Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dish on Dining: Slurp

Big Bowls of Noodles for Easy Satisfaction
2426 Telegraph Ave. (between Channing and Haste), Berkeley
Near the UC-Berkeley campus
PH: 510.644.9292
Open Tue.–Sat., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun., noon to 9 p.m., closed Mondays
No reservations, major credit cards accepted

Continuing my theme this week of eating in this down economy, I thought I’d go where most cheap foods can be found—near the college students. For me, the closest college campus is the University of California at Berkeley and the funky Telegraph Avenue.

Of course, there are many ethnic food places to choose from. But one of my regular standbys in the area is Slurp, a fun and casual noodle shop who’s Asian-ness is not very apparent. Is it Chinese? Is it Japanese? Hmm, the cook looks Korean? I can’t really tell. I just know it’s a good place for a cheap bowl of noodles.

You walk in and order at the counter, and the menu contains a variety of noodles, both soup noodles and fried. After you pay, you get a number and when they call it, you go get your food. It’s very much self-serve in that way. (And please be nice and bus your table afterwards for others.)

There’s a lot of counter space surrounding the narrow dining room and a few tables in the center. I thought I’d see a lot of Berkeley students at the times I visited, but mostly it was a mix of ages and not strictly the college crowd.

My first trip I ordered the Soup Noodles with Pork and Chinese Pickled Vegetables ($5.50). This is a Northern-style dish with the thicker noodles and the preserved cabbage. I think everyone who’s been to Slurp will agree that the portions are huge, so my bowl was filled with noodles and dark pork strips, the preserved cabbage, celery, onions and sprouts. The soup was nice and rich, but I wasn’t a fan of the pork. Still, it kind of hit the spot for me and I definitely didn’t leave hungry.

On another trip I went for the Dan Dan Noodles ($5.50) (sometimes seen as Tan Tan noodles). This is a noodle dish with minced beef sauce that’s mixed with cold cucumber slices. Again, a very Northern Chinese-style dish. (BTW, the menu does have Japanese noodles like udon. I just wasn’t feeling like udon on my trips to Slurp.)

Slurp’s version of Dan Dan looked a bit pedestrian, almost crude. The sauce had an odd orange color and the cucumbers didn’t seem fresh. This wasn’t as successful as my first visit, although once you mixed the sauce with the noodles it was still oddly comforting to eat.

While Slurp isn’t a place you’ll go run and tell friends about, it is a decent place for a cheap bowl of noodles. You get a lot of food and it’s a way better alternative to the fast-food joints. The dining area is well-kept and the counter help is generally friendly. And when you don’t want to make the trek to Chinatown, there’s no beating the price.

Single guy rating: 2.5 stars (bowl of savings)

Explanation of the single guy's rating system:
1 star = perfect for college students
2 stars = perfect for new diners
3 stars = perfect for foodies
4 stars = perfect for expense accounts
5 stars = perfect for any guy's dream dinner

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hmmm, sounds interesting chef ben, I do love a good bowl of noodles and like the economy prices, especially after my $100 lunch at O Chame...