by Jessica Grajczyk
I’ve got enough Stix noodle salads under my belt now that it seems a little ridiculous that I haven’t written about this place yet. Walking into the streamlined, simple and immaculately tidy noodle bar you’d think it was part of a well-established chain of extremely marketable restaurants, but no – Stix is just a little independent joint on Commercial Drive a few short steps from Venables.
The thing about Stix is that although it doesn’t look like the average restaurant on the Drive (the usual veggie/vegan friendly/bohemian/pizza garden/discount sushi), it certainly caters to the demands of this area’s population. A major selling point for me, being a vegetarian, is the noodle soup made with veggie broth. It’s hard to find good Pho in this city without meat-based broth, but Stix does it well, using a soy/mushroom base. They also cater to the carnivorous, however, with chicken, beef, pork and seafood offerings.
My first love at Stix is not the soup, but the noodle salad with tofu – a mixture of crisp iceberg lettuce, fresh egg noodles, veggies, crushed peanuts and agedashi-style tofu with insanely addictive sesame dressing. Their fresh-made salad rolls are plump, filling, and little transport-friendly meals in themselves, with choices of veggie, tofu, chicken or shrimp. Other menu items include spring rolls, Malaysian curry, lemon grass chicken or pork, and bbq skewers, and you can choose either rice or vermicelli noodles with most dishes. They also serve the ever-popular Vietnamese coffee, alongside organic Steaz tea, and Stix’ own lemonade or iced tea.
With its simple, asian-inspired menu and fast and friendly service, Stix has always been my first choice when my fridge is devoid of appetizing lunch or dinner options. The fact that nothing on the menu is over $10 is also a big bonus. Next time you take a stroll down the Drive, I highly recommend topping it off with a hearty bowl of noodle soup or a crisp and delicious noodle salad at Stix.
903 Commercial Drive