14 September 2012

Minneapolis: Kinsen Noodles and Bar

I took my stitches out all by myself!  Don't tell Mom.

Kinsen Noodles and Bar
1300 Lagoon Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55408
(612) 367-4595

How could you turn down a place with a sign in the window that says, "EAT NOODLES - BE FRIENDS"?  You can't, is the answer. Just get your cute little vegan tush in there.

Everybody likes edamame!  This order is $5 and covered with yummy sea salt.  Unfortunately, the sea salt was distributed unevenly among the pods.  Yet edamame is edamame - always satisfying when you're starving* before your noodles come out.

We did have to wait a while for our food - this was at about 6pm on a weeknight, and there were very few patrons in the house.  The music softened that blow.  I'm a fan of any place that'll play Regina Spektor alongside Such Great Heights.  Oh, and I love talking to Mom and Sister and stuff!  About my stitches.  FUN.

I ordered Kung Pao Tofu for $14 - but it's not on the menu.  You'll see Kung Pao Chicken with their vegan symbol, and that means you can change your protein to mock duck or tofu.  Um, yes forever.  The dish also comes with red bell pepper, onion, celery, peanuts, dried chilis, toasted garlic sauce, and crispy rice noodles.

The tofu was likely fried, and SO divine.  That became my instant fave ingredient: the one I tried to include in every delicious bite.  The veggies were perfectly crunchy, the peanuts rare but lovely, and the sauce in-freaking-credible.  Seriously.  I would've licked the plate if not for our server offering to take it away.  (Trying to keep an empty plate can be awkward in many social situations.)  It wasn't overly spicy, but definitely packed some heat.  The noodles were pretty cool; they had the consistency of styrofoam packing peanuts, but the ones on the bottom had softened and soaked up that sauce, which - I don't know if I mentioned - is AMAZING.

But don't eat the dried chilis.  That'd be silly.  As silly as slicing your finger open with a lemony steak knife.

* I mean starving in the first-world problem sense.  You know, when you have to go 2 hours without stuffing your face and you get all shaky?  Ahh, to be American.

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