Matyson chef Ben Puchowitz’s Cheu Noodle Bar with partner Shawn Darragh pumps out a sometimes schizophrenic smorgasbord where, surprisingly, noodles won’t be what keeps you coming back. Trey Popp tells us which of the bar snacks will have you raving.
There’s broccoli mobbed with peanuts and crumbles of Puchowitz’s lime-zested, five-spiced Vietnamese sausage. Paku “fish ribs” have stupendously crackling skin, and a tamarind glaze that all but makes the accompanying jicama matchsticks get up and salsa. And while authentic scrapple may usually derive from those parts of the pig not fit for hot dogs, Cheu cheats a little by using just the shoulder, which gets cooked into something approaching a slop, set into a terrine rich with its own fat, and deep-fried till the sides crunch like the hash browns at McDonalds. So, still pretty dirty, but, as Darragh cracked one night, “safe dirty.”
Two-and-a-half stars – Good to Excellent
Philadelphia Restaurant Review: the Deliciously Eclectic Cheu Noodle Bar [Philadelphia Magazine]
Cheu Noodle Bar [Official Site]