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Xi'An Famous Foods

Pat Hammond Apr 9, 2014 09:14 AM

Yesterday my daughter and I were ready for lunch while shopping in Midtown. We were looking for an Indian restaurant she remembered from when she worked in that area, but it seems to have disappeared. We noticed a line of people at a small place at 24 W. 45th and it turned out to be Xi An Famous Foods. As soon as we peeked in and saw reviews tacked up on the wall, I remembered it from a segment on one of the food shows on TV. It opened less than a year ago. There are other locations. The original is in Flushing.

I had a bowl of the stewed pork soup with hand-ripped noodles. Name the spice level you like. I got medium, but I could have happily survived more.. The broth was deeply flavorful, the noodles wide and "al dente", just the right amount of chew. It seems to me it could have fed two. Lots of pork and noodles. Lamb seems to be the most popular, so I'd try that next time. My daughter was in the mood for vegetable and ordered Mount Qi Vegetables with Hand-Ripped Noodles. Potatoes, carrots, wood ear, peppers in a spicy sour sauce. We shared a "burger", pulled pork in a flat bread bun. It looks like an English muffin and crisp. We dunked in my soup. Absolutely wonderful

The food is all about the noodles, lovely wide slippery noodles. Be prepared to hunch over your plate with chopsticks or spoon, or both. And be prepared to slurp. There's a stern sign that warns that hot noodles "get bloated, mushy, and oily" when they cool down, so it's best to try them right away in the takeout container to get the full effect of these wonderful noodles. Even though this isn't a place where you're meant to linger, we waited for a couple of seats. It didn't take long. Counters are along the wall, with wooden stools to sit upon. Place your order up front, then stand behind a likely customer who seems to be almost finished. Your number will be called and you pick up your steaming plate or bowl from a window off the kitchen. Cash only.

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  1. coasts RE: Pat Hammond Apr 9, 2014 12:08 PM

    There are several locations around Manhattan and Flushing, plus a table-service spot in Flushing called Biang!

    Plenty of talk about it here. Excellent and inexpensive. My favorite!

    5 Replies
    1. re: coasts
      Ttrockwood RE: coasts Apr 9, 2014 05:37 PM

      Do they have any not at all spicy options for the meat noodle dishes? I would love to take my parents on their next visit but neither one can tolerate more than black pepper.... (I've only had the veggie noodle like the OP)

      1. re: Ttrockwood
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        plf515 RE: Ttrockwood Apr 9, 2014 05:48 PM

        They certainly claim to make some dishes not spicy

        I don't know how spicy the not spicy dishes are; I ask for spicy (and then sometimes add hot sauce).

        1. re: Ttrockwood
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          tenth RE: Ttrockwood Apr 9, 2014 06:09 PM

          The location on the UWS asks for the spice level you want. Don't know if they do that for every dish. Usually get cumin lamb with noodles, but if you get it not spicy, it's a different dish. The location on Baynard as a month ago, only came with one spice level.

          1. re: tenth
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            tpigeon RE: tenth Apr 10, 2014 07:00 AM

            + 1 on Cumin Lamb without spice. I can't even imagine it...

            1. re: tenth
              Ttrockwood RE: tenth Apr 10, 2014 05:01 PM

              Thanks for the info! They will actually be staying on the uws... I'll call about more info for the other dishes heat options before we go

        2. p
          plf515 RE: Pat Hammond Apr 9, 2014 02:40 PM

          I've been enjoying the branch on 103 and Broadway.

          3 Replies
          1. re: plf515
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            NYFOODIE12 RE: plf515 Apr 11, 2014 04:35 AM

            It's actually on Broadway between 101 and 102 I think. I've now eaten at this location three times but I feel it's not quite as good as when I used to get it at the tiny, hole in the wall location in Chinatown. I also have yet to see them actually hand-pulling the noodles when I order (def. w/cumin lamb). Anyone else with an experience at this location?

            1. re: NYFOODIE12
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              plf515 RE: NYFOODIE12 Apr 11, 2014 04:42 AM

              Yup, you're right about the location. I was thinking of the train stop. My bad. I haven't been to any of the other locations.

              1. re: NYFOODIE12
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                tenth RE: NYFOODIE12 Apr 18, 2014 03:44 PM

                Ate at the UWS location today. I watched the cook hand pull the noodles for the cumin lamb dish. As you face the counter, the person in the back left does the noodles. Never ate at the location you mentioned, but the food compares well with the Baynard location.

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