Xi'An Famous Foods
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.
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?