WILLAMETTE WEEK: Downtown Is Coming Back, Along With What Was Always Its Most Beloved Feature: Restaurants Downtown dining isn’t dead.
Every noodle in the Hot & Spicy dish at Tasty Corner is a snowflake. And, no, that’s not a MAGA-style insult. Quite the opposite, really.
These noodles are incredibly firm, delightfully chewy yet super slurpable. To achieve that superior texture, Tasty Corner hand-shaves the staple in this boisterous assembly of Szechuan peppercorns, dried red chile peppers, vegetables and protein of your choice. It’s a multistep process that takes incredible knife skills, resulting in jagged-edged ribbons, and no two are exactly alike—testament to the hard work of people in a kitchen rather than a machine.
Owner Daniel Chen explains that his noodles begin with a wheat-based dough that’s sheared with a special blade, resulting in strips that range in thickness from one-half to three-quarters of an inch. After boiling, the noodles are immediately chilled with ice so they don’t get too soft or sticky. And it works. There’s not another bite in town that is as springy and supple as these bands, which soak up a sauce made of peppercorns, garlic, onion and ginger.
For tender tongues like mine, the heat level is a pleasant sweat—like enjoying the challenge of lingering in a sauna. And for fans of Hillsboro’s Szechuan Garden, the June opening of Tasty Corner on the Portland State University campus should be welcome news—that’s also Chen’s shop, so you no longer have to fight Highway 26 traffic to get those lovely, hand-shaven noodles.