Being that I love Anthony Bourdain, I knew I had to try Xi'an Famous Foods ever since his NYC episode on No Reservations. If he likes it, I'll like it.
I woke this morning and headed down to Chinatown. Xi'an Famous Foods is located right near the Manhattan Bridge, sandwiched between various Chinese eateries and shops. It's the definition of efficiency. The tiny restaurant is no bigger than a couple phone booths strung together. There is a small counter where one or two people can stand and eat. However, this is mainly a take-out restaurant.
There is a large poster on the outside window with pictures of all of the dishes. How was I supposed to decide? They all looked comforting and satisfying. I felt pressure as I tried to quickly choose which dish to order.
I decided on the spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles. As soon as I placed my order, I saw the lady behind the counter pulling the fresh noodles. She then combined them with the lamb and spices before placing them all in a takeout box. I luckily went at an off hour and didn't have to wait in line. $6 and 5 minutes later, I was ready to eat.
These noodles were epic. The noodles were chewy and gelatinous yet melted with each bite. The sauce left them spice-dusted and the chili oil added the right amount of heat. I expected the lamb to be fatty but boy was I wrong. It was tender and thinly sliced.
I will definitely be back. There are so many other dishes that I'm dying to try. I can see it now: bundling up and taking the subway down to Xi'an on a cold snowy day. It's totally worth the trip down to Chinatown.
Xi'an Famous Foods
88 East Broadway
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