The Hippo


Mar 24, 2018








Richard Weisberg in front of Noodles and Pearls in Concord, which is expected to open in early August. Photo by Matt Ingersoll.

Noodles and Pearls

Opening date anticipated in early August. A Facebook page ( is currently in the works, and the opening date will be announced there when it is known. 
Where: 26 Pleasant St., Concord
Anticipated hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week

New Asian options
Noodles and Pearls gets ready to open in Concord

By Matt Ingersoll

 Don’t confuse the ramen soup featured on Noodles and Pearls’ menu with the instant stuff you can get for pennies at the grocery store; the new restaurant, set to open in downtown Concord later this month, will serve a more authentic version of the Asian staple using homemade broth, meat and vegetables. 

“We’re not just throwing chicken broth and noodles together. … We’re starting with authentic recipes [and] preparing and steaming all of our meats and broth,” said co-owner Richard Weisberg, who formerly owned Vanderbilt’s Delicatessen on Main Street. “So the meats will get marinated for maybe a day before they are steamed, which helps to lock in the flavor.”
It’ll be one of the stars of the Noodles and Pearls menu, along with bubble tea and jianbing, two other popular Asian food items that Weisberg said will be new to the area.
“I’ve been trying to identify … something that the Concord community would really respond to,” Weisberg said. 
Bubble tea, according to Weisberg, is served cold and prepared using soft, chewy tapioca balls or jelly balls placed at the bottom of the cup before a liquid is added. 
“There are three basic types of liquid you would use as a base,” he said. “There is generally a black tea, a dairy base and a soy base, like soy milk. … You usually add in either sweet tapioca balls or jelly balls first and then fill the liquid to the top. … We will rotate our flavors, so for example we might have a mango-flavored tea or juice that we’ll use and then switch it out from time to time with something else, like apple.”
It was Weisberg’s business partner, Dongmei Wang, who suggested adding jianbing to the mix. The dish shares several basic components of ramen but in the form of a crepe rather than a soup.
“It’s a very popular street Chinese food,” Weisberg said. “You start with a crepe and then add a layer of egg on top of it … and flip it over, so the egg is on the outside. Then from there, the ingredients that go in will be similar to what you can get in ramen. … [The crepe] then gets folded up into kind of an envelope shape, and you can walk down the street eating it.”
Weisberg said he and Wang hope to establish a new option for getting your food quickly and efficiently while maintaining good quality.
“For right now, I want to keep the menu small,” he said. “You know, I hate it when I walk into a place and there’s like 20 different things you have to choose from, and you have to figure out [how to order]. It’s terrifying.”
Although there are hundreds of varieties of ramen and bubble tea that can be made, what you’ll get at Noodles and Pearls to start with will be simple, but still with plenty of choices.
“We’ll be offering the ramen and jianbing on a daily basis [with] some type of a meat-based broth and some type of vegetarian-based broth, so people will have their choice to start with there,” he said. “Then it will be a matter of whatever they choose to put in it, so we will be preparing delicious chicken and beef and pork, as well as different vegetable-type additions that would go in there.”
Changes and additions may be made to the menu based on customers’ initial responses.
“I understand that the American palate [of ramen] is not the same as the Asian palate all the time,” he said. “For example, a strictly authentic ramen broth could be very salty to the American tongue. So we’ll tone that down a little bit … and let the customers guide us in that way.”
Twenty-four seats will be available inside the restaurant, including table seating and stool seating along the counter by the front window. In nice weather, tables and chairs may move onto the sidewalk for outdoor seating.
“We’re not running a full-scale, full-service Chinese restaurant, [but] people on their lunch hour should be able to come in and be out of here in five or 10 minutes,” he said. “We want it to be something that is as quick to serve, but still as good as a really good slice of pizza.”

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