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The noodle shops of Eldridge Street

On the southernmost block of Eldridge Street, literally in the shadow of the ancient synagogue with its weird blend of Gothic and Moorish architecture, are almost a dozen bare-bones, hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving noodles, fish balls and rice casseroles to a predominantly (actually, exclusively) Fujianese crowd. At one of them, they told me I couldnt eat there because I wasnt Chinese, but when I answered in Chinese the diners chorused "let him in" and they did. That restaurant is gone, but two others have opened that advertise Lanzhou noodles. I went to one last night, Golden Dragon, 7 Eldridge. They also serve stuff like cowfoot casserole and viscera in special sauce, but I ordered the noodles. There was a choice of 20 toppings, and I chose beef penis. As soon as I ordered, the noodle maker near the cash register slammed a was of dough on the table, stretched it, braided it, cut it into noodles and ran it into the kitchen, where it was cooked in a clear, flavorful beef broth and the requested topping added in. It was quite good; the beef had a subtle yet earthy flavor, the broth was good, the noodles were doughy, like fresh pasta. It wasnt a great culinary epiphany but it was definitely worth the experience.

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  1. I would seriously eat that beef penis noodle soup, but I bet it's not listed in English. Could you post the Chinese characters for it or/and transliterate the Fuzhounese name for it, so that I can order it?

    1. It is indeed listed in English as Beef Pizzle It was good but not exceptional. What I liked about the trip there was being on a street filled with chow opportunities unknown to most people not from Fujian (there was another noodle shop serving 4 varieties of noodle, Lanzhou, Shaanxi, Fujian, one other) and I would have tried that, but it was closed. I also liked seeing the waitresses giggle when I ordered the pizzle, and watching the guy make the noodles out of a lump of dough.

      I visited Lanzhou many years ago and found it a city of little distinction. It huddled in a river valley and I wrote that it was long, narrow and boring, like a hot dog. I didnt notice any noodles there, but the noodle shops of Eldridge are certainly not boring.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Brian S

        There are couple posts about Super Taste, Eastern Noodle and Sheng Wang (maybe a couple months ago). They all are fujian and advertise serving the Lanzhou noodles.

        I like Super Taste personally, but they are all pretty close to each other. Try the spicy beef noodle or the pork bone noodles. Also get the fish balls (yu wan in chinese if you have trouble, but they speak reasonable english)

        1. re: Lau

          You're right. The post is http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... I read that post when it came out (and I was in Tulsa) and I mistakenly thought it referred to another block and that I'd discovered this whole block of goodies. Though I think I'm the first to try Golden Dragon. The restaurant I wanted to try was Sheng Wang. There used to be a great restaurant on that block serving only rice casseroles... but they're gone, I think.

      2. Great tip on Golden Dragon. Some previous threads from the 'hood (including the one you mention), as digested earlier this year in ChowNews:

        NOODLE NEWS: HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT IN CHINATOWN (ChowNews #211, 1/20/06)

        Three hand-pulled noodle shops are duking it out within a block of each other on the eastern side of Chinatown. At all three, freshly made Lanzhou-style wheat noodles come in deeply flavored soup, enriched by various parts of beef, pork, mutton, and other meats. The going rate is $4 a bowl.

        The smallest contender is Sheng Wang, a downstairs place on Eldridge Street whose hand-pulled noodles with beef are "noodles of the gods – tender, delicate, and flavorful," declares *Spoony Bard*. Besides the noodles, the rich soup is aswim with tangy pickled greens and fish balls stuffed with spiced pork, as well as chunks of lackluster beef that no doubt gave its life to the broth, he notes.

        Across Eldridge is Super Taste, whose hand-pulled noodles are simply awesome, marvels *Lau*. The choice with sauteed beef comes with tender, fatty, delicious meat, says *Foodboy*.

        A block west on Forsyth is the better-known hound hangout Eastern Noodles. "gloriousfood" can't get enough of its pork bone pulled noodle.

        Sheng Wang [Chinatown]
        27 Eldridge St., between Canal and Division
        Manhattan, NY 10002
        212-925-0805
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=...

        Super Taste Restaurant [Chinatown
        ]26 Eldridge St., between Canal and Division
        Manhattan, NY 10002
        212-625-1198
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=...

        Eastern Noodles [Chinatown
        ]a.k.a. Eastern Authentic Noodle House
        28 Forsyth St., between Canal and Division
        Manhattan, NY 10002
        212-941-7678
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/maps-result?add...

        Read the threads at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
        ... and at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        THE CHINATOWN BEAT: DUCK NOODLE SOUP AND OTHER BITES (ChowNews #215, 2/17/06

        )

        A smart order at New Chao Chow is duck noodle soup, suggests *Spoony Bard*. Just $4 buys a generous helping of sliced roast duck – sometimes they throw in a drumstick – over thin wheat noodles in rich, pleasingly sweet broth, topped with a scattering of minced scallion and cilantro. This is the best place in Chinatown for Chaozhou-style noodle soups, says *Mike Lee*.

        A few blocks away on Eldridge, toward the growing Fujianese enclave of eastern Chinatown, Fu Zhou Cuisine turns out top-notch fish balls and dumplings. Its classic pork-and-chive model is fresh and delicious, served with a bowl of salty, white-peppery broth, says *wvgirl*, who notes that the staff speaks little or no English. Just up this short but rewarding block are dueling noodle specialists Sheng Wang and Super Taste.

        And a few blocks north on Grand Street, a new bakery called Lucky King makes great pork buns, both steamed and baked, reports *ultbil*.

        New Chao Chow Restaurant [Chinatown]
        111 Mott St. #103, between Canal and Hester
        Manhattan, NY 10013
        212-226-2590
        Locater: http://yp.yahoo.com/py/ypMap.py?Pyt=T...

        Fu Zhou Cuisine [Chinatown
        ]15 Eldridge St., between Division and Canal
        Manhattan, NY 10002
        212-343-0548
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=...

        Sheng Wang [Chinatown
        ]see above

        Super Taste Restaurant [Chinatown]
        see above

        Lucky King Bakery [Chinatown]
        280 Grand St., between Eldridge and Forsyth
        Manhattan, NY 10002
        212-219-8434
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=...

        Read the threads at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
        ... and at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
        ... and at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        FISH BALLS FUZHOU STYLE, AND OTHER CHINATOWN BITES (ChowNews #233, 6/23/06

        )

        Wei Choon Wang makes first-rate fish balls in the Fuzhou style, reports *Chandavkl*. At this 24/7 hole-in-the-wall on Eldridge, $3 buys 10 of them – fat, surprisingly light, and stuffed with minced pork – afloat in a bowl of light broth. Season to taste with sriracha, vinegar, and other condiments on the table. You'll also find this dish down the block at Young City Fish Balls and at many other restaurants in the newer, Fujianese-dominated quarter of Chinatown, east and south of the neighborhood's historic core.

        For a different spin on fish balls, XO Kitchen has nice ones made in house and served in noodle soup, says Chandavkl. Hounds also recommend this Hong Kong-style cafe for its pork chop casserole, jellyfish with preserved egg and ginger, Japanese-style pan-fried dumplings, and teriyaki freshwater eel over rice.

        Wei Choon Wang Restaurant [Chinatown]
        6 Eldridge St., near Division
        Manhattan, NY 10002
        212-925-3838
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=...

        Young City Fish Balls [Chinatown
        ]21A Eldridge St., between Canal and Division
        Manhattan, NY 10002
        212-274-9702
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=...

        XO Kitchen [Lower East Side
        ]148 Hester St., between Elizabeth and Bowery
        Manhattan, NY 10013
        212-965-8645
        Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=...

        Read the threads at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
        ... and at: http://chowhound.com/topics/show/234898

        2 Replies
        1. re: squid kun

          Thanks for posting this. I bet the other places are better than Golden Dragon, but the advantage of the Dragon is that it is open very late. It was the only open one I found that rainy night. I have the menu from the place at 27 Eldridge. The name is printed in Chinese. I dont know much Chinese but it doesnt look like Sheng Wang to me, it looks like Dong Feng (East wind) something. Whatever the name, they offer four kinds of noodles, each with a dozen toppings: Lanzhou noodles, rice noodles, thread noodles, Shanxi peell noodles, as well as various soups, including fish ball.

          1. re: Brian S

            This place must have changed hands. I grabbed a menu from 27 Eldridge earlier this year. At the time there was a sign or awning that said (in English) Sheng Wang.

            The top of the menu says only "Lanzhou hand-pulled noodles" (in Chinese), and the choices are more limited than what you describe: mostly Lanzhou noodles plus one rice noodle soup; no mention of shaved noodles or thread noodles. It also has a section of Fujianese stuff including soups (fish ball and others).

        2. i ate at eastern noodles several times in a row for one stretch. i hope they are doing well. this thread is a good reminder to go back to revisit these places.

          1. I think you're right, it says Sheng Wang in english on the sign (I was at Super Taste last night) and their menu is almost exactly the same as Super Taste.