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Packaged Food

Trader Joe’s Adds Beef Pho To Frozen Soup Selection

Photo courtesy of Trader Joe’s

For those who’ve tried pho — the iconic Vietnamese noodle soup made painstakingly by slow-cooking meat (chicken or beef) with charred onions, ginger, and a medley of spices — you’ll know that once the craving sets in, you’re not going to stop until you knock out an entire bowl.

While I’m always an advocate of the classic noodle restaurant (the best ones titled “pho” followed by a number) sometimes, you can’t get your fix if it’s too early or late in the day.

It turns out Trader Joe’s just added Beef Pho Soup to their list of frozen food options and features tender, seasoned beef, rice noodles, and a pho broth flavored with aromatic herbs, including basil and cilantro.

All you’ll have to do is pop it into the microwave for six minutes, or cook it on the stovetop for 10, and you’re good. But things wouldn’t feel complete without the necessary pho accouterments such as bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapeño slices, and perhaps a squirt of hoisin sauce and sriracha.

You can find the new pho entree in the frozen food section of your local Trader Joe’s. If anything it might help those pho cravings until you can make your way into an authentic restaurant. Though I gotta try it first and see.

Categories
Fast Food

McDonald’s Adds ‘Pho Burger’ To Vietnam Menu

Photo courtesy of McDonald’s Vietnam

When I think of pho, I’m taken back to the many comfort meals I’d enjoy at home, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. Taking down a piping bowl of rich, aromatic pho was probably one of my greatest delights growing up.

Well, it looks like McDonald’s Vietnam is looking to capture some of those delights in the motherland, as they’ve taken elements of the iconic Vietnamese noodle soup and turned it into a Pho Burger.

The burger features two beef patties sourced from Vietnam’s neighboring Australia, an egg patty, pho centric herbs, and cilantro. McDonald’s also took pho broth and reduced it down to a thick sauce to finish off the Pho Burger, served on an English Muffin.

Not sure how I feel about the lack of noodles if they’re calling it a pho burger, though.

Photo courtesy of McDonald’s Vietnam

You can also order Vietnamese Iced Coffee to go along with your burger. If you’re a fan of robust drip coffee paired with sweet condensed milk, it is definitely a must-try. Though not quite sure how strong McDonald’s makes theirs.

Not super sure if the new burger is meant for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but hey, I feel that way about regular pho. It kind of goes with every meal.

You can find the burger and coffee combination at participating McDonald’s locations in Vietnam.

Categories
Culture Features

12 Vietnamese Dishes That Everyone Should Try In Their Lifetime

You may remember Connie Bang-Co Aboubakare, also known as @occomestibles, the influencer who took us on a trip to Southern California’s Little Saigon and all the amazing Vietnamese restaurant foods highlighted during the tour of her Chomping Grounds.

Connie was a recent guest on the Foodbeast Katchup podcast and spoke about her origins as an influencer and how she had to learn to cook Vietnamese food once she got married. What set her apart from many food bloggers is that she photographs the Vietnamese meals she would make for her husband and sons and fills her feed with them.

Vietnamese food has always been a beloved cuisine here at the Foodbeast office and while many of us have tried it, there are always those few dishes that not too many know about, but wish they had sooner. Towards the end of the episode, host Geoffrey Kutnick asks Connie what were some essential dishes she could not live without, to which she replied with quite a few Vietnamese options.

Looking at all the different dishes in her feed really inspired us to dive into Vietnam’s rich cuisine.

Thanks to her Katchup visit, we’ve compiled a comprehensive Foodbeast list of all the amazing Vietnamese dishes everyone should try at least once in their life.


Cá Kho Tộ (Braised Claypot Fish)

 

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One of the first dishes Connie mentions, that she can’t live without, is a braised claypot fish dish called Cá Kho Tộ. Catfish is cooked in a braising liquid of sugar and fish sauce within a clay pot in a process referred to as “kho.” Because the dish is so rich in flavor, it’s typically served with plain white rice and vegetables. It’s one of the more common dishes she would make for her family, and looking back, my mom would make this about once a week as well.

Bánh Xèo (Savory Crepes)

 

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A while back, Connie also hosted a Foodbeast Kitchen live stream that highlighted her love of Bánh Xèo, another item she mentions in the podcast. Essentially, Bánh Xèo are thin Vietnamese crepes that are cooked with flour and turmeric powder and filled with fresh meats such as shrimp, chicken, or pork, as well as fresh vegetables. You can eat them directly with fish sauce, or rip them up and roll them into a spring roll.

Cơm Tấm (Broken Rice)

An inexpensive comfort dish, Cơm Tấm translates to “broken rice.” What originated as a street food item, you would typically find grilled meats on top of broken white rice, a steamed egg cake, julienne pork, and pickled greens.

Bánh Bột Chiên (Fried Flour Cake)

A hearty breakfast dish, Bánh Bột Chiên translates to fried flour cakes. Cooked with fried eggs and green onions, the dish is popular in both Vietnam and China. The flour is cut into thick rectagular strips, and served with a tangy soy sauce that the cakes can be dipped into. There is also a turnip cake and radish cake variation that can be cooked in the same way.

Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm (Fish Sauce Fried Chicken Wings)

One of my personal favorite Vietnamese dishes, Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm is mores an appetizer than a meal — unless you’re me and double up on orders. Not too different from how Cá Kho is made, the chicken wings are fried and coated in a glaze made from sugar and fish sauce. Sometimes, fried garlic is also added to the mix.

What I love most about fish sauce chicken wings are that every restaurant has their own take on them, and you can easily get yourself a few wings for relatively cheap.

Bánh Bột Lọc (Savory Tapioca Dumplings)

 

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Made with tapioca flour, the dumplings are stuffed with shrimp and pork, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. Once cooked, Bánh Bột Lọc is served with a sweet and spicy fish sauce and fried shallots. From Central Vietnam, the dish is eaten as an appetizer to a full meal. Foodbeast producer Theresa Tran mentions this as one of her favorite Vietnamese dishes, although it will take about 15 of them to fill her up.

Bún Riêu (Pork and Crab Soup)

 

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One of the more popularized Vietnamese dishes, Bún Riêu is a soup made with pork, crab, shrimp paste, dried shrimp, egg, rice vermicelli and lots of tomatoes. This leads to a super robust and umami flavor compared to the more classic Pho dish. After pho, this is one of the more popular Vietnamese soup dishes around.

Bánh Khọt (Savory Pancake Bites)

 

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Bánh Khọt, mini savory pancakes, feature pretty much the same exact ingredients as the more popular Banh Xeo, but comes in a sort of cupcake form. Because of this cooking method, the texture comes out much more different giving it a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. Unlike Banh Xeo, the proteins of Bánh Khọt are cooked on top of the dish rather than inside. Not unlike a gourmet cupcake.

Gỏi Cuốn (Spring Rolls)

 

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One of the lighter Vietnamese dishes, spring rolls are served cold with fresh greens, prawns, pork, and rolled together with rice paper. Gỏi Cuốn can typically be enjoyed with a peanut flavored dipping sauce, or a simple fish sauce that’s mixed together with chilis. Easy to eat either as a snack or even for a long road trip in the car. Just make sure not to spill any fish sauce.

Canh Chua (Vietnamese Sour Soup)

 

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Tart and savory, this Vietnamese dish is typically served with rice. Made with a catfish base as well as tomatoes, pineapple, okra, beansprouts, and Vietnamese herbs. This is one of the dishes you wouldn’t typically find at a Vietnamese restaurant, but rather from the kitchen of a Vietnamese household. During the podcast Connie also mentions that this is one of her essential dishes that she likes to make at home.

Ốc Len Xào Dừa (Stir Fried Snails w/ Coconut Milk)

 

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A common street food in Vietnam, Ốc Len Xào Dừa roughly translates to stir fried snails in coconut milk. While the dish itself sounds pretty intimidating, the flavors that go into this dish make it a top contender for Foodbeast producer Theresa Tran. Made with coconut milk, lemongrass, Vietnamese coriander, chilies, and sea snails, you would find the Ốc Len Xào Dừa at street food carts throughout many Vietnamese cities.

“You can give me a cup of that broth and I’d drink it,” Tran says. “Also trying to get the snails out is pretty fun too.”

Phở (Rice Noodle Soup)

 

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One of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes, you can’t go wrong with phở. An elegant broth made from either chicken or beef, phở utilizes the flavors of charred ginger, onions, and other vegetables over a long period of time. Sure it’s on everyone’s list, but phở is so prolific to Vietnamese culture that you kind of just have to add it to the fold. Both Connie and myself enjoy beef pho, with strips of brisket that you can dip into a mixture of sriracha and hoisin sauce.

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#foodbeast Adventures Cravings Culture Features Feel Good FOODBEAST Restaurants SPONSORED

This Town In Orange County Produces Some Of The Best Vietnamese Food Outside of Vietnam

Located close to the Anaheim Resort District and tucked between the cities of Westminster and Garden Grove, California, is a place with a rich Vietnamese history that serves as a cultural hub for amazing and authentic Vietnamese cuisine. This magical place is called Little Saigon, and if you haven’t been, you need to take a visit.

Tag along with our friend Bang-Ko, a.k.a. Connie from @occomestibles as she takes us on a flavorful journey through Little Saigon.

From lobster hot pot that’s cooked tableside, to a massive seven course beef feast, there are an unbelievable amount of hidden culinary gems any hungry foodie would love to sink their teeth into.   

First stop is Garlic and Chives by Kristin, known for their traditional yet trendy atmosphere. Take it from Connie and order their House Special Lobster, served with garlic noodles, peppers and traditional spices.

Being a native to Vietnam, Connie knows exactly what she’s talking about when it comes to delicious Vietnamese food, and it’s safe to say her 72K Instagram followers would agree.

So when she says we need to check out Hai Noi Corner for their wonderfully crispy Sizzling Turmeric & Dill Fish, we drop what we’re doing and go immediately.

It’s not everyday you can find the opportunity to feast on gigantic sea snails. Well, that was before Connie brought us to Oc and Lau for some Escargot and Lobster Hot Pot. Oc and Lau literally translates to “Sea Snail and Hotpot,” so if you need some exotic fare in your life, this is truly a diamond in the rough.

If you’re looking to feed a group of hungry foodies, seven courses of beef should be the perfect formula. At Hong An, a huge dining hall greets guests as they are seated with their own tabletop grill. Connie recommends the Bo Bay Mon, which translates to Beef Seven — also known as seven courses of beef.

Hong An is a meat lovers paradise where you’ll be served everything from lemongrass beef to juicy Vietnamese meatballs.

Last on the list but certainly not least is Pho45 with their beef pho. This rendition is packed with tripe, tendon, brisket, flank, and rare beef. Pho45’s recipe is a family secret so they kept their recipe on lockdown, but what we do know is they are very generous with their meat portions and that their pho might be the best we’ve ever had.

Next time you have a day off or are visiting the area, spend it on a deliciously authentic culinary journey through one of Orange County’s most historic neighborhoods. You’ll love losing yourself in the culture, food and the experience of Little Saigon.

Photos by Pete Pham


Created in partnership with Visit Anaheim

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#foodbeast Adventures Brand Cravings Drinks Features FOODBEAST Restaurants SPONSORED Sweets Video

5 Sinful Eats To Chow Down On In Costa Mesa

Culinary entrepreneur and Southern California foodie Thomas Pham has an undeniable influence within the vibrant SoCal food scene.

He holds a heavyweight belt as a well-respected social media influencer, and we have him to thank for bringing an East Coast food icon to sunny California in the form of the popular mediterranean restaurant Halal Guys, which opened in Southern California back in 2015.

With that in mind, we were stoked when Thomas let us tag along with him as he munched his way through some of his favorite spots in Costa Mesa, California.

During our first stop, we anchored ourselves down at West Coast Fish, located within The Camp in Costa Mesa. West Coast Fish is fairly new but already booming with popularity. Thomas ordered one of his favorite dishes: The Bjorn Battered Tacos.


Photo by Christian Bourdeau

The temperature was rising and we needed something to cool off, so naturally, Thomas recommended we stop by Creamistry for some made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream. Thomas grabbed one of his favorite frozen treats, the Taro Nitro MilkShake, topped with marshmallows and Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Next, we drove over to Paderia to watch Thomas tear open one of his favorite pastries, a cheese ensaymada — a soft, Spanish pastry made with sweet bread covered with sugar and filled with with cheese. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

After indulging our sweet tooth, we headed over to Orange County’s East Borough to indulge in an OC favorite: the French Pho Dip. Made with beef brisket, Thai basil, bean sprouts, onions, and Sriracha hoisin aioli on a fresh baguette, this culinary creation is an incredible fusion of East meets West, and should be on your list if you haven’t tried it yet.

Finally, for our last bite, Thomas took the gang over to Capital Noodle Bar to try another East-meets-West creation: Thai Basil Spaghetti. The dish was made with minced pork, bell pepper, egg, fresh chilli, Thai basil, and spaghetti noodles.

Thanks, Thomas. We’re stuffed.


Created in partnership with Hansen’s

Categories
Celebrity Grub News

Women’s PGA Champ Celebrated By Eating Pho Out Of Her Trophy Like A Boss

Pho out of the trophy… 🤔 @daniellekang Pic credit @themichellewie

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This year’s Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) champion may have just won her first title, but she’s already out here flourishing with the epic celebrations.

After winning this year’s LPGA championship to clinch her first ever major and take home $525,000, 24-year-old American golfer Danielle Kang decided to celebrate in the most epic way possible. She filled the top part of her shiny new trophy with some pho and feasted out of her hard-earned prize. Danielle’s brother, Alex, later posted an epic shot of his sister slurping some noodles out of the trophy on Instagram.

This is definitely not the first time someone’s used a trophy to eat or drink, as there is a long tradition of celebrating the winning of the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup by eating or drinking out of it. However, I don’t think anything could be more badass than Kang’s noodle pull shot out of that LPGA championship trophy.

Enjoy your pho, Danielle. You’ve definitely earned this awesome reward.

Categories
Culture Video

Watch These Kids Try Vietnamese Food For The First Time

Vietnamese food was everywhere for me growing up. With a large Vietnamese family, I got to try so many dishes, desserts, and drinks that the cuisine became like a first language for me as a kid. That’s why it’s always so fascinating for me to see how other people react to trying the dishes of my culture for the very first time.

In one of HiHo Kids’ latest videos, a group of little kids try the delicious cuisine from Vietnam for the first time. Iconic Vietnamese dishes include pho (rice noodle soup), banh xeo (savory sizzling pancake), ca kho to (braised claypot catfish), and soda sua hot ga (egg soda).

Check out their hilarious reactions to trying these dishes for the first time. Man, it makes us nervous how much Sriracha that one kid threw into their pho. Pretty sure his mouth caught fire.

I’m also pretty bummed they didn’t include my all-time favorite Vietnamese dish, com tam (broken rice), in this video. I guess kids can only eat so much food in one sitting.

Categories
Features

A Noodle Festival Called NOODS NOODS NOODS Has All The Crazy Asian Food You Could Ever Want

Noodle lovers are gonna have a field day at this upcoming California noodle-inspired festival appropriately called NOODS NOODS NOODS Presented by Cup Noodles.

Hosted by Foodbeast, a rag-tag bunch of ramen lovers and cheese pull addicts, the celebration will feature noodle dishes and Asian fusion menu items from dozens of local restaurants and venues.

Check out every single noodle item featured in the menu. If you’re in the Orange County area on Jan. 14, and consider yourself an noodle-afficiando, grab your tickets here. You can either get a marketplace ticket and buy-as-you-go, or go all out with the VIP option and pack your sweet pink mouth with so much food, you’ll be the envy of every Jerry and Jane at the event.

Before you start drooling over the glorious food pics we procured to tease what’s to come, here’s the line up of vendors at the Marketplace and VIP to help you decide which tickets to buy:

noods-line-up

Remember, Marketplace Tickets get you in the door but you’ll have to buy as you go. VIP tickets are held in two sessions: 1PM and 5PM. At the VIP sessions you can eat and drink to your heart’s content.


Anchor Hitch

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Anchor Hitch took their signature Uni Pasta, rolled it up into a ball, and deep fried it. The decadent spheres of flavor are topped with masago, shredded nori, and more chunks of fresh sea urchin.


Cauldron Ice Cream

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When you’re ready to take a break from all the savory items Noods has to offer, Cauldron Ice Cream is serving a Churro puffle with Nutella ice cream. Take your photos fast though, a dessert this fine deserves to be eaten ASAP.


Mad Dumplings

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The Mad Dumplings food truck will feature a variation of the iconic shrimp Cup Noodles. It features fresh carrots, green onions & shrimp stuffed inside a crispy homemade dumpling skin. The dumplings are served in a bed of cheesy Gouda Rabokki.


Naugles (Taco Bun)

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Ever fancy a taco served in a hamburger bun? Naugles Tacos & Burgers’ Taco Bun is literally the contents of a taco thrown on a burger bun. While the concept is simple enough, the flavors themselves speak volumes.

Have some hot sauce ready.


Neptune’s Raw Oyster and Seafood Bar

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A dish that incorporates seafood in almost every aspect, Neptune’s Crab Pasta features a black squid ink pasta that’s tossed in a creamy uni sauce and topped with crab meat and baby tomatoes.


Pour Vida Latin Flavor

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What do you get when you combine the classic Mexican tripe soup menudo with Japanese udon noodles? Probably the coolest food fusion name of all time: Men-UDON. The dish features tripe in a savory broth, hominy, udon noodles, and fish cakes.


Sgt. Pepperonis Pizza

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Sgt. Pepperoni takes the classic Italian noodle dish and turns it into savory hand-held nachos you can grub one at your convenience: Lasagna Nachos. I’m sure Garfield the cat would have no reason to hate Mondays if he had a plate of these bad boys.


Sit Low Pho

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Our homie Hop from Sit Low Pho threw the content of his hearty bowls of pho into a burrito in what we love to call: The Phorrito. It features rice noodles, oxtail, herbs, and is served as a dip with pho broth.

Pho-get about that New Year’s diet.


Two Birds Restaurant

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The name says it all: Jidori Fried Chicken Ramen Burrito.

Created by upcoming spot Two Birds in Irvine, the dish is the brainchild of none other than Slapfish mastermind Andrew Gruel.

The burrito features ramen cooked in a smokey pork broth with a hint of dashi that’s paired with a creamy cabbage. Once the burrito is assembled, it’s topped with the crispy fried chicken and Two Birds’ signature Tiger Sauce.


Bruxie

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While Bruxie’s beastly creation of a Korean BBQ-flavored fried chicken and waffles topped with a kimchi noodle slaw is a thing of beauty. Those looking for a little heat in their food will be pleasantly surprised with the kick this sandwich brings.


Chelo Creamery 

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Another sweet option in a day jam-packed with savory dishes, the Dragonfruit rolled ice cream will be one of the most photogenic dishes at Noods. The dessert from Chelo Creamery is topped with fresh fruit and sweet sauces and are camera-ready for your phones to snap away at.


Dos Chinos

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Dos Chinos is one of the OG spots around that combines popular Latin and Asian flavors to create a insanely beautiful dish you’d be proud to share on social media. Their entry into Noods is a Mexican Ramen that boasts noodles, homily, avocados, fresh avocados, roasted pork, and a rich broth topped with a pozole red tare.


The Kroft

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It’s East meets West at the Kroft, which is serving a Philly Cheesesteak Bao topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. While absolutely mouthwatering, it’ll be tough to get both components (Hot Cheetos and Cheesesteak) in a single picture. We encourage you, however, to give it your best shot.


Tiki Fish

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You’re gonna want to try more than one of these Hawaiian Pineapple Teriyaki Burgers. The sweet and savory slider features a spam spread and habanero aioli, ensuring eat bite delivers a massive amount of flavor in such a tiny package.


Mess Hall Canteen

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You might remember salivating a while back over Mess Hall Canteen’s insane soft-shelled crab mac n’ cheese tater tots. Well, you ain’t seen anything yet.

Mess Hall Canteen’s new Drunken Sailor Ramen features ramen noodles covered in a copious amount of creamy cheese “broth” and served with bacon, lobster, and snow crab. The hearty dish is then topped with masago aioli and shredded nori to bring the ramen noodle concept together.


Norigami Tacos

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Norigami’s Ramen Taco will boast ramen noodles, Japanese style slow-braised pork, egg, corn, and green onion. The innovative item will be served on a crispy seaweed shell so that patrons can enjoy their taco and they explore Noods.


Samurai Burrito

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Wanna crush a massive amount of sushi on the fly? Samurai Burrito will throw all your favorite sushi components into a hand-held burrito. We recommend sharing this bad boy with a friend if you want some room to try other dishes, or go back and get another one—who are we to judge?


Seoul Street

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Need a savory walk-around snack? The Korean Bulgogi fries from Seoul Street is the perfect choice if you’re feeling peckish want to grab something to share with your buds. The dish features sweet bulgogi meat topped with corn, pico de gallo, and cheese crumbles.


Shrimp Daddy

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Popular Smorgasburg newcomer Shrimp Daddy will be serving their signature Pineapple Shrimp bowls at the event. They’ll also be introducing a new macaroni salad shrimp cocktail made exclusively for the event.


Sunset Catering

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Fancy some fancy Mac n’ Cheese? Sunset Catering will be offering a rich Sriracha Creamy Lobster Mac N’ Cheese that combines seafood with the velveteen texture one can only get from a perfect bowl of macaroni and cheese.


The Dirty Cookie

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The Dirty Cookie will be offering a quartet of Asian-inspired cookie shots. The options include Thai Tea, Black Sesame, Matcha, and Ube. Extra points to anyone that collects them all.


The Low Key Poke Joint

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The Low Key Poke Joint, in Garden Grove, CA, created a Hot Cheetos Poke Burrito t0 incorporate the fiery corned puffed snack into their menu in an innovative way.

Utilizing a build-your-own-poke concept, the restaurant gives you a large variety of ways to craft a poke/sushi “burrito” or bowl. One of the more popular, social media-friendly options includes a Hot Cheetos wrap for sushi burritos. The burrito features a fish protein of your choice, crab meat, masago, onions, and tons of other sides and toppings.


Green2Go

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Because you can’t just be eating pork belly and cheesy noodles for the entire day, Green2Go offers two of the healthier alternatives at NOODS.

You can get a pan-seared Alaskan salmon, organic veggie stir fry rice noodles with a house-made teriyaki sauce and sesame ginger dressing. If you’re looking for something a little meatier, try the grass-fed tri-tip with organic veggie stirfry, rice stick noodles, with teriyaki sauce and sesame ginger dressing.


Puzzle

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The concept of Nashville Hot Chicken has been pretty popping this year. Puzzles is offering a Korean-style Nashville Hot Chicken Bao at Noods that we couldn’t be happier to sink our teeth into. The dish features hot chicken served on a steamed bun and topped with shredded cabbage.

Looks like they’ll be going head-to-head with the Kroft to see who has the best bao.

Photo: Kevin Lee


Euro Caffe

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This Mini Matcha Crepe Cake from Euro Caffe features layers upon layers of the savory match-flavored pancake. Euro Caffe will also be serving Matcha Espressos to pair their stunning dessert with.


Elbows

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Elbows’ Korean BBQ Mac N Cheese will proudly live up to all cheese pulls guests will expect from the creamy dish.


We Have Noodles

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We Have Noodles will be offering and elevated take on classic Vietnamese Pho with smoked beef belly, rice noodles, bone broth, beef tendon chicharron, pho herbs, and beef fat shallot confit. Prepare to pack your mouths with tons of pho-lavor.


Hatch

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This behemoth of a Ramen Burger features fried chicken katsu topped with seasoned ramen noodles between two burger buns. It’s actually so big, we had a bit of a difficult time getting the entire thing into frame. You can see it for yourself if you come to Noods, though.


Goa Taco

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Pad Thai fans will get a kick out of this Prawn and Chicken Pad Thai Paratha Taco from Goa Taco. The Noods exclusive item is not only a mouthful to say, but a mouthful to embrace in the best way possible. It’s vibrant colors and fresh ingredients make it either a great starter dish, or finisher dish food an Asian food festival.


Hamasaku

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Got that craving for poke, but you can’t really commit to all the carbs that come from a burrito? Hamasaku is serving up a fresh Salmon Poke Noodle Salad made with fresh salmon, avocado, cucumber, green onion, cashew, and a Japanese pesto sauce.

Photo: @StirandStyle, @Pham_bot, and event vendors.