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Drunken noodles at Ivy’s Chinese Cafe 

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper

Ivy’s Chinese Cafe, 11550 Ridgeline Drive, #120, 487-8088, ivyschinesecafe.com

It’s been seven years since I’ve ducked into Ivy’s, fondly recalling a meal (at least as far as our Indy online archives can refresh my memory). And I’m not disappointed on this visit either, ordering a plate of drunken noodles with chicken for just under 10 bucks.

I’m one of the only customers at 1 p.m. on a weekend, so I’m not sure if it’s normal that food arrives at the table in under two minutes, but I’m impressed, as if the kitchen had predicted what I was going to order before I walked in.

All my server can tell me about the saucing, since the menu says nothing, is that it’s a brown sauce, with the same chile peppers used in the Kung Pao. Indeed spice speaks up, giving me a runny nose by dish’s end. Otherwise it’s an oily affair of wide rice noodles tangled around thin-cut chewy chicken strips that squeak in my teeth like cheese curds. Green and white onions add bite and basil a lovely accent, with only carrot threads and bean shoots for vegetal roughage.

I leave happy, giving my fortune cookie to a friend’s toddler later. He trips, falls and breaks the cookie into little pieces, but doesn’t cry and applies the five-second rule like a champ. His fortune says something about commitment, which I’m delighted to eschew on a sunny afternoon. 

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