Hey Nomsters, it’s me Kim. If you follow @nomtasticfoods on instagram, you already know that I’m currently based in the DMV (DC/MD/VA) area. I still have family back in Pittsburgh though – I was born and raised in the ‘Burgh – so I figure, why not blog more about PA since I visit so often? Don’t ask me why I waited so long, but I’ve decided to go ahead and create a @nomtasticpittsburgh IG account and fully commit to a PA blog tab.
My first official PA post is going to be about a hole in the wall called Red Orchid. Located on 5439 Babcock Boulevard, it’s nestled inside a tiny strip mall. Don’t let that deter you from coming though because they’re home to my favorite noodle soup – more details on that later though.
This family run business may look boring from the outside, but the inside’s immaculate and beautifully decorated. Keson, the head chef there, was born and raised in Thailand. Her culinary adventure began at her family’s restaurant, and she later fulfilled her dream of having her own establishment in Ranong.
Unfortunately, she lost everything during the 2004 tsunami, but she was determined to press forward, which prompted her move to Pittsburgh a year later. She started her career in the states by assisting the head chef at Bangkok Balcony and soon became one of the main cooks at Nicky’s Thai Kitchen and Smiling Banana Leaf – two very famous and popular restaurants in Pittsburgh. She ultimately decided to start her own business, thus Red Orchid was born…and I for one couldn’t be more thankful because I always look forward to her comfort food.
Call me basic, but there’s one dish I get there every time, and it’s something I high key crave when I’m away: her spicy noodles hut. It’s $8.25 for lunch and $12 for dinner, and it’s honestly one of the best noodles soups I’ve ever had. You can get it with any protein, but I usually get chicken.
Think steamed rice noodles with bean sprouts, mushrooms, onion, scallion, served in a spicy lemongrass soup that’s topped with cilantro. It’s perfect for winter, but it’s so good, I order it even on the hottest of days.
Other must try dishes here include the tulip dumplings app, their spicy tofu eggplant entree, their pumpkin curry, and their roast duck noodle soup. If you go during lunch, they’ll give you a complimentary soup or salad with your meal, but portions are on the smaller side so heads up.
Open from Monday to Thursday from 11-9PM, Friday/Saturday from 11-10PM, and Sunday from 1-9PM. Have questions? Give them a call at (412) 837 – 2527. Our PA tab is definitely thin at the moment, but I’m working on a good 4-5 posts so make sure to check back soon. Until next time, Nomsters. Keep eating sexy food!