Silk Road Café
As college students know well, noodles are the perfect budget food: filling, versatile, and cheap. But leave the stovetop ramen on the supermarket shelf--we're talking about the inventive, veggie-laden dishes served at the Silk Road Café. This eclectic eatery tucked in an apartment house across Charles Street from Johns Hopkins University serves everything from burgers to curries to baba ganouj--and noodles, lots of noodles.
Cold, rainy days call for brimming bowls of plump udon noodles awash in a mild chicken broth with mixed veggies ($4.50; $4.95-$5.50 outfitted with tofu, seaweed, chicken, or shrimp). With summer coming up, we'll take the cold noodle salad ($4.50, $4.95 with tofu, $5.50 with grilled chicken), chilled udon atop shredded leaf lettuce topped with matchsticks of carrot and cucumber and any one of five different sauces, ranging from basic (tahini) to exotic (briny sha cha sauce, based on shrimp paste and wine). In any weather, the Singapore rice noodles--a curried, ochre-hued heap of fried vermicelli noodles topped with veggies ($4.95) or chicken or Chinese sausage (both $4.95)--are noodle-rific indeed.