First Oodles of Noodles festival billed as a success

Halifax food event showcases Quinpool Road’s diverse restaurant offerings

3 min read
Mac N Cheese with pulled pork
caption Mac N Cheese with pulled pork from The Brewery by Quinns on Quinpool Road in Halifax on Friday March 1, 2024. The dish is made with cavatappi noodles, a house-made cheddar cheese sauce, roasted garlic and jalapeno with the option to add brisket or pulled pork.
Ellie Enticknap-Smith

Sixteen Halifax restaurants offered different takes on a starchy dish as the Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association hosted its first-ever Oodles of Noodles festival from March 6 to 10.

Jennie Dobbs, owner of Morris East pizzeria, created the noodle celebration to rally competing eateries along the thoroughfare that bisects the Halifax peninsula.

“I just love it when there are food city events,” Dobbs told The Signal at her slice shop. “I also love all the small independent restaurants on Quinpool Road so I really wanted to think of a cool food idea that could unite us all.”

When Joanne MacDougall, owner of Sweet Hereafter Cheesecakery, was told about Oodles of Noodles she instantly knew what to cook up at her dessert shop.

“I remembered this haystack cookie made with fried noodles from when I was a kid and I was like, ‘oh my goodness, that’s what we’re gonna do,’ ” MacDougall told The Signal at her outlet.

“You have to experiment with cheesecake and make sure it’s gonna turn out, but I was just like, we’ll just make it work.”

Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cheesecake
caption Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cheesecake from Sweet Hereafter Cheesecakery on Quinpool Road in Halifax on Friday March 8, 2024. The vanilla-hazelnut cheesecake is topped with chocolate covered Chow Mein noodles with roasted hazelnut on a chocolate and Chow Mein noodle crust.
Ellie Enticknap-Smith

MacDougall said she knew the main piece of the cheesecake would be the topper, made up of chocolate-covered fried chow mein noodles with roasted hazelnuts. She formed the noodles into clumps and let them harden in the fridge.

“We decided we’re gonna put the noodles in the crust as well because I wanted them in somewhere and they’re crunchy,” MacDougall said. “We did three quarters of chocolate cookie crumbs, and one quarter of the chopped noodles. My big fear was that they were going to be soggy, but the crust is delicious actually, you get little tastes of that noodle in there.”

Customer review

An Oodles of Noodles offering received positive reviews from customer Thanh Phung, who’s a Halifax content creator. She told The Signal her favourite was Bo Kho, served at Banh Mi A&B restaurant on Quinpool near Robie St. Bo Kho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle dish served with tender beef brisket and carrots.

Phung said she thought the event was a fun way to connect individual businesses in one area, but adds she would have preferred more advance notice about Oodles of Noodles.

“I think it would be cool to highlight each restaurant, just to give a little bit more of a spotlight for folks,” Phung said in a phone interview.

Restaurateur Jennie Dobbs
caption Jennie Dobbs, owner of Morris East pizzeria, came up with the idea for the Oodles of Noodles festival as a way to unite various eateries on the commercial strip.

The festival comes as new businesses and restaurants continue to pop up on Quinpool Road. MacDougall said the commercial strip has changed drastically in the 13 years she has been there.

“When we first opened, Quinpool Road felt more like a corridor, like a wasteland, it wasn’t a destination,” she said. “The Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association has been working really hard to make creative feel like a vibe and a culture right here in this tiny part of the city and I feel like they really are succeeding.”

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