Houston 's Best Noodles

Southern Living Magazine
April 2005

Visit this eatery for fabulous food, cheap prices, and oodles of fun.

There aren't many occasions when wearing a feather boa is appropriate. On a Friday night at Jenni's Noodle House in Houston , however, you'll be out of place without one.

This quirky Vietnamese eatery, known as "The Best Little Noodle House in Texas ," rests on the outskirts of downtown and specializes in having fun. The waitstaff all wear T-shirts that read "Madonna Eats Here"; "Dude, Where's My Noodle?", or "My Noodle Is Bigger Than Your Noodle." Funky music, from European lounge tunes to eighties pop, blares on the radio. And on Friday, visitors participate in fun "Feather Boa Fridays," when everyone dons a a fluffy wrap. Oh, yes-and the food is delicious and cheap.

Owner Jenni Tran-Weaver opened the restaurant when she couldn't find a noodle house to suit her tummy-or her style. The recipes hail from her mom, an emigrant from Vietnam . "This is Vietnamese soul food. My family saw the menu and said, ‘You think you can sell the food we eat every day?' They thought it was funny," she says.

The creative and filling dishes lure noodle slurpers. The menu boasts crystal, udon, egg, and rice noodles, as well as fried, plain and jasmine rice. Choose from Vietnamese egg rolls, Suhm Spring Rolls, tofu with houses soy, or Disco Dumplings. Top sellers include the Infernal Chicken, a coconut-curry dish; pot stickers; and the noodle bowls.

Jenni accurately advertises "stupid low" prices. The muenu is divided into three sections: $3 to $5 steals, $5 to $7 deals, and $9 meals. That means dumplings and egg rolls carry a $5 price tag, while wonton soup, fried rice, and lemongrass beef go for $5 or $7.

Jenni's sits in a nondescript strip mall, but the lack-luster architecture hides a gem inside. One word of warning: Fridays are the only days designated for boa wearing. You can dress up on any other day, but you might be the only one in costume.

 

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