Tea House Noodles, a Downtown Staple, Branches East

“The sky’s the limit!” says Tea House Noodles’ owner Kyle Lynch, speaking from the “Nu-Asian” diner’s newest digs on Murray Hill Road. Open since June, the 30-seat spot is the second outpost for this Cleveland original, which began in a tiny slice of real estate on downtown’s East 6th Street. But if Lynch’s plans proceed accordingly, there will be plenty more to come. (Due to ongoing negotiations, he says details are still hush-hush.) In any case, the original downtown location (1900 E. 6th St.) continues to do booming lunchtime biz on weekdays, thanks to speedy counter service, low prices, and a small but wholesome-sounding menu starring soups, salads, freshly squeezed juices, and saucy, veggie-topped noodle and rice bowls, with optional tofu, beans, or chicken toppings. Now, the newly outfitted Murray Hill spot (2218 Murray Hill Rd.) has added evening and weekend hours to the mix, serving from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Both spots also feature delivery service, custom catering, and Tea House’s popular Rica-Rica Sauce – a sweet and spicy slather of hot peppers, ginger, and sesame oil – by the 12-ounce bottle ($3.99); the new location, near the CWRU campus, also accepts Case Cash, for payment. Lynch, who took over the business from founder Richard Baribault several years back, says that with his quirky, New-Age mindset and focus on healthful eats, Baribault was ahead of the curve. “Today, diners can’t wait to get away from fried foods and mass produced products,” Lynch says. “The time to grow this concept just couldn’t be better.” Jump to eatteahousenoodles.com to view the full menu. – Elaine T. Cicora
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