Got a cold? Soup is what you need. Allergies? Ditto. Achy tummy? You know what's going to make you feel better.
Forget the apple a day. Nothing's going to soothe you like a bowl of soup or noodles, and Karen Carrier's newest kid on the block, Noodle Doodle Do, has the prescription.
Carrier is a restaurateur who has proven time and again she has the golden touch and it's a safe bet that Noodle Doodle Do, which is inside Do Sushi, will see the same success Carrier has had with her other restaurants in Memphis and New York.
The first time I visited, I took a friend suffering from the World's Worst Cold, the plague that's hit half the people in town this year. (And was partly responsible for Noodle Doodle Do's name. I could hardly hear when I had the cold, when Karen told me about Noodle Noodle Do. I heard Noodle Doodle Do, and a few days later she called to say it was so). He took a quick look at the menu and put it down, settling immediately on Bobo's Jewish Chicken Noodle Soup.
This is one hearty bowl of goodness, full of both noodles and matzo balls floating in a chicken broth just this side of miraculous. It's rich and deep, the color of amber instead of straw. Carrots, onion, leeks, celery and of course, chicken, round out the bowl.
(I call it just short of miraculous, by the way, because while my friend pronounced himself cured after eating it, he was down again by the end of the day.)
I went with one of the Big Boy soups, the Tom Yum Gung Hot + Sour Soup. Sprightly with lime leaf and lemongrass, spicy with thai chilies and roasted chilie paste, the soup was full of shrimp and tiny pieces of baby corn. As much as I liked the fragrant broth and how restored I felt after eating it, I had an even better bowl of soup in my future.
The Shrimp Wonton Soup with BBQ Pork will make you reluctant to share it with your lunch partner. Blueprint: Shrimp, ginger, scallion, carrots, sambal wontons, bok choy and daikon in a chicken, clove and lemongrass broth with shaved barbecue pork. That's straight from the menu.
But this isn't. When that bowl is set in front of you, topped with Thai basil, mint, cilantro, fried garlic oil, sprouts and Thai chilie, it's a feast for the senses.
Your eyes take in the tangle of the herbs and send the first message to your brain that something good is coming -- but wait! It's going to be intercepted by your nose, filled with the heady scent of the basil. Your mouth is going to start watering and you're going to start fanning that bowl to cool it off.
The shrimp wontons are firm to the tooth, the seared pieces of pork are tender yet keep a slight hint of their crisp edges, the vegetables are delicate and not to belabor the point, but, oh, those herbs...
All of the noodle soups (Bobo's excepted) come with the herb topping and you can ask for it on the Big Boy soups. Most of the soups vary in noodle and broth. Udon, rice, egg, soba and lokshen noodles are split between spicy curry coconut, ginger lemongrass, ginger miso and a star anise, ginger, cinnamon and fennel broths. And you can tell it, too. They're fundamentally different, not broths that start with a base and add in spices.
Sushi is available at lunch (Noodle Doodle Do is open for lunch only), along with a menu of street food snacks such as satays, dumplings and egg rolls. Don't miss the Green Mango + Granny Smith Apple salad. The fruit is tossed in a mirin, lime, chilie and palm sugar vinaigrette and generously topped with greens and herbs.
Have lunch here once, and you'll go again.
Noodle Doodle Do
Address: 964 S. Cooper
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (Do Sushi is open every night; call for hours)
Handicapped access: Yes
Alcoholic beverages: Full bar
Don't miss: The Green Mango + Granny Smith Apple Salad; Bobo's Jewish Chicken Noodle Soup; Shrimp Wonton Soup with BBQ Pork
What's hot: It's in Cooper-Young. It's all hot.
--Jennifer Biggs: 529-5223