Island Eats: Noshing on noodles

My concept of distance has changed since moving from Dallas where it used to take 20-30 minutes to get to our most convenient haunts.

Living in the middle of Whidbey, also requires at least ten if not 20-30 minutes to get to a grocery store or restaurant. The bonus is that time isn’t spent sitting in bumper to bumper traffic or inching toward that annoying stoplight that doesn’t stay green long enough.

But some days, traveling down the long, quiet State Route 525 makes the distance between point A and B feel longer…especially on a fall day when the majestic Cascades and Olympics are hidden behind the cloudy darkness.

In the cold, cloudy and dark I crave noodles. I crave Island Nosh. And so I make the 16 mile, 21 minute drive.

This little Clinton noodle cafe located just up the hill from the ferry terminal offers udon, ramen and curry all four seasons. Not interested in Asian fare? Then check out the Creamy Cavatapi or Crab Mac & Cheese.

In Dallas, I had a love affair with pho (sometimes traveling 45 minutes for a bowl of comfort goodness) so when dining at Nosh I tend to sway between the ramen or the udon. Either way, Island Nosh fills my belly with pure steamy noodle happiness.

Today I needed a little extra comfort after a long work day that started at 6 a.m. to meet with east coast clients. Eight hours later, I’m worn down, and that protein shake that happened before my first call was long gone. My stomach was screaming for something hearty as well as healthy.

One Udon Bowl please. With a glass of Rousanne.

After all, it’s Thursday.

Within a few more minutes a bowl filled with an aromatic broth, flank steak, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, jalapeños and chewy udon noodles arrived. I smelled the savory steam before tearing open the chop sticks.

No matter how hungry you are, you really should take time to take in all the flavors. The udon offers instant comfort as I unapologetically slurp.

The noodles really are the main feature here. But don’t take for granted the spice from the jalapeños and the slight sweetness from the potatoes…their complimentary flavors and texture work well with the flank steak which is nestled into the dish.

Yes, Island Nosh is well worth the drive.

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