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La Maison du Nord pork sandwich

So after reading about this sandwich via another thread (Chinatown 2), I had to have it. I had other plans for lunch, but oh well, they cancelled themselves.

The resto is VERY bare bones. The walls look like they were last painted in the 80s. There are wooden racks and crooked plants and not much else, well except for another patron, talking on a walkie talkie (?).. The place is hard to notice, especially since the storefront is narrow, and the south side of their sign is broken. A strong mutton smell hits your face the minute you enter. I am fine with it, but I must warn you it is muttony. There are possible hygiene violations going on, but I don't care about that either. So I order. Service is neither friendly, nor non. My order arrives fast.

The sandwich is confusing. Unlike the description, there is no cilantro in it. Damn, did they forget, or did they think the whitey don't like it? Too late to ask because I am already in my office, stuffing it into my mouth. The pork is fantastic. One might say this is the Chinese equivalent of a pulled pork sandwich. The meat is warmly spiced and adequately fatty; neither too greasy, nor too dry. But it needs something, something like... umm cilantro!

The pancake that wraps the meat is not as good. I think in theory it is promising, but the one I received is undercooked inside, and too doughy. It just sticks into your innards, and not in a good way. But hey, the pork is good and I can see how some cilantro and a better pancake could have elevated it to the new heights of yumminess.

What you get is a giant portion, 5 bucks, tax included. I am definitely going to try again, asking for cilantro specifically.

2130, rue St-Mathieu

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      1. re: emerilcantcook

        "oops. added the addy."
        I'm new to this, Is one not supposed to disclose the address of the place?

    1. Yup, the inconsistency of the fresh coriander leaves in one's pork sandwich is pretty much a... constant. I used to go to Maison du Nord a lot two years ago, and coriander would appear or not. It is in fact a lot greater when you find coriander - and when the bread's thin and crunchy like an Italian pressed panini.

      There are also dumplings on the menu as well as other very exotic things like a glutinous rice with lotus seeds and berries I think (It's eaten as a main dish that you share). The latter is super super heavy on your stomach. It's also good to order one of the "soups", also typical "student food" like corn cream and chicken...

      2 Replies
      1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

        berries? In an Asian dish, or actually a Chinese dish? I highly doubt it is true -- it's probably red or green bean.

        1. re: Yummylicious

          Could be wolfberries.

          "Dried wolfberries are often added to rice congee, as well as used in Chinese tonic soups, in combination with chicken or pork, vegetables, and other herbs such as wild yam, Astragalus membranaceus, Codonopsis pilosula, and licorice root."

      2. I discovered that the handmade Lanzhou noodles (兰州拉面) that were briefly on the menu at Qing Hua Yuan Dumplings have now reappeared at La Maison du Nord. It wasn't on their menu the last time I ate there or even the last time I checked on their door (two weeks ago).

        The man who presumably makes them says that have to eat it really quickly or they'll become soggy! I'll be posting something on my blog pretty soon.

        8 Replies
          1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

            They look very good. I know what I am having for lunch this Monday :)

            1. re: emerilcantcook

              So Mme Moh and I went there today for lunch, and the noodle guy wasn't in. Just a heads up, Mondays are the day day off for the noodle master according to the server. We also saw the Qing Hua noodle man coming in and getting out. I think he might be the noodlemaker that our server was talking about.

              So we couldn't try the aforemented noodles; but everything else we tried was very good, and very cheap. Inspector Moh promised to write a report soon.

              1. re: emerilcantcook

                Goodness! We went a little crazy ordering, and ended up with a crazy amount of food! Prices are incredibly cheap, and portions are huge. Very high quality to price ratio. This is a great student eats place. I would add this to that $10 or less list.

                We had the following dishes:

                1. Pork sandwich: $5 for a large pork meat sandwich - very good deal.... The sandwich consists of shreds of pork between 2 halves of a thin, crispy crusted bread/pancake. The bread is quite unique. It has a nice crispy bite, but there is also a slightly sticky texture to the rest of the bread, imagine a crusty mochi-like substance. There is almost certainly some glutinous rice flour in the batter. For me, this sandwich is more about the bread than the pork. The pork is very good, but it acts more like a seasoning for the bread than as the main ingredient, a very Asian approach to meat. I agree that some sprigs of fresh coriander might add a nice touch to this sandwich. I personally really liked this sandwich, but if you are expecting a big pork fix, you may be disappointed. I really like the taste and texture of the bread, it is very different than what you usually get in sandwiches.

                2. Crystal noodles: This is listed in the appetizer section. $5, and again, it is huge! The dish consists of broad flat noodles made out of rice flour I believe. They may also be made of some kind of legume starch. They are served with julienned cucumber and slices of some kind of tofu or seitan product, the slices are lightly chewy and add an interesting textural element. The ingredients are served cold in a soy-sauce and vinegar based sauce with a hint of chili. This is a very refreshing noodle salad. You could easily eat this as a light lunch and be quite satiated. $5 for a bowl the size of a large serving of pho... how do they make money on this one? (scratches head in bewilderment)

                3. Pork chive and shrimp dumplings: Half order: $5.50. Full order is 22 dumplings for about $9. These dumplings are delicious! The skin has an excellent texture, the dumplings are aesthetically pleasing, and the filling is wonderful, an elegant blend of pork, chunks of shrimp and fresh chives. These dumplings taste homemade and very fresh. Delicious and crazy cheap. There is black vinegar and soy sauce on the table to make a little dipping sauce, and they can also bring you chili oil to spice it up.

                4. Noodles with stewed pork and vegetables: I apologize, as this is not the exact name on the menu. It is the first offering in the noodle section. The noodles are made on the premises, but when the noodle chef is not in, they use a machine to pull the noodles. The noodles are served in a light flavourful broth, and are garnished with umami-laden stewed potatoes and hunks of fork-tender braised meat, and baby bok choy leaves. The menu says it is pork, but it seemed really beefy to us. An unimportant detail. This noodle dish is simple but filled with home-spun goodness. $6 for a very large bowl.

                We could have fed 4 people with the food we ordered. Total price: $21.50!!! We thought they forgot to add some items to the bill, but no, this was really the price. I was a little giddy when I saw the bill. Very recession friendly. Service was excellent, tea was included in the price, and we both left with enough for another filling meal. This is not a special occasion kind of place, but another home-style classic along the veins of Qing Hua Dumplings. And it appears they share the noodle chef...

                1. re: moh

                  I went to Maison du Nord this week, and got the pork sandwich along with some dumplings and a standard bowl of beef noodles à la Lanzhou.

                  They didn't put coriander leaves in the pork sandwich, but were nice enough to give me a small plate of the stuff when asked.

                  Dumplings were eggs + zucchini + shrimp. It qualifies as meat-less, and it was weird. I prefer to find meat in my Chinese dumplings, but my cousins liked it.

                  Noodles -- they have to be eaten quickly, repeats the presumed noodles master, a tall middle-aged man with short greying hair. Frankly, a bowl of noodles is big enough to cover a normal meal of two people, thus the 8$ price tag.

                  We shared the aforementioned dishes between three people and it was more than enough!

                  1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

                    Any idea of the current whereabouts of the noodle master? Would love to try them. But this post is from 2009!!

                2. re: emerilcantcook

                  I forgot to add that they did revamp the space a little bit since my last visit. There were pictures on the walls, and the meat fridge that was on the south side of the store was taken somewhere, replaced with tables. The racks were gone too. It looked less chaotic than before, and more eat in friendly, including the super sweet server.

                  1. re: emerilcantcook

                    EmerilCC do you know where the master is these days?

            2. Tried Maison du Nord for dinner yesterday. My only regret is not having tried that pork sandwich sooner! It was crunchy, salty, delicious.

              We ordered "Spicy Noodles" - a big bowl full of handmade magic noodles with small chunks of beef and slivers of cucumber, all swimming in chilli-oil broth. The noodles had a fantastic texture. Also the "Wasabi Salad", though we're not sure why it's called that. It had shredded nappa cabbage, carrot, and clear noodles.

              16 Replies
              1. re: mainsqueeze

                That pork sandwich is yummy! Hubbie is quite enamoured. He normally doesn't make requests for places to eat, he usually goes along with whatever I suggest, but today he requested we go to the "pork sandwich place" for lunch.

                The sandwich was even better than the last time, the pork was more seasoned, and the bread very crispy and crunchy. We tried the pork and cabbage dumplings, they are good, but I think I prefer the pork chive and shrimp dumplings. We also had a fabulous dish called lamb ribs stewed in soya sauce. These are lamb ribs braised in a savoury brown sauce based on soya sauce, it is not spicy, but it is very rich, with a hint of sweetness. The lamb ribs are incredibly tender and have a very strong lamb flavour. This lamb dish is not for everyone, you really have to love the taste of lamb, and you can't mind lamb fat, as they leave on all the fat. But if you love fatty lamb, this dish is a winner. It is one of the pricier dishes ($12), but it was very homey and very delicious.

                They had a dish called "soup with assorted lamb organs". It sounded intriguing, but I didn't get up the courage to order it yet...

                1. re: moh

                  I went today and it's the only day they don't have the magic noodle soup :(

                  I grabbed the pork sandwich to go which was irresistable so I started to eat on the bus and people gave me dirty looks.

                  I asked the girl for cilantro or coriander and she didn't understand. Luckily I had some at home.

                  Do they bake the bread when you order ? I thought I saw uncooked dough (translucent) or is it the fat of the pork ? The paper bag became transparent too.

                  1. re: marblebag

                    I stopped by and had one for lunch the other day. Moh, you understated if anything.

                    They are only a few blocks away from home too!

                    1. re: marblebag

                      Yeah, I think Emerilcantcook mentions that the noodle cook is not there on Mondays in a post above...

                      Re: uncooked dough in the sandwich, I am not sure if that is uncooked dough. I certainly don't taste any raw dough when I eat the sandwich. I had guessed they use some rice flour in the dough, mostly because of that translucent area, glutinous rice flour gets that translucent look when it is steamed/cooked, but that doesn't mean it is raw. I was thinking that the translucent area was some combination of rice four and moistness/fat from the pork.

                      1. re: moh

                        I would tend to think that it was moisture and fat. :) I think the real denomination for such pork sandwich is actually the "Shaanxi pork sandwich", which is what I was told it was when I ate it in China as well. Shaanxi is a central-northern province of China, and they should be traditionally be eating wheat products... Here's a link on Shaanxi sandwiches:


                        What I like the most of their pork sandwich (which I had again yesterday) is perhaps the subtle (or not subtle enough) flavour of the bread's yeast.

                        1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

                          that site with all the pictures of the sandwich made me think of the pork bun at momofuku

                          ohhh gotta go to manhattan soon

                          1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

                            I will defer to you on this point, you make a very compelling argument about the use of wheat in Northern chinese cuisine! Love the picture.

                            The only reason I suggested the possibility of an element of glutinous rice flour in the bread is because I associate that translucency with suet fat mixed with glutinous rice flour. But I do not know enough about this cuisine to substantiate my hypothesis!

                            1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

                              I tried it and thought it was like rou jia mo (a popular snack in China). It was OK but the flavour of the filling was not complex. I also thought it needed coriander, or another source of acidity, to break through the fattiness. I would still rather have a guo bao any day of the week.

                              As usual CH tends to over-hype these kinds of places a bit, but have to agree with those who thought Maison du Nord was quite authentic and a great value.

                              1. re: thelonious777

                                Made the trek to try it out today. We ordered two sandwiches. There was quite a bit of wait when one plate arrived. Since it was sliced in 4, we figured it was just 2 sandwiches and ate it. Then another one arrived. One $5 sandwich is certainly satisfying enough for 2 people, I think. We didn't get cilantro or anything else either, and it definitely seemed to be lacking something. The first and second sandwiches were very different too. One was really crusty, one was really soft. One had really dry meat, one had really moist meat. The dumplings definitely seem like a good deal, so I might go back and try that and their soup :)

                                1. re: thelonious777

                                  You're right, it's exactly that, a rou jia mo! I recognize the Chinese characters from the menu now: 肉夹馍.

                                  1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

                                    I could never read well and after not having tried for 10 years can only remember a few characters. "Rou" is one of them for some reason.

                                    1. re: thelonious777

                                      Yes, when I was in on Friday I asked if it was a Shaanxi jia mo. They said yes, and that most of their noodle dishes are Shaanxi-style, and the dumplings are Beijing style.

                                      Unfortunately, cilantro, coriander leaf, and Chinese parsley all got a blank stare when I asked if they had any when my jia mo arrived without any.

                                      As far as the bread is concerned, it seemed to me like a pan fried (possibly pre-steamed dough?) wheat-flour pancake that had just soaked up lots of pork fat.


                              2. re: moh

                                Well, the Qing Hua noodle chef had been training the male owner of la Maison du Nord before he went to China. Now the owner does the noodles, but only after 12:00. I spoke with the wife/owner today and went over the coriander situation with her... suggested posting a picture so we could all point. She also explained that the addition was not traditional... a Chowhound thing I think, but a tasty idea.

                              3. re: marblebag

                                "Coriander" is "xiang cai" in Chinese (pinyin romanization). You may also romanize it as "hsiang tsai". It literally means "flavoury herb".

                                1. re: schtroumpf_gourmand

                                  Do we have to order the coriander (cilantro) in Chinese or will they understand one of the English versions? I really want to make sure my sandwich has it. I am thinking I might just head out there for an early lunch tomorrow.

                          2. I finally tried the pork sandwich today. Although I heard it was a good size portion, I never imagined it was about the diameter of a baby's head! I had to share it with some of the girls at work. In my opinion, the sandwich is just so-so. I love the crunchy outside of the bread, but a would have to agree with marblebag on it being undercooked on the inside. The texture was more sticky than translucent (from fatty pork). The girls liked it more than I did, polishing of 3/4 of my sandwich between them.

                            I also took a full order of pork/shrimp/chive dumplings, which I ate while driving... no easy task. I found the filling, generous and fresh tasting. I especially liked that the filling was not over-processed (like many dumplings), with large chunks of shrimp.

                            I am almost willing to offer to paint the place for them... really.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Andria

                              next montreal chow group activity , paint this store and maybe the new qing hua dumpling place too

                              I am thinking of bringing my own dressing kit for the next sandwich. Lettuce, butter, hot sauce, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro... Maybe Picks can sell us their condiments.

                            2. I take it that 2130 St-Matthieu is the address of La Maison du Nord, YES?
                              I might try it this week-end.

                              1. Do you think it's possible to seperate the fatty bits from the pork, or is it all mashed up together?

                                I'm SORT of on a diet ;)

                                18 Replies
                                1. re: passthatversace

                                  You could separate the chunks of fat in the sandwich, but the fat soaked into the bread and whatever binds the pork together would be pretty difficult :) Perhaps a liberal use of napkins would assist you, but I guess the simple answer is: no, not really.

                                  1. re: passthatversace

                                    you don't need to seperate the fatty bits from the pork, just tell the girl you don't want the fatty part when you order.For me,I like the one with fatty pork.

                                    also for coriander, you should tell the girl you want add some in your sandwich because there is only pork in real shaanxi rou ji mo,

                                    1. re: big chowhound

                                      I think I will open up a little cilantro stand on the sidewalk outside their door.

                                      1. re: big chowhound

                                        yesssssssss, thanks for the heads up! if i ask the girl for coriander in english, will she understand (posters above seemed to have probs)? i have no idea what it is in cantonese!

                                        1. re: passthatversace

                                          "i have no idea what it is in cantonese!"

                                          I think you'd have better luck if you learned how to say it in Mandarin.

                                          1. re: SnackHappy

                                            ....and have them laugh in my face?? :( haha

                                            1. re: SnackHappy

                                              You're right. They probably don't understand any Cantonese.

                                            2. re: passthatversace

                                              I know it is 'xiang cai' in Mandarin.Ask the girl for that next time, hope she can understand.

                                              1. re: chinesefood

                                                ...And it should sound something like shiang tsai.

                                                You can hear the pronunciation in this little lesson on ordering noodles:


                                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                                  I stopped by this place for dinner tonight, before a Just for laughs show. After reading so much about it on CH I really was eager to try it! The sign outside actually says "Nord du Chinois", lol.

                                                  We ordered the pork/ chives (more like green onions) /shrimp dumplings, and a sandwich. Dumplings came first, and I found them delicious!! Big shrimp pieces and nice flavors (sesame seed oil?) cutting through the dough, which had a slight vinegar aroma (surprising but OK). The BF said the dough was too thick, and I also prefer a thinner coating, but they were fresh, hot and very tasty. LOVED the spicy oil that came with it, it burns the lips after a while but it's worth it!! For 9$ this is a very filling plate.

                                                  Then came the sandwich.. I tried to ask for coriander/coriandre/cilantro when ordering (of course I couldn't remember the chinese name), and even tried "green herb" but the server didn't know what I was talking about :-/. There wasn't any inside - I agree it would have helped give it some oumph.
                                                  The exterior was crunchy and browned, and the pork moist and tasty, but we were not pleased with what looked like uncooked dough inside. One quarter of the sandwich was pretty thick and it was almost 1 cm on each side like that... I asked the server if it was normal, and apparently it is. They fill the dough with hot meat and it then steams the bread. The taste is not really like uncooked dough, but it's not as satisfying as a crunchy bread would have been. To be honest, I'd rather have dumplings (and try the fried ones) rather than the sandwich if I return, unless I can ask for the sandwich to be less chewy.
                                                  Still glad I tried it, next on my list is Antep kabab!! Boy did it smell good when we passed by... after the Chinese :)

                                                  1. re: Chocolatine

                                                    poor guys,next time show the serve with the picture of coriander, haha

                                                    1. re: Chocolatine

                                                      I ordered the spicy noodle the last time I went and asked for "more of this *points*" and got a bowl full of cilantro. If it weren't for that, the waitress thought I was asking for table salt :)

                                                    2. re: SnackHappy

                                                      yep, that's it! my parents just helped me perfect the mandarin pronunciation haha - hope i won't butcher it!

                                                    3. re: chinesefood

                                                      I went there yesterday. I'm the only customer. I ask for coriander. The girl goes what? I start to explain. Green. Herb. Flavour.

                                                      Then she says ohh .. you want in sandwich ?

                                                      I nod. I get coriander.

                                                      The sandwich seems to have less pork than last time and the bread isn't as cooked.

                                                      1. re: marblebag

                                                        I was there today.
                                                        Not really sure why it's so popular. Plain flavored food in my opinion.

                                                        Anyway the sandwich came with cilantro on it and the waitress, a tall girl, had no problem understanding any of my requests.

                                                        1. re: hhost.ca

                                                          It's popular because it's obviously handmade, pretty authentic and incredibly cheap.

                                                          1. re: hhost.ca

                                                            "Not really sure why it's so popular. Plain flavored food in my opinion."

                                                            Well, I can tell you why I like it. It is incredibly cheap, and the food it very homey in an Asian way. It tastes like food my mother might make, had she been Chinese instead of Korean. When you grow up with these sorts of flavours, there is an appeal that you don't outgrow. It reminds me of the appeal of hamburgers and hotdogs for Americans, or fish and chips for Brits, or good pasta for Italians.

                                                            This isn't high-end restaurant food. It is what it is. And you can't possibly match the prices. But it is ok if it isn't your thing, nothing stated anywhere that says we all have to like the same things.

                                                            As for your comment about plain flavoured food, I am a bit surprised. I would comment that part of what I like about this sort of food is that you can season it to your liking, by combining different ratios of chili oil, black vinegar and soy sauce, all sitting on the table with you. I am very liberal with the condiments when I go.

                                                            I would also add that some of the other dishes have been very flavourful, including the crystal salad, and the braised lamb dish. Perhaps some of the other dishes might have had more appeal for you.

                                                2. I'd really like to know if they do takeouts.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. i'd just like to give my own little review on this restaurant.
                                                    coming from a chinese family where we would hand make our dumplings at home every year (my mom is from the northern province of shan dong), me and my sister weren't really expecting too much from this restaurant. we ordered green onion pancake, lamb and carrot dumplings, the traditional pork and cabbage dumplings and stewed beef noodles.
                                                    i've got to say, best beef noodles i've ever tasted in my entire life, beats even the one i had in taiwan at a restaurant that is famous for them. great flavor, genuine hand made noodles (the way i loved eating them when i was younger), and stewed beef that almost melts in your mouth. and i forgot to add, very very large portion!
                                                    the dumplings, hand made too, were wonderful. it reminded me of the dumplings my mom would make for us, in the traditional northern chinese style. lamb was something new, but it was pretty good as well. the green onion pancake was very different that what i am used to eating, thick and much more doughy than fried, and the green onion seemed only to be at the edges. different, but not bad. i can definitely see this being more of a sandwich type of bread as other chowhounders are enjoying it, with the pulled pork, rather than eating as a side dish as i am used to.wasn't able to get the fried dumpling (one of my favorite dishes to order!) but hopefully i can try that again next time :)
                                                    better than any of the dumpling places back home in los angeles.
                                                    overall a superb meal that made me and my sister reminisce about home and wish that our parents were there to enjoy it with us, i will definitely go back again!

                                                    1. I found more western people there than before when I got there yesterday.Before there are almost all chinese student.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: big chowhound

                                                        Along with Abu Elias this past weekend, we tried out Maison du Nord on saturday as well. As OP stated, there does seem to be some hygine issues in here. We ordered; Fried Noodles with Pork, Pork sandwich and fried dumplings.

                                                        I found the noodles to be excellent, you could not even tell that they were fried as they were not greasy at all, pretty cool to watch the noodle guy pull your noodles on the spot. My only issue was something something in the dish was way too salty, I am not one of those "no salt freaks" and it wasn't too the point where it was inedible but I think a touch less salt would have made this plate perfect.

                                                        The sandwich, overall very tasty but also on the salty side. I found the bread to be fantastic but the sandwich itself was a bit too greasy. I'm assuming (I could be wrong) they have to oil up the bread so in addition to the pork fat it makes for quite a greasy sandwich. I'm wondering if it would be better to hold off on oiling the bread. Cilantro was included in the sandwich.

                                                        Fried dumplings were ok not much to say about them, I think the flavor got lost due to the fact they were fried. I think the regular steamed dumplings would have been a better option.

                                                        Overall, I'd go back for the noodles although my stomach didn't quite agree 100%.

                                                      2. Does anyone know what kind of oil they fry in? Peanut, canola, etc.?

                                                        1. Tried the sandwich ($5) a few days ago. It was tasty but rather greasy. Portion was big and cut in fourths. I liked it, and the grub was not expensive, but I probably wouldn't go back for more. We also got the spicy noodle ($8) which was ok, but much of the beef was fatty. Prices are taxes-in.

                                                          Anyone find that the water glasses were comically small? About 1 gulps worth. Waitress refilled frequently though.

                                                          Qing Hua, which I will hopefully try soon, is across the street.

                                                          1. I just went to get some noodles at La Maison du Nord. I ended up with the spicy beef noodles...I love the aroma, texture, initial flavour, etc...but I literally can't eat them! I think there are a ton of ground up szechuan peppercorns in it, (I saw the cook grinding them up) and the after effects, even after a couple of bites, are just too strong. I'm getting a strong medicinal flavor from it, probably due to my inexperienced palate with this flavour. I've cooked with them before but kept them whole so I could eat around them. I'm so disappointed - I have to throw it away! Anyone have this experience? I don't want to scare people off because I can tell it would be amazing without the peppercorns, but be careful ordering the food spicy!

                                                            9 Replies
                                                            1. re: Keramel

                                                              Unless they've changed the recipe, the beef noodles at Maison du Nord contain no Sichuan peppercorn, and neither do any of their other dishes. Unless I'm mistaken, the people at Maison du Nord are from Shanxi and don't use that much Sichuan peppercorn. They are pretty generous with the chili oil, though.

                                                              Anyway, I've never tasted it in their beef noodles, which I find to be out of this world.

                                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                Hm, what else could cause such a flavour do you think? It definately wasn't chilli, what I am talking about is not heat per se but a numbing, medicinal flavour.

                                                                I am a spice lover normally, can handle extremely spicy food, so this is unusual.

                                                                1. re: Keramel

                                                                  Well, I've never felt any numbing from the beef noodles. To me the dish is very savoury, a bit sour and quite hot. Maybe they put MSG and that's what had your tongue tingling. I've read about people getting a tingle from MSG. I used to be very sensitive to it, but it doesn't seem to affect me anymore so I don't really detect it.

                                                                2. re: SnackHappy

                                                                  I did see a big jar of sichuan pepper and watched the young chef put a sprinkle into our green onion pancake, which added a nice additional dimension. However, all in all I found the food to be rather mediocre.

                                                                  We had a cold potato salad (lacking in depth and acid and drowning in oil), noodles with beef and cucumber (good noodles-nice to have the old Qing Hua ones again, tough beef, poor balance of seasoning: much too heavy on the black vinegar), and fried pork and cabbage dumplings (nice filling, wrapper a bit thick, but super oily and unevenly cooked -some burnt, some not even brown).

                                                                  This would have been a totally passable meal, but we are thankfully spoiled for quality around Chinatown2 now, and you really have to step up to the plate to compete with the surrounding restaurants. Not sure when I'll be back, what with Qing Hua, Golden Stone, Tapioca The and Cuisine Szechuan a dumpling-toss away.

                                                                  1. re: wokhei

                                                                    'nice to have the old Qing Hua ones again, tough beef'
                                                                    was the comma ment to be a semicolon ? I really cant understand what you are saying re qing hua

                                                                    1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                      Apologies- I was trying to say it was nice to have the hand pulled noodles from the original Qing Hua provenance, but the beef in the dish was tough and maybe even seemed prepared a day or two before.

                                                                    2. re: wokhei

                                                                      I'm still 99% sure that it was sichuan pepper in the dish I had, despite SnackHappy's assertion to the contrary. As well, I saved some for my boyfriend to try and he too found it inedible, so it wasn't just a quirk of my taste buds. I saw him grind up the peppers and there were a ton, so they permeated every bite of the dish.

                                                                      1. re: Keramel

                                                                        Just to confirm. I had the Spicy beef noodles again today and there were no Sichuan peppercorns in there. I unfortunately forgot to ask for hand made noodles and was a bit disappointed by the machine made noodles. They don't have the same bite as the hand-pulled noodles. Anyone going there should insist on hand-pulled noodles. They are definitely worth the extra loonie.

                                                                        1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                          I had this dish tonight and can also confirm that they are not Sichuan peppercorns, but seemed like regular black peppercorns. A very good dish nonetheless.

                                                                3. http://xianfoods.com/index.php

                                                                  this place in NYC seems to have the sandwich

                                                                  1. I went to La Maison du Nord tonight and although soup is probably the last thing you think of when you go here, I highly recommend the egg and purple seaweed soup. I tried it for the first time tonight and it was delicious, very flavorful.

                                                                    1. do they have non pork sandwiches? Is it worth heading there if I don't eat pork? thanks:)

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: klagirl

                                                                        There's only one sandwich and it's pork. If you're avoiding pork, you should probably stay away from non-Halal or Kosher Chinese restaurants. It's almost certain that everything they serve either contains pork in one form or another or has been in contact with pork.

                                                                        1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                          I don't mind contacts with pork, but always try to ask about the dish containing any pork when ordering...have a friend taste it, and though there have been a couple "accident" over the year, I've been managing! I'm not allergic, thankfully. Thanks for clarifying about the sandwich!:)

                                                                      2. Finally tried the pork sandwich. First of all I must say it took a quite a long time for him to make the sandwich. He must of freshly baked the bread or something, just didnt make sense. First impression of it was that I liked it a lot! But then the more I ate it the more I realised how salty and greasy it was. It was missing something in it that would of made it much better, just cant think of what. It was also pretty huge, got my moneys worth for sure at 5$. I would try it again.
                                                                        Oh yeah whats up with the cash register on the floor?.

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: jay_81k

                                                                          I've just gotta say that everything I've read about this, even from people who love it, makes it sound revolting. And I like greasy, meaty food like Schwartz and Romados and Buns, for eg, so that's saying something. A big hunk of unseasoned, unadorned, fatty pork on a greasy, undercooked bun... barf.

                                                                          1. re: Shattered

                                                                            For the size and price it's worth splitting it with someone to try it. Just don't have it for breakfast like I did :s

                                                                            1. re: Shattered

                                                                              it is seasoned and comes with cilantro. Pretty annoying when the bread is really undercooked. Still delicious though.

                                                                              1. re: simongee

                                                                                Does it always come with cilantro now?

                                                                                1. re: Daiya

                                                                                  i had it for the first time 2 days ago, and it didn't come with cilantro, was super salty and bread was undercooked...

                                                                                  1. re: saltnpepperwhat

                                                                                    Really? Mine came with so much cilantro on top.

                                                                              2. re: Shattered

                                                                                ya it's gross
                                                                                there are many better porky options in the neighbourhood. this sandwich is sickening. i'd never get it again

                                                                                1. re: celfie

                                                                                  counter opinion : it's delicious and I've never not ordered it.

                                                                                  1. re: celfie

                                                                                    The boring middle ground: It's interesting to share, because the first piece is intriguing and tasty, but by the fourth piece, if you are eating it alone, you will be suffering from some major porky overload.

                                                                                    I had it once alone and did not feel the need to ever have it again, but the next time I was with friends, other people wanted it and everyone very much enjoyed their small slice (including myself).

                                                                                    1. re: karela

                                                                                      You're right. Its too huge for one person, and only the first piece is good.

                                                                              3. Their sign out front says 'livraison gratuit' but has anyone actually ordered from Maison Nord before, and if so, how was it?