November 22, 2012

Eat & Run: Pom's Thai Taste Restaurant & Noodle House, Portland

Our reviewer dives into a warm dish of Pom's noodles, and doesn't want to come out.

From staff reports

With winter approaching, the idea of a "noodle house" appealed to me.

click image to enlarge

A bowl of noodles with crispy duck and five-spice broth at Pom’s Thai Taste in Portland.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

POM'S THAI TASTE RESTAURANT & NOODLE HOUSE

WHERE: 571 Congress St., Portland; 772-7999

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday

CHEAPEST GRUB: Miso soup, $2

WAIT: About five minutes

PARKING: On street

HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes

RATING: ★★★★

Based on a five-star scale

On a cold day, one of my favorite comfort foods is any kind of noodle soup, or noodles in broth. So I went for lunch the other day at Pom's Thai Taste Restaurant & Noodle House in Portland in search of some warm comfort.

I found it, plus a little extra kick.

Besides having a large menu of Thai dishes and sushi, Pom's also has a menu section of noodle bowls. It's a fun, five-step, make-your-own process.

First, you choose your noodles -- very thin rice noodles, medium rice noodles, thick rice noodles, yellow egg noodles or bean thread noodles.

Then you choose your meat or seafood, which determines the price of your noodle bowl. The choices include chicken, honey-roasted pork, flank steak or tofu and vegetables (each for $7.95), or shrimp, seafood or duck ($9.95 each). Prices are higher for larger, dinner-sized bowls. But really, the lunch-sized bowl was certainly enough for dinner.

The third step is choosing a broth -- clear chicken broth, five-spice broth, vegetable broth, Pad Thai broth, hot and sour broth or no broth at all. Then you choose with or without peanuts, and finally the degree of spice -- mild, medium, hot or very hot.

What you don't choose -- what comes in every noodle bowl -- is a selection of bean sprouts, lettuce, scallions, cilantro and garlic oil.

While all these choices are mostly about personal preference, my one caution would be to choose your spice carefully. Especially if you're like me and you think supermarket-brand salsa is a little hot.

I chose medium heat without considering where it was on the menu, right between mild and hot. I was forgetting that these were a Thai restaurant's definitions of spice, not mine.

So the dish came to me a little hotter than I would normally want. I diluted it with an ice cube or two, and it was fine. But next time, I'd go with mild.

My other choices were chicken broth, peanuts, honey-roasted pork and egg noodles. The pork was tender, and there were tons of long noodles for slurping. All in all, it was a very filling and satisfying dish.

It also came with a small salad as an appetizer. By the time I had eaten my salad, the noodle bowl had come.

The other nice thing about having warm noodles on a cold day at Pom's is that you can sit in a window seat, as I did, and watch people shuffling along on Congress Street.

And as you do, you'll know that once you have to go out there, you will have been thoroughly warmed by your bowl of noodles.

Pom's also has other locations in Greater Portland. Go to thaitastemaine.com for more information.

The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $10.

 

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