Beef noodle soups are a staple in my life. I have eaten many beef noodle soups over the course of twenty years of my life. When I was a child, my parents would order a bowl for me every weekend in Chinatown Atlanta after Chinese school. It is my benchmarking dish any time I eat in a Chinese-Taiwanese restaurant. As one of my top favorite dishes of all time, I would say that I am a beef noodle soup aesthete.
I stumbled upon Chen's Noodle House when my mother was visiting town earlier this year in April. We were eating at the nearby Asia Cafe, which is famous for its long but efficient ordering queue. My mother suggested that we try it out next time we were in the area. We did. And I have been back a total of seven times since, including once this past weekend.
There is only one thing you need to know: Chen's Noodle House makes the best beef noodle soup I've ever had. Now before you jump the gun and immediately head down to Chen's for a big bowl of soup, I must clarify that my claim is 100% based on my personal taste in cooking style and flavor.
Lots of people like their noodle soups spicy. I don't. Lots of people like their noodle soups packed with chunky, fatty beef. I don't.
I appreciate a flavorful soup without packing on sauces and extra ingredients. For me, a chef has succeeded if I can distinguish the balanced and pure taste of all of the primary ingredients. Chen's Noodle House's beef noodle broth is light, but flavorful. Thinly sliced beef is layered on top of thick, chewy (and authentic) handcut noodles, mixed with baby bok choy, and sprinkled with cilantro on top. It is humble, yet it tastes of genius.
I sat outside their tiny little establishment, sweating in 80 degree weather, and happily drinking the steaming, hot broth and slurping on noodles. If you can appreciate a simple, yet tasteful bowl of noodles, I recommend Chen's Noodle House. I have also tried their Lamb Noodle Soup and their Black Bean Noodles. Both are also excellent and can easily compete with the Beef Noodle. Every visit I've had to Chen's, I have finished every bowl down to the last drop of soup. I have yet to be disappointed.