If you haven't heard of First Meeting Noodle in Rochester, Minnesota, then you're just like me until Monday night last week. I'd even missed the stories on our own app! On Labor Day I finally had some of their food AND learned why it's called First Meeting Noodle.

First, What Is First Meeting Noodle...A Noodle Grocery?

Photo by Edwin Petrus on Unsplash (Click for link)
Photo by Edwin Petrus on Unsplash (Click for link)

First Meeting Noodle is a restaurant that was opened in the Med City earlier this year by John Chen. Chen came to Rochester from Las Vegas, where he owned and then closed a ramen restaurant to start FMN in RST. It's right next to Buffalo Wild Wings South.


As the name implies, noodles are a big part of what they do. Hand-pulled noodles. Homemade noodles! In Troy Dunken's January story,

Chinese hand-pulled noodles are known for their fine taste and are prepared using different techniques (hand-pulled and knife-shaved). A variety of spices and ingredients are used to optimize the flavor. See menus and more here.

Why Is It Called First Meeting Noodle?

What is a first meeting? It is when you first meet someone. Simple and to the point. But, did you really meet them, or did you meet a quick version of themselves?

My brother-in-law and his friend (a man visiting from China) were at First Meeting, and his friend asked John Chen, the owner, the meaning of the restaurant's name. The conversation took place in Chinese.

As it was told to me, the translation was, "You don't really meet someone until you've enjoyed a meal of noodles together." So no matter how many times you may have met someone, you didn't really meet them until you've slurped a noodle or two.

It's still a big deal to invite people to our homes to eat. Breaking bread, slurping noodles, eating a slice of pizza...all of it is about getting to know each other more deeply, creating a bond that only food can.

What Is Dan Dan Anyway?

A menu item at FM is Dan Dan Noodle and according to Wikipedia,

The name refers to a type of carrying pole (dan dan) that was used by walking street vendors who sold the dish to passers-by. The pole was carried over the shoulder, with two baskets containing noodles and sauce attached at either end. As the noodles were affordable due to their low cost, the local people gradually came to call them dandan noodles, referencing the street vendors. The name translates directly as "noodles carried on a pole", but may be better translated as "peddler's noodles". (Source)

See the menu, hours, and all of that awesomeness here.

Personal Note: I really enjoyed my first experience with First Noodle. I had the beef dumplings, excellent, though my sister and girlfriend thought the wrapping was a bit more al dente than they prefer. My sister and I both had curry chicken with noodles. It was Minnesota-hot-hot on the spicy scale, with a rich curry flavor. I'd order it again.

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Don't miss out on any of Rochester's restaurants. Scroll thru the list and find some new places to try this weekend!

Rochester Restaurants from A to Z (Almost)

Next time you are trying to figure out where to eat in Rochester, just pick a letter from A to Z and scroll a little bit to see what restaurant you will be eating at tonight. It is the easiest way to make a decision! DISCLAIMER: If you pick "x" or "y" you will need to pick again.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com


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