    and Beef w/Bitter Melon. (boy was that bitter. :wink: )
    Image

    Specials board at Fabulous Noodles
    Image

    Mr. Dickson with Sunny
    Image

    D, thanks much for showing us city centric folk that there's good, no, check that, damn good, Chinese food in the Land Beyond O'Hare.

    Note: Both Mike G and I took the pictures posted, I don't remember which is which, though it's safe to assume if you think a picture is really good, it's Mike's not mine.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - January 20th, 2005, 10:04 am
    Post #9 - January 20th, 2005, 10:04 am Post #9 - January 20th, 2005, 10:04 am
    As I was out in the vast space west of Chicago, I stopped in to Fabulous Noodles for lunch and had a fabulous lunch!

    I was alone, so I ordered the lunch special - soup and an entree for ~$6

    First, an interesting take on hot and sour soup. Nicely spiced, bamboo shoots, tofu and (pleasantly surprising to me) small bits of red bell pepper, which enhanced the soup's natural hit of black vinegar and black pepper. I'll be adding this to my own version.

    Then the Yu noodles with pork and small shrimp - sweet (Kecap manis, I think) and savory with stir-fried cabbage, carrot and scallion.

    I mentioned to the proprietor (Sunny) that I'd found out about F.N from the lth forum; she was very pleased!

    Thanks for the heads up to a great find!

    Marc
  • Post #10 - January 20th, 2005, 12:15 pm
    Post #10 - January 20th, 2005, 12:15 pm Post #10 - January 20th, 2005, 12:15 pm
    Your photos are great, everything looks wonderful even the fake chicken. They can really use your pictures on there web site. www.fabulousnoodles.com But if that should happen, there would be a line out the door to get in.
  • Post #11 - May 16th, 2005, 10:27 am
    Post #11 - May 16th, 2005, 10:27 am Post #11 - May 16th, 2005, 10:27 am
    any idea if Fab Noodles have lunch specials? I just started a job @ O'hare and so far have zero leads for a decent noon meal...
  • Post #12 - May 16th, 2005, 12:47 pm
    Post #12 - May 16th, 2005, 12:47 pm Post #12 - May 16th, 2005, 12:47 pm
    Fab Noodles is in Lisle, and is at least 20 miles from O'Hare, Tony. It would not be a good lunch choice.

    There are some good Japanese places in the O'Hare area - Torishin is one I like, plus a decent Indian place - Chutney Janet's, and then some places down York Road in Bensenville, I think.

    But Fabulous Noodles is not really an option.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #13 - May 16th, 2005, 3:32 pm
    Post #13 - May 16th, 2005, 3:32 pm Post #13 - May 16th, 2005, 3:32 pm
    HI,

    I have heard Chutney Janet's is no longer in business.

    BTW - I was all geared up to go to today to:

    Priscilla's Ultimate Soulfood Cafeteria West
    4330 W. Roosevelt Rd.
    Hillside, IL
    708-544-6230
    Closed: Monday and Tuesday
    Wednesday-Sunday: 11 AM - 9 PM
    Breakfast is no longer offered.

    I abandoned my effort when nobody answered the phone. I hope they take Mondays off, so someday I will finally make it there.
    Last edited by Cathy2 on May 18th, 2005, 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #14 - May 16th, 2005, 3:33 pm
    Post #14 - May 16th, 2005, 3:33 pm Post #14 - May 16th, 2005, 3:33 pm
    The food looks awsome....so can I bring wine or do they have it? :D
  • Post #15 - May 17th, 2005, 12:21 pm
    Post #15 - May 17th, 2005, 12:21 pm Post #15 - May 17th, 2005, 12:21 pm
    After being inspired by the above writings, I went there today on my lunch hour. I had the Hot & Sour Soup, which was really quite good (although I only found a few red pepper bits in mine), and then the Yu noodles with Indonesian sauce. Although I definately enjoyed it, I did find it to be a tad too sweet and greasy. Because it is 25 minutes from where I work, I will probably stick with the very consistent and good Lao Sze Chuan in Westmont for lunch, which is only 5 minutes away (not to compare the two or anything).
  • Post #16 - May 17th, 2005, 12:36 pm
    Post #16 - May 17th, 2005, 12:36 pm Post #16 - May 17th, 2005, 12:36 pm
    borborigmy wrote:After being inspired by the above writings, I went there today on my lunch hour. I had the Hot & Sour Soup, which was really quite good (although I only found a few red pepper bits in mine), and then the Yu noodles with Indonesian sauce. Although I definately enjoyed it, I did find it to be a tad too sweet and greasy. Because it is 25 minutes from where I work, I will probably stick with the very consistent and good Lao Sze Chuan in Westmont for lunch, which is only 5 minutes away (not to compare the two or anything).


    By the way, if you want a really hot hot&sour, get the house special hot and sour soup at LSC. It's the normal soup with a liberal dose of chili oil, chopped nuts, and a few other things. It's blisteringly hot, but very good. One interesting thing for me was that it completely numbed my mouth to the heat, but not the flavor, of everything I ate after that. Things that would have had a decent chili heat were now mild, but still quite flavorful.

    But again, it's very spicy soup, so it might be too much for some. If you like heat, give it a try.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #17 - May 17th, 2005, 3:45 pm
    Post #17 - May 17th, 2005, 3:45 pm Post #17 - May 17th, 2005, 3:45 pm
    As a known fan of Fabulous Noodles I won't bore you with details, but I have never had a bad experience.

    I do agree with gleam that the house special H&S is a fireball. I too work only five minutes away form the Westmont outpost and I have fallen in love with their twice cooked pork. :oops: Is that wrong?

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #18 - May 19th, 2005, 12:35 pm
    Post #18 - May 19th, 2005, 12:35 pm Post #18 - May 19th, 2005, 12:35 pm
    The reason you got that numbness from the hot and sour soup was that they probably used true Szechuan peppers (roasted in an oil), which are not truly "hot" but more numbing. I love the feeling, and have even bought some (sent from NYC) myself.
  • Post #19 - May 19th, 2005, 1:27 pm
    Post #19 - May 19th, 2005, 1:27 pm Post #19 - May 19th, 2005, 1:27 pm
    borborigmy wrote:After being inspired by the above writings, I went there today on my lunch hour. I had the Hot & Sour Soup, which was really quite good (although I only found a few red pepper bits in mine), and then the Yu noodles with Indonesian sauce. Although I definately enjoyed it, I did find it to be a tad too sweet and greasy. Because it is 25 minutes from where I work, I will probably stick with the very consistent and good Lao Sze Chuan in Westmont for lunch, which is only 5 minutes away (not to compare the two or anything).


    Should you choose to return to Fab Noodles, the best dish is Soup Noodles with BBQ pork. There are other very good dishes, and I do like the Yu Noodles, tho your comments about them being a bit sweet and oily are on the mark - I believe that is the style. They also do other Cantonese/Hong Kong style dishes quite well, such as Salt and Pepper shrimp or squid, vegetarian chicken (tofu), black pepper fish, and a lot more.

    I have never really liked their Hot & Sour soup myself, and always dose it liberally with vinegar and chili oil.

    When I plan to go to LSC in Westmont, I always seem to end up at the food court in the International Plaza. Have enjoyed LSC in Chinatown, but that darned food court always draws me away. Anyway, info on the place is appreciated, as I do expect to make it one of these days.

    As you sort of imply, LSC and Fab Noodles are completely different cuisines, one being primarily Szechuan and the other Hong Kong/Cantonese. With a few exceptions, there really should not be any overlap in the menus, and where there is it would only be because Fab Noodles is offering weaker versions of Szechuan dishes to satisfy gringos. So I would think LSC would do much better on any common items unless they have added Cantonese stuff for the same reasons.

    Anyway, I agree that the point is not which place is better - they are both quite good by all accounts, and offer very different food, unless someone wants to believe Chinese food is a single, monolithic cuisine... not!
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #20 - May 20th, 2005, 7:14 am
    Post #20 - May 20th, 2005, 7:14 am Post #20 - May 20th, 2005, 7:14 am
    borborigmy wrote:The reason you got that numbness from the hot and sour soup was that they probably used true Szechuan peppers (roasted in an oil), which are not truly "hot" but more numbing. I love the feeling, and have even bought some (sent from NYC) myself.


    You don't need to order them from NY next time. Mayflower foods at the end of the chinatown mall also had szechuan peppercorns last time I was there - fairly large bag for 3.99

    I'm not positive but I think that there are two different words for spicy - "ma" and "la", "ma" referring to the numbing effect of peppercorns (as in "ma" pao dofu) and "la" referring to chile heat - this is somewhat useful to know in reading LSC menu's as some dishes are referred to as "la la", etc.
  • Post #21 - May 24th, 2005, 8:01 am
    Post #21 - May 24th, 2005, 8:01 am Post #21 - May 24th, 2005, 8:01 am
    Thanks for the tip! I hope they have not been heat-treated like the ones from NYC, because I think it loses some of their potency (although then I think they may be slightly "illegal"). My brother is coming back from China soon, and he may be bringing me some unadultered peppercorns if he can.
  • Post #22 - May 24th, 2005, 3:25 pm
    Post #22 - May 24th, 2005, 3:25 pm Post #22 - May 24th, 2005, 3:25 pm
    I was at the Diho market in Westmont yesterday. They also have the Szechuan peppercorns. They are heat treated, available in 4oz pkg for less than 3 dollars. I also picked up some fresh rambutans.

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #23 - July 21st, 2005, 2:03 pm
    Post #23 - July 21st, 2005, 2:03 pm Post #23 - July 21st, 2005, 2:03 pm
    Fabulous Noodles update:

    I am worried. As of August 1, the couple who I most considered to be Fabulous Noodles, Hong & Sunny, will be gone. Apparently, there was a partnership with Helen, and for some reason it is being dissolved. Everyone is being very courteous at this point, if a tiny bit strained.

    Helen assures me nothing will change, but after 10 years, I am very anxious about this.

    Sunny tells me she thinks they may have another place in the western suburbs some time, so maybe I should just look at this as an opportunity to have 2 Fabulous Noodles. :?

    In any case, the Soup Noodles, Soft Shell Crab, and Water Spinach were excellent today, so I hope it was not a last supper of sorts (Flip, still happy to do lunch any time - email me).
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #24 - July 23rd, 2005, 2:26 pm
    Post #24 - July 23rd, 2005, 2:26 pm Post #24 - July 23rd, 2005, 2:26 pm
    How close is Fabulous Noodles to the Lisle Metra station? I want to try it before this date and lack a car!
  • Post #25 - July 24th, 2005, 12:24 am
    Post #25 - July 24th, 2005, 12:24 am Post #25 - July 24th, 2005, 12:24 am
    It is close to 2 miles, Evan. PM me about when you are thinking about coming, and I will see if I can join you and give you a ride.

    I need to visit a bit more before it ends, though I think Hong and Sunny are there, but definitely winding down. Still, Sunny did make a point of thanking me for all the support, and the GNR plaque which I presented to Helen, only because she was the one who was there at the time.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #26 - November 14th, 2005, 7:53 pm
    Post #26 - November 14th, 2005, 7:53 pm Post #26 - November 14th, 2005, 7:53 pm
    Trix and I happily made the 40 minute drive out to Fabulous noodle in Lisle again this past weekend. We never regret it.

    We started out with their sensational seafood trio. This dish is made with squid, tilapia (I think), and shrimp perfectly fried in a light batter of panko. There isn't a trace of greasiness to it. When I first tried this dish, I didn't eat any of the excess panko (sautéed with shallot, jalapeno pepper and garlic) that accompanies the fish pieces, thinking that it was just runoff from the frying process. As it turns out, it is about the best tasting thing in the entire dish.
    The seafood trio is cooked to perfection. It is a real treat.

    Afterwards, we had their shrimp dumpling soup, which consisted of a light but wonderful broth and nicely constructed and very tasty dumplings.

    The star of the night, however, was the chow fun with beef and bitter melon, served with a black bean sauce. The noodles were perfectly cooked, served crispy, and matched beautifully with the black bean and bitter melon. The melon was exceptional because it wasn’t overcooked like so many other places as well as just being a great vegetable. As a chow fun fanatic, I think this is a sensational example of the dish.

    [GWiv]
    Image

    I'm not quite sure what the present status with the management is at Fabulous Noodle but I can assure you that they aren't missing a beat these days.

    I'll do the reverse commute for their chow fun any day.
  • Post #27 - November 16th, 2005, 6:37 am
    Post #27 - November 16th, 2005, 6:37 am Post #27 - November 16th, 2005, 6:37 am
    I'm not quite sure what the present status with the management is at Fabulous Noodle but I can assure you that they aren't missing a beat these days.


    They used to be partners, Helen and Sunny with her husband, whose name escapes me at the moment. They split a few months ago, and Helen runs the place on her own now. I probably have exaggerated the significance of this change, both because Sunny was Fabulous Noodles for me, and because in a discussion a while back on how they maintained the consistency of their food when cooks come and go, Sunny's husband explained they were all her recipes, and she kept a tight rein on the kitchen. He might have been a tad biased in this evaluation, I suppose.

    I have noticed some slight changes in some dishes over the last couple of months, but they were just that, slight changes, and not examples of things getting worse in any way. One favorite, Yu Noodles Indonesian Style, is different and noticeably better. I am not sure exactly what the change is, but it is almost like they add panko bits to it, which gives it a little more heft, and coats the noodles more with sauce. They do seem to love panko.

    So I go back and dine happily, tho I miss Sunny. She said that she probably will start a new place, and I gave her my contact info. So my hope is that some day soon I will have 2 Fabulous Noodles to choose from. Meanwhile, this one is damned good.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #28 - November 20th, 2005, 8:50 pm
    Post #28 - November 20th, 2005, 8:50 pm Post #28 - November 20th, 2005, 8:50 pm
    A couple of weekends ago we went to FN - would never have known it existed if not for LTH. It was excellent, and on a Sunday afternoon, very busy. The bbq pork soup noodles A2Fay had were excellent. My tripe version I thought suffered a bit from the tripe being a bit too strong for the mild broth.

    In the GNR nomination thread Flip wrote:I think that there are actually 3 menus. One for the Noodles, one for the Ameri-chinese, and one chinese menu.


    There were three menus handed to us as well as other tables. The third ("Chinese" but in English too) menu was a single laminated page. This is their dim sum menu, going by the costs and portion size (we ordered only one item - shrimp stuffed fried eggplant).

    As we were leaving, we saw a table enjoying dou fu fa, fresh tofu 'custard', a favourite of my wife. I asked the lady who seated us (Helen, I presume) about it since it wasn't on any of the menus and she said they have it on the weekends.

    I'll be back, may be very soon, either pre or post Potter on Imax
  • Post #29 - November 23rd, 2005, 10:04 am
    Post #29 - November 23rd, 2005, 10:04 am Post #29 - November 23rd, 2005, 10:04 am
    Actually, they have three other menus - the noodle/lunch menu, the regualr dinner menu, and a chinese specialty menu. I have never been for dim sum, so have never seen that menu. Something new to try, it seems. Somehow dim sum has always meant Chinatown, and usually Shui Wah these days, for me.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #30 - November 23rd, 2005, 10:45 am
    Post #30 - November 23rd, 2005, 10:45 am Post #30 - November 23rd, 2005, 10:45 am
    dicksond wrote:Actually, they have three other menus - the noodle/lunch menu, the regualr dinner menu, and a chinese specialty menu. I have never been for dim sum, so have never seen that menu. Something new to try, it seems. Somehow dim sum has always meant Chinatown, and usually Shui Wah these days, for me.


    I take it I'd have to ask for the Chinese specialty menu then. The dim sum menu was quite small - couldn't have been more than a dozen items, though as I noted some items may not be on the menu. The one dim sum item we had was quite good. I don't know if too many people go there for dim sum - didn't notice any steamer trays going to any tables, though it may just have been past the dim sum crowd time.
    Shui wah is consistent and fantastic - was there the weekend before last and I'm starting to get convinced between 10am and 10:30am is an optimal time to go there - the first early wave is just done and the 11am hordes aren't there yet.

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