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Ever heard of a "Hand Pulled Noodle?

Luke Constantino Nov 2, 2008 04:45 PM

I've tried about every restaurant on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn, most of them being just food that got by except for "World Tong on 62nd. A new place opened up across from my haircutter called "Hand Pull Noodle and Dumpling House". This either had to be a bad joke or someone who didn't speak English too well. Anyway, I enter this very simple, very lightly decorated place, not expecting much.
The place was kind of crowded with Asian people. Usually this is a good sign that the food is good, but it was just too simple. I took a look at the menu: Only 25 items on it, too simple again. It had 4 appetizers, 3 soups and 16 different hand pulled noodle soups. The prices ranged from $3.95 - $6.75 I asked the guy behind the counter for a suggestion, he "The house special"($6.75).
While I am waiting there was a guy making the hand pulled noodles for my soup, fresh. The people who worked there were extremely nice, warm and friendly. The girl behind the counter brought me a very large bowl filled to the top. To make a long story short, this place was better than any Pho' place I have ever been to (And I have been to many) and really shocked me.
In short, "Hand Pull Noodle and Dumpling House" knocked my socks off! It is simply one of the best bowls of needles I have had in a long time.

Hand Pull Noodle and Dumpling House
7201 18th Avenue
New York, NY 11204
(718) 232-6191

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  1. l
    Lau RE: Luke Constantino Nov 2, 2008 05:18 PM

    the reason its called "hand pulled noodle" is b/c thats the literal translation from chinese, which is even more literal translation of what they do, they take dough and keep beating it and pulling it until it forms noodles hence hand pulled noodles

    there are actually quite a few of these places in new york (manhattan, brooklyn and flushing) now mostly run by fujian immigrants (a southern province in china), most are advertised as lan zhou noodle places as lan zhou is another province sort of in central china which i believe where the noodles originally came from

    btw beef noodle soup is super popular in china and taiwan (in fact i think it might be one of the national dishes of taiwan)....you can find slightly different versions of beef noodle soup all over china and taiwan (and they are awesome btw)

    7 Replies
    1. re: Lau
      Chandavkl RE: Lau Nov 3, 2008 08:59 AM

      Think the poster's comment was going as much to the grammar as the description of the noodle itself. Interestingly, there is also a "Hand Pull Noodle" (sic) in San Jose so this is not a unique error.

      1. re: Lau
        n
        NancyC RE: Lau Nov 6, 2008 09:16 PM

        Oh yeah, beef noodle soup's totally the national dish of Taiwan. There's an annual Beef Noodle competition in Taiwan now. Growing up with a father who prefers his favorites over variety, my mom made beef noodle soup a few times each month (and in the winter, his other favorite--hotpot--every Sunday) Anyone found the real stuff here? I've heard (on this board, probably) that King 5 in Elmhurst is the closest match. Not that I'm not willing to travel, but I do wish there was Taiwanese food (other than bubble tea) in BK or Manhattan.

        I'm all about finding the humor in Engrish, but "hand pulled noodle" being a hilarious joke seems a bit of a stretch, especially because I didn't think these places were uncommon.

        "or someone who didn't speak English too well."

        This is confusing me too! :( As in...what would you expect? How many worthwhile Chinese joints are stocked with fluent English speakers?

        1. re: NancyC
          l
          Lau RE: NancyC Nov 9, 2008 09:28 AM

          king 5 isn't bad (ive only eaten in flushing, i think the elmhurst branch closed), the beef is pretty decent (the problem w/ most of the hand pulled noodle places is that the beef isn't that good, when u get beef noodle soup in taiwan, the beef is so good...flavored so well and falling apart), but i dont like the noodles that much....taiwanese food is difficult to find unfortunately

          1. re: Lau
            Polecat RE: Lau Nov 9, 2008 06:10 PM

            The beef noodle soup at King 5 truly lives up to its' name. The broth is heavy, thick and very beefy in taste. And, as you say, the beef is better than at most noodle joints, tender and fatty at its' best.

            I couldn't agree with you more with respect to most hand-pulled noodle joints: the beef tastes like an afterthought almost. I've eaten my way at quite a few, in three boroughs, my personal favorite being Lao Bei Feng in Elmhurst. Their dumplings hold up very well in the soup, remaining firm and juicy, and are more than just a token add-on.
            P.

            1. re: Polecat
              l
              Lau RE: Polecat Nov 10, 2008 03:48 AM

              yeah ive never had a really good beef noodle soup in NY b/c they can only get parts of it right...the noodles a few of these hand pulled noodle places have gotten right, they've got that sort of chewy consistency that only good fresh hand pulled noodles can have....none of them half the beef right although king 5 is closest ive had (in fact its the only one that has decent beef) and the broths can be ok, but not even close to the real thing

              ive been meaning to try lao bei fang, but i havent had a reason to go to elmhurst yet...but lao bei fang does look and sound great

              1. re: Lau
                n
                NancyC RE: Lau Nov 10, 2008 01:39 PM

                I've been to Elmhurst but it's definitely a hike...and once there I feel like I should try more than one place to improve my knowledge of these joints...but I can't have two bowls of noodle soup. I believe there's also beef noodle soup at Lao Bei Feng--to clarify Polecat, LBF is your favorite even though the beef at King 5 is better?

                1. re: NancyC
                  Polecat RE: NancyC Nov 10, 2008 05:10 PM

                  All things considered, Nancy, yeah. The noodles at LBF are better, to my taste. But, in terms of comparing one bowl to another, it's really an overall gestalt thing for me, just the overall experience. Call it "the slurp factor", if you will.
                  P.

      2. j
        JFores RE: Luke Constantino Nov 3, 2008 03:44 AM

        Wow. 1. I'm SERIOUSLY surprised to see one of these pop up in my childhood area (jeez it's like 3 blocks away.) 2. How'd you not know of these places before? I could name about 30 between Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

        Otherwise, I'll give it a try if I'm ever back in that area (living in London.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: JFores
          j
          JediChefBklyn RE: JFores Nov 3, 2008 12:32 PM

          My wife and I go at least once a week week for those noodles, and the dumplings are top-notch too. They're great either fried or steamed, and you can get them in your soup.

          I went on Saturday for my soup fix, and unfortunately I didn't get to watch the noodle guy practice his art as he had made a few orders' worth in advance. The noodles were as good as always, though.

          1. re: JFores
            mar1lyn27 RE: JFores Nov 8, 2008 04:44 PM

            Anyone have a recommendation for a place or two in Queens?

            I'm on the Queens/Nassau border so either county would be good.

            1. re: mar1lyn27
              w
              wew RE: mar1lyn27 Nov 9, 2008 08:42 AM

              Golden Mall 41-28 Main St. Flushing, has a hand pulled noodle stall. Check out the long and enjoyable threads that list other noodle options down there.
              In Elmhurst Lao Bei Fang on Whitney near B'way, while mostly thought of as a dumpling house, also makes has hand pulled noodles. Both places have pictures of offerings

          2. Cheese Boy RE: Luke Constantino Nov 3, 2008 12:30 PM

            Lots of vids on youtube --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr-UBX...

            I've had these before of various varieties, and I say you MUST try them. Afterall, pasta has its roots supposedly in China. I also find it funny how such a place crops up in a ONCE predominantly Italian neighborhood.

            1. squid kun RE: Luke Constantino Nov 3, 2008 05:59 PM

              > I took a look at the menu: Only 25 items on it, too simple ...

              Most of these noodle houses have short menus. I actually prefer a place that sticks to a few specialties it does really well, rather than throw the kitchen sink out there.

              Appreciate the tip - sounds great!

              1. bigbull123 RE: Luke Constantino Nov 4, 2008 10:30 AM

                Tried it out last night with my G/F. Great comfort food and very tasty broth. I had the house special soup (tripe, beef, tendon, noodles...) and she had the oxtail noodle soup. Both very good, just wish they weren't so stingy when it comes to the little beef goodies. Great find though, Thanx!

                1. didactic katydid RE: Luke Constantino Nov 6, 2008 09:46 AM

                  Seems a little expensive. The Lanzhou noodle shops of Eldridge/Chrystie street are 4-5 bucks for any of the noodle bowls, really.

                  I prefer Eastern Noodle (which is basically menuless) but everyone else seems to like Super Taste (which is a little more Anglo-friendly and does have menus).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: didactic katydid
                    Chandavkl RE: didactic katydid Nov 6, 2008 10:04 AM

                    Pricing is a little different in the eastern part of Manhattan Chinatown. Lots of poor illegal immigrants from Fuzhou who are passing through New York for a couple of days on their way to new jobs in the east, midwest or south. This keeps the prices in many of the restaurants more reasonable than other parts of the city.

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