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September 10, 2003

Joyce's Noodle House

I normally won't waste my time to blog about restaurants especially since the vast majority of restaurants here [in Northern VT] are simply not deserving of the title, "Restaurant." Most are a snack bar or little more. Then you have a bunch that ridiculously over charge. Or worse only serve precooked frozen or canned items supplied by a restaurant supplier. Then they just quickly reheat everything without care or concern. Even the "steak places" can't serve a "medium-rare" steak without burning and drying it out so its completely un-enjoyable and tasteless.

There are a few exceptions, very very few. Juniors Italian in Colchester has the best traditional italian dishes and pizza in the county. They also have a wonderful bakery downstairs. It's sad but I really don't feel comfortable singling out any other restaurant in the county.

You have to drive down south to Stowe to find others that are cooking from scratch and also serve great food at reasonable prices. Grill 108 is easily my favorite restaurant in the state. I try to get down there once a week because every item on their menu is top notch. Even their soup du jour is homemade and makes you think you never really had [insert which ever soup they've made that day] before. Its that good! Restaurant Swisspot is good once in awhile for something different, especially great for dates. The Whip Bar & Grill in the Green Mountain Inn is nice for lunch/ At dinner you can't beat their all you can eat Vermont turkey, stuffing, and potatoes. Gracie's is another good one despite being located in a pretty dark basement. They are best known for their burgers and salads but I always liked their Bar Steak.

I've almost given up on trying to find a decent Chinese restaurant around here. I love Chinese food and have literately tried every single chinese "restaurant" (most are simply pickup joints) within a two hour drive. (Any amount over that and you might as well go to China town in Montreal.) Sadly, I wouldn't consider any of these local joints barely passable.... If you grew up in Vermont and only eaten Chinese at these places you'd either think Chinese food was horrible or you just got used to it, not knowing it isn't supposed to taste like this!

Well, tonight my fast from Chinese food ended. I noticed an ad for a new "oriental cuisine" restaurant in the brand new yellow pages and I finally got around to going to them tonight. Boy, I wish I would have found them sooner.

Joyce's Noodle House in Essex Junction is pretty well hidden and easy to miss but it absolutely deserves a second look. It is located off of Route 15 and Route 289 in a small building behind the Essex Outlet Fair.

Unlike most of the other area chinese restaurants you're warmly greeted as you enter the door and are seated at a table where a server takes your order. Also different from the competition, I found the restaurant spotless clean and nicely decorated with an overall friendly and warm atmosphere.

Planning on taking anything left over home I sampled a few dishes; wonton soup, an egg roll, the Sesame Chicken and Shrimp with Boston Style Lobster Sauce.

Right from the beginning I could tell everything was being made to order and completely from scratch. The soup and even the wontons were unmistakably homemade and were very tasty! It was also loaded with fresh scallions and spinach.

The egg rolls were filled with fresh vegetables, still all green, and were seasoned to perfection. Like everything else even the duck sauce appeared to be made on the premises and was fantastic! I was very tempted to order another one but the main courses came.

The sauces in each of the dishes were excellent and for a moment I thought I was back in NYC or South Florida at my favorite chinese restaurants there. The shrimp were not those tiny salty frozen things that smell like rotten fish. These were fresh and very tender, so was the chicken. Everything was perfectly seasoned, nothing was salty or tasted of chemicals. I couldn't think of any way the meal could have been improved.

Best of all their prices are reasonable and they're close to my home. I'm so glad I finally found a good my favorite chinese restaurant!

Update: 2-2004 Joyce found this review when googling "Joyce's Noodle House" and was so completely shocked to learn that someone took the time to write about her restaurant that she had her son email me to let me know I should introduce myself the next time I dined in. I did that tonight after another great meal there and was very happy to get to know her and her son Lawrence who also happened to be my waiter. They seem like such a nice family, I'm happy to now know them!

Posted in Vermont , Vermont by usrbingeek at 2003-09-10 19:36 ET (GMT-5) | 2 Comments | Permalink


You're the second person to mention they liked Joyce's. I need to go check it out some time.

Posted by: joy at September 10, 2003 11:44 PM

I absolutely agree. We eat there twice a month. Good stuff!

Posted by: Ed at July 12, 2004 07:17 PM

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