Wait -- something feels different. Did the temperature drop a couple of degrees?! Time for comfort food! Better carb-load for that cool winter we know is coming. No worries -- Chow Bella's here with a half-dozen must-try noodle dishes. You're welcome.
6. Butternut Squash Mac at Cheuvront
An eclectic wine bar located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Cheuvront is a go-to destination for distinctly grown-up mac and cheese. Well-known for its wide selection of handmade cheeses from around the world, Cheuvront takes cheese seriously. There are six flavors of mac in all, ranging from the Traditional to the Sauteed Shrimp, but the real star is the Butternut Squash Mac. Warm, sweet, and savory, like a good Thanksgiving side dish, this dish rightly features a squash that is really more candy than vegetable. You can order it on its own with a side salad for lunch, or as part of a flight of three mac and cheese selections for dinner.
Slurp up the rest of our faves after the jump.
5. Penne Arrabiata at Arrivederci
The literal translation of this spicy Italian dish is "angry" pasta, and Ahwatukee's Arrivederci has one of the most crave-worthy bowls of anger you'll find. Much like reigning drag diva RuPaul, this dish does sassy, not bitchy; its heat won't make you cry, but like the best screaming matches on reality television, it will definitely make you come back for more. The sauce - a classic Italian red sauce with a kick - is thick and chunky, and you can taste how fresh the tomatoes are. Portion sizes are large, so count on having extra to take home.
4. Chicken Noodles at Swaddee Thai
At noon on a weekday, Swadee Thai in Chandler is packed to capacity with large tables of employees on their lunch break. And with $7.95 lunch specials like Chicken Noodles (served with a salad and eggroll), it's easy to see why. This dish is made of flat noodles stir-fried with chicken, egg, onion, crushed peanut, and bean sprouts, then served over crisp lettuce. The peanut flavor is warm and subtle, and doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. It's best served spicy, but be cautious when selecting from the restaurant's 1 to 5 scale; even 3 can be a real shock. Start with 1.5 if you're new and work your way up. That said, you may have to be a regular to earn the chance to try this dish at a true level 5.
3. Spaghetti Carbonara from Pizza A Metro
There's an art to good carbonara. Tossing piping hot pasta with fresh eggs, parmesan and pancetta to create a luscious creamy sauce. Too hot and you have scrambled egg pasta, too cold and you have snotty egg pasta. Unfortunately, most Italian places get around this delicate balancing act by substituting what tastes like bad alfredo sauce. At Pizza A Metro, they know how to do carbonara justice, smooth with bit of a bite from freshly ground black pepper that keeps the carbonara from being too rich. Perfecto.
2. Mindy's Mac N Cheese from The Main Ingredient Ale House
Mindy's Mac & Cheese from The Main Ingredient Ale House is a dense gut bomb of noodles, in a very, very good way. Thick and creamy cheddar cheese sauce bathes macaroni that's just past al dente, while green chiles dots this baked macaroni casserole. The green chile offered a slightly spicy pop and earthy flavor that kept the dish from being too rich, and gives this little slice of Americana a bit of twist. It's big and it's rich, so you might want to find someone to share it with, even if you will be fighting over the last bite.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Beef Noodle Soup with a Tea Boiled Egg from China Magic Noodle House
If you have not had a chance to try the hand-pulled alchemy of China
Magic Noodle House, the beef noodle soup with a tea boiled egg is a
fantastic place to start. The soup in question has a rich clear broth,
supplemented by several thick slices of chopstick tender beef. But the
star of this bowl is clearly the noodles; hand-pulled to order, they
come in several different varieties from vermicelli thin to thick
chunks sliced directly into the boiling water. The difference between
dry ramen noodles and fresh noodles is the same as between dry
spaghetti and fresh spaghetti: There simply is no comparison in terms
of taste, texture and satisfaction. We vacillate between basic
hand-pulled noodles, which are on the thicker side, and wavy vegetable
noodles which help to capture the most broth with every bite. No matter
how you like your noodles, there's probably a preparation at China
Magic Noodle House to fit your fancy.