At Noodle House, Harmony One Bowl at a Time

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It's getting warm out, and that only makes me crave one thing: a steaming bowl of noodle soup.

OK, not at all. But if there is one bowl of noodle soup I would eat sitting in a puddle of my own sweat, it would have to be the beef noodle soup at Noodle House in Plano.

Noodle House (3921 W. Park Blvd., Plano) is an oasis in what seems to be a deserted flea market hall. It's a cavernous space with an outcropping of tables and chairs -- bare-bones indeed, but I just call it fundamentals.

Head to the counter and flip through the picture book menu. It's a small selection, but everything looks delicious. Put in your order (bring cash if you can't spend more than $20) with the cashier/waitress, take your number and have a seat.

The first thing I had to taste on a recent visit was the broth; dark and fragrant, hot but not scalding. I took one sip and all that I could sense was that it was damn good. I took another sip and I started to note the complexity and depth. It's savory but not dominated by salt, there's a heavy beef flavor and a nice little kick of spice that hits the back of the throat once you gulp it down.

The noodles are tender but still sturdy, long and definitely slurp-worthy. A few slabs of braised beef and petals of bok choy top the bowl of soup, and it's all garnished with green onions, cilantro and pickled mustard greens. And don't shy from slurping. It's the only way you can really enjoy the dish. Some say it's to incorporate air with your bite, but in my case, I'm trying to cram so much food into my mouth at one time I can't help but slurp up the overflow.

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