Jun 4, 2019 - Food and Drink

Cilantro Noodle soft opens Saturday with customizable Vietnamese bowls, rolls and banh mi

Cilantro Noodle, a new fast-casual Vietnamese concept with a Chipotle-style customizable menu, will soft open this Saturday, June 8 in Plaza Midwood.

It’s located at 2001 Commonwealth Ave. around the corner from Common Market. Ocha Time, a sister boba tea and dessert bar next door, will open later in July. For reference, both entrances are on the Thomas Street side of the building.

The approximately 3,000-square-foot space has indoor seating for 90-95 and a small outdoor deck.

I love the mural work by Alex Duncan.

To order, just head to the kiosks and then work your way down the counter customizing your selection.

The menu features customizable rice and noodle bowls, banh mi and fresh rolls along with signature pho.

Choose one base:

  • Fresh rolls
  • Banh mi (sandwich)
  • Vermicelli noodle bowl
  • White rice bowl
  • Fried rice bowl

Choose one protein:

  • Garlic shrimp
  • Five-spice chicken
  • Lemongrass pork
  • Lemongrass beef
  • Fried tofu

Add five fresh toppings:

  • Cilantro
  • Pineapple
  • Lettuce
  • Bean sprouts
  • Crispy shallots
  • Jalapeños
  • Scallions
  • Pickled medley
  • Mango
  • Red bell peppers
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Premium toppings: Fried egg ($1.50), avocado ($1.50), crispy rolls (3 for $1)
Customized rice bowls

It’s worth noting that the fresh rolls aren’t your standard appetizer size but don’t rival the size of a full-blown burrito either. They fall somewhere in the middle.

Tofu fresh rolls
Stuffed with vermicelli noodles, fried tofu, pineapple and basil

Signature pho options include:

  • Pho dac biet – eye round stake, beef brisket, meatballs and one bone-in short rib
  • Pho filet mignon
  • Pho eye round & meatballs
  • Pho short rib – braised beef rib bones in 24-hour beef broth
  • Pho oxtail – braised oxtail in 24-hour beef broth
  • Pho fried tofu – in beef or chicken broth
  • Pho ga – chicken breast in chicken broth

Other local assembly line restaurant concepts like Yafo (Mediterranean) and Zablong (pizza) have been well received in Charlotte.

We’ll see if Cilantro Noodle can corner the market on the Vietnamese version. As they ease into operation this weekend, they’re seeking customer feedback on the menu and execution.

And stay on the lookout for the opening of Ocha Time next door. The boba tea and dessert bar will feature taiyaki ice cream served in eye-catching fish-shaped cake cones.


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