Noodles in the Pot – Lincoln Park, Chicago

Why doesn't anywhere in NYC have crab rangoon?

Review By: Stefanie Parks –

After a week of traveling, it was finally time to head home… And I was ready to be back. We had a layover in Chicago on our way back to NY from Pittsburgh, and I had been dreaming about my chicken salad sandwich from Potbelly’s at Midway Airport all day.

As soon as we got into Midway, we checked the board to see what gate our next flight was at, but instead, we saw that our flight was delayed for three hours. Instead of getting in at 11:30pm (which is late for a weekday as it is), we would now be getting in around 2am. Plus, there was almost 100% chance of thunderstorms for the rest of the night, so we figured that the chances of our flight getting further delayed, or even cancelled, were pretty high.

Dave’s parents live in Chicago, so we checked with SWA (who were extremely accommodating) and switched our flight to 6am the following morning. This way we could still get a decent night sleep, wouldn’t have to wait around at the airport for three hours, wouldn’t risk our flight being cancelled and not being able to get on the 6am flight AND to top it off, we would be able to get dinner in the city!!!! Sorry Potbellys.

Before we even started discussing what we would get for dinner, I already knew what I wanted. Dave and I love thai food and he always talks about his favorite place, Noodles in the Pot. That, combined with the fact that a) they have one of his favorite dishes (Lard Na) that we can’t seem to find anywhere else and I’ve never tried it, and b) they have crab rangoon on the menu (which is our favorite appetizer, but not on the menu at any restaurant we’ve been to in NY), our choice pretty easy.

Dave’s parents picked us up from the train station (thanks Linda and Bob!) and we stopped at Noodles in the Pot on our way home. In addition to the Crab Rangoon (minced crabmeat and cream cheese, served with sweet and sour sauce) and Lard Na (fried wide rice noodles topped with broccoli and chicken, in our case, in delicious house gravy), we also got an order of one of our other favorite Thai dishes, Panang curry with beef.

I, of course, was starving and couldn’t wait to get home and dig in. We opened the crab rangoon first and they were smaller than either of us expected. Dave’s mom told us that was a good thing. The smaller the crab rangoon, the better… And she was right! When they’re smaller you get more of the filling in every bite. Maybe it was the fact that I haven’t had crab rangoon in so long, but these were as good as any that I can remember.

Then, I filled my plate with the lard na and panang curry. Both of the dishes were amazing. Dave was right. Definitely the best Thai food ever. Lard Na comes with these amazing crispy noodles and when you pour the sauce from the dish over them, they become crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. As you know, I’ve never had Lard Na before so obviously I can’t compare Noodles in the Pot’s version to any others, but I suspect they do it the best. And the Panang Curry? Wow. Definitely the best I’ve had.

All I can say is that we’re going back to Chicago next weekend and I’m kind of craving Noodles in the Pot again already.