On Friday night I inadvertently tried a new restaurant and fell in love. Dinner was not even on my radar for the evening – all I wanted to do was get out of work on time and make it to my best friend’s birthday happy hour at a respectable time. I was excited when I was able to duck out the office a bit early and make it by 6:30. I will have to come back to the amazing bar she picked this year because this classic Irish pub called The Wheeltapper, located in the Fitzpatrick Grand Central, is definitely blog worthy.
It was remarkable that we were able to celebrate my friend’s birthday outside in December – thank you 60 degree weather – and it was a wonderful way to start the weekend. I have known my friend for what we determined is 14 years now and it was a great mix of high school, college, and “real life” friends who all stopped by toast the birthday girl.
I must admit though, after two hours and two glasses of Pinot Grigio I needed food and thanks to my friend Ali, who is a self-proclaimed expert Yelp-er, we headed to Udon West. Udon West is a Japanese style noodle shop located on East 46th and Lexington, only two blocks from Grand Central. Tucked away between two much larger buildings it is a bit hard to find and when the sign on the outer-door said no sushi and we headed inside ready for traditional Japanese noodles.
After perusing the menu and signs on the walls, many of which I could not read, we began with Ikayaki. This grilled squid appetizer was delicious plain but even better when dipped in soy sauce, pure happiness. We skipped the drinks even though the Soporro specials apparently were quite reasonable and went straight to the custom udon bowls.
While the menu boasted dozens of entree options including a delicious sounding sashimi, the establishment is known for udon and the noodle options took up the entire front page so that is what we decided to to go with. We both went the custom route I chose shrimp tempura with poached egg whereas Ali combined the pork ginger and poached egg – scrumptious!
The following photo you may have seen on Snapchat but Ali dubbed it the #cleanplateclub and it was true, we drank every last drop of our delicious soups!
Udon West, I will be back.