I love getting e-mails from readers, even the occasional nasty ones. (I mean, you can’t be critical and not piss someone off.) The informative notes are the best, such as Rick’s suggestion to check out Tienda Casa Paloma (see review), which finally got me off my long-procrastinating ass and over to 82nd Street and Metcalf. Before doing a full-blown review, I had written briefly about the place in this column, including a mention of the tres leches cake. That prompted Courtney in Johnson County to write a nice thank you: “I’ve been searching high and low for it … it’s the best dessert I’ve ever found. You’ve saved my day. Now if only you could tell me where I could find a Chinese buffet that serves bourbon chicken.” If only someone would tell me, Courtney and I would both be drunk with happiness.
After my review of the Thailand Café (“Michael’s Pad,” March 17, 2005), Grant sent an e-mail from Taiwan — now there’s a loyal Pitch reader! — responding to my gripe that the restaurant’s vegetarian egg rolls were skimpy on vegetables. The chef at Thailand Café, Grant wrote, wasn’t slacking off. “That’s how most of them do it over here. Strange, I know! In most egg rolls or spring rolls (not just in Thai food but all over Southeast Asia), it’s difficult to find the meat and/or vegetables because of all the damn glass noodles. I’ve asked the locals about this, and nobody has given me a decent answer yet. My guess is that Asian chefs are masters of creating something out of nothing.”
Not unlike my own mastery in creating this column, thank you very much. Another reader wrote to ask when the Colorado-based Noodles & Company was opening, since I had written that the first one was scheduled to debut in Westport. Two weeks ago, local franchiser David Merola did open his first noodle joint. In Olathe.
“Yes, it was supposed to open in Westport,” Merola told me, “but the landlord and I couldn’t agree on certain issues. But I’m still looking for a midtown location.”
Merola’s next two Noodles & Company locations will be in southern Overland Park and Lee’s Summit. He has his eye on future venues in Lawrence and near the UMKC and Rockhurst University campuses. Given that the average price for this counter-service restaurant’s entrées is $6, I’d say he’s using his noodle. And unlike the folks at Tienda Casa Paloma, he uses real china and silverware. “We don’t accept tips, either,” he said.
Well, it is Olathe.