American Noodle Bar

 

American Noodle Bar earns 2.5 stars for "best in town" banh mi & notable noodle bowls

american noodle bar banh mi

Victoria Pesce Elliott

There are plenty of good things going on at the American Noodle Bar, a fun, cheap, quick and easy new spot on a still-up-and-coming stretch of Biscayne Boulevard owned by chef Michael Bloise, who made his reputation at South Beach's Wish at The Hotel. The American part of the equation is mostly great - super domestic drink selection, hot soundtrack of R&B, rap and rock, friendly counter staff and a gritty, seat-of-your pants vibe.

Ambience: The setup in a small space on the ground floor of a vintage Boulevard motel is quirky. Seating options are an oversized wooden table crowded with low wooden stools and a wall-side counter with higher stools plus outdoor tables and chairs. Guests line up at the register to order from a series of blackboards that line the walls, choosing broths and add-ons. Dishes come out in cardboard to-go containers whether you are taking out or eating in.

What Worked

  • We adore the banh mi, the sub-style Vietnamese sandwich - light, crusty bread full of holes and perfect against the rich filling of smoky, shredded, not-too-sweet barbecued pork slathered with avocado butter and pickly red onions
  • Intense & delicious broths, particularly the duck & roasted shallot
  • Soup add-ins: pork meatballs and pulled duck meat
  • Slim-sliced, molasses-colored short ribs with a tender, tangy-sweet bite
  • Addictive olive-sized hush puppies stuffed with bits of edamame in a tender corn meal puff
  • An all-American selection of offbeat sakes, domestic brews and well-chosen wines
  • House-made vanilla-strawberry soda and natural raspberry-lemon tea
  • Light & moist carrot cake filled with bright threads of carrot and a gooey cream-cheese frosting with a few caramelized pecans on top for crunch
  • A snowball-like baked Alaska - merengue over a sliver of chocolate cake
  • A slathering of chocolate-flecked vanilla ice cream
  • A tiny yuzu lime pie

 

  • What Didn’t Work
  • Noodle bowls with bland, sometimes touch, thick, lo mein-style noodles
  • Lukewarm noodle bowls light on broth
  • More gimmicky than tasty foot-long corn dog and greasy cheeseburger dumplings

 

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