(Originally published in The Grapevine in their December 11/14 – January 22/15 edition).
The Noodle Guy (also reportedly known as Ross Patterson) needs no advertising. Nor does he need any more customers. He has nothing to be gained by me writing this. You know those scenes, in old movies, when the piano music is frenzied and staccato and things happens onscreen at a pace that could never actually occur in real life? That’s about what the Noodle Guy looks like every time I’ve ever seen him at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market.
I am pretty sure the Noodle Guy has some sort of deal with the space-time continuum that allows him to move faster and fry up more noodles (and the occasional batch of perogies) than the human body is actually capable of. I’m so overwhelmed, the previous sentence ended in a preposition.
All this activity is prompted by the perpetual line-up that forms next to the Noodle Guy’s stand from the moment he opens until the last item is stricken off the chalkboard. Do you know what terrible agony it is to be standing in line, mouth watering as you anticipate the moment you get to take that first scrumptiously scrumptious mouthful of the Noodle Guy’s Fox Hill garlic quark ravioli with maple caramelized onions only to hear that dreaded scratch as that very thing is subjected to merciless obliteration by coloured chalk? Do you? I bet you do!
See, I often have morning activities (usually consisting of ridiculous runs) so my trips to the market are frequently nearer to closing time than to opening time. This weekend, however, my ridiculous run was not on until 11:00 am, so Clara and I zipped in at about 9:00. No word of a lie – that was the very first time I’d seen the Noodle Guy’s chalkboard entirely marked-out free.
Everything was available. I could hardly breathe. Clara had no problem insisting on the shells – they are one of the few meaty offerings the Noodle Guy makes. As usual, the pasta was unbelievable, and I had to fight Clara for the last pieces (it was early, I didn’t think we could eat two orders, I was wrong). As we walked away from the stand, I witnessed the first item being scratched off. Because pasta at 9:00 is where it is at, if it’s made by the Noodle Guy.
For the sake of journalistic integrity, I felt it would only be fair to see if the Noodle Guy’s magic was all in the wrist, or if I could replicate some of it from the comfort of my own home. The Noodle Guy has a wee fridge next to the frying pan strip and it contains amazing things like bags of handmade ready-to-fry fresh pasta and sauces.
I decided to pick up a tub of Sundried Tomato, Jalapeno, and Coconut Milk sauce to try at home. Noodle Guy’s wife (who shall remain nameless – they were busy – there was no time to ask) gave me a hot tip: not only is it fantastic on pasta, it also goes beautifully on rice with chicken. It is true, friends, that sauce is just to die for and tossing in a few (locally grown) brussels sprouts will almost make you offer to let your kids eat your piece of freshly baked pie just so you can take their shares.
But don’t (just) take it from me – if you like an adventure, head to the Wolfville Farmers’ Market and battle the hoards. Otherwise, you can stop by the Noodle Guy’s sweet, sweet restaurant in Port Williams. For more info, check out their really great website at www.thenoodle.ca.