Sandra Rice & Noodles10625 Pendleton Pike A11, Indianapolis, IN 46236
Sean sprained his ankle, so with our family chef injured, that only meant one thing—takeout. We trusted Yelp reviews to see what we should try. Sandra Rice & Noodles met all our criteria: new, not too far away, cheap, and had great reviews. The hard part was deciding what to order since there were so many options.
Based on Yelp reviews, we had to try the Spring Rolls ($3.99) with shrimp, pork, rice noodles, cucumber, bean sprouts, basil and lettuce all wrapped up in thin rice paper. It was served with a side of hoisin peanut sauce that gave the rolls a little bit of a zing. Although the pork was hard to find (and taste) the cucumber, basil, rice paper, and sauce made the dish refreshing and light. The bean sprouts and rice noodles added great texture to a dish with some mushy components—rice paper and shrimp.
Recommendation: At $3.99 this is a great way to start of a meal.
We then opted for the Mini Pork Buns ($5.99) with Cabbage, onion, ginger and pepper. I am sure the dish comes better served at the restaurant, so please ignore the presentation of this one. The pork buns weren’t quite what we expected—it was more of a pot sticker than a sticky bun. The buns were quite flavorless without the ginger sauce. For only getting five bite-sized “buns” this wasn’t the best value or choice of the night.
Recommendation: With 14 appetizers to choose from, this might have been a misorder. Try ordering something else if this sounded like a good choice.
The House Fried Rice ($7.99) comes with shrimp, ham, Vietnamese sausage, carrots, snow peas, and onions. The four (41/50 count shrimp) were slightly overcooked (and therefore, chewy) and were not seasoned at all. The sausage was very sweet and didn’t go well with the other flavors. The vegetables were fine but the seasoning on the rice was just not there. It needed a tablespoon or two more of soy sauce to give it the flavor it needed.
Recommendation: Sean wanted to try this dish because we always get chicken or beef fried rice. Some dishes just shouldn’t be messed with and this dish reminded us why.
I ordered the Beef and Noodle ($8.99) that came with carrots, scallions, cilantro and bean sprouts. The dish, like the fried rice, was lacking flavor.
Recommendation: There’s not much else to say about this dish, unfortunately. It was a little too ‘blah.’
Sean ordered the Beef Pho ($6.79) with Meatballs (additional $1.00). The Beef Pho had a lot of Yelp comments about being the best pho in the city and Sean also oredered the meatballs based on one reviewer writing that “without a doubt they were the best meatballs I’ve found in the Indy area.” The Pho was “pho”nomenal! Sorry, I had to do it. The beef broth was delicious and had an extremely complex flavor that most
broths fail to achieve. The beef was not overly chewy and there were plenty of rice noodles to add to the broth. This dish is enough to have for two meals. The pho came (even take out) with sriracha, cilantro, uncooked bean sprouts, basil, lime, and hoisin sauce. As mentioned, the broth was very flavorful on its own,but adding the sriracha, cilantro, hoisin and lime took the pho to the next level. Adding an uncooked bean sprout to each spoonful also added a nice crunch. I am sure some of you are wondering about those “best meatballs in Indy.” Let’s just say this comment left us wondering what kind of drugs this dude was on when he ate and/or wrote the review. To set the record straight, these were the worst meatballs we had ever had, in Indianapolis or any other city. Their texture can only be described as that of pure rubber and they added no additional flavor to the soup.
Recommendation: Best Pho we have had. Adding the lime, cilantro, sriracha, and hoisin make the dish even better, if that’s possible. But do yourself a favor and order this SANS meatballs!
The highs were high and the lows were low, and then there were the meatballs. The pho was fantastic and the and the spring rolls were refreshing, but the other items were too mediocre to order again. We tried ordering the Banana Roll ($5.29) for dessert, but were told they were out! Stop by for the pho, but skip the rest.
Location: Northeast (Lawrence)
Dress Code: Casual