What better way to celebrate passover than with a blog post featuring many forbidden leavened food products? Agreed? Well, maybe not, but it was the perfect pre-passover lunch. I had been wanting to try Xian Famous Foods for a very long time now — A very small, atypical Chinese restaurant, with four locations in the city, and a favorite of Anthony Bordain and Andrew Zimmern. After reading this review, I knew I had waited long enough and immediately made plans with my two friends to visit this hole in the wall spot.
We knew we NEEDED to try the much talked about hand-pulled noodles and the ever popular lamb burger. With a beautiful day ahead of us and a delicious lunch to look forward to, my friend had the brilliant idea that we turn this lunch into our own Chinese food eating tour. We started at one of their Chinatown locations…the bigger of the two we would be visiting that day. We planned strategically and decided it would be easier to start with the noodles when we had a table to sit at.
Perfectly chewy and thick, these wheat noodles were covered in a spicy oil sauce that forced you to eat them up as fast as you could as to not suffer a burning hot mouth. The gluten (kind of like a chewier and spongier tofu…in a good way) was the perfect choice to soak up the spicy sauce. And at only 4$…these are definitely a steal! After downing a bottle of water to try to tame the heat (*Note: Make sure to order NOT SPICY!), we headed out on a nice 20 minute walk to the next and much smaller Xian Foods location in the East Village, where are second course awaited.
If we thought the noodles were the deal of the century, this 3 dollar lamb burger proved us wrong! Not your typical burger, this delicious crispy bun was filled with succulent pieces of lamb, covered in a spicy cumin sauce, with onions and jalapenos. The sauce soaked into the bun and really brought the whole burger together. While the noodles were good, this is definitely the show stopper and was well worth the 20 minute walk. If you’re looking for a good bread product to break the 8 days of Passover with…Definitely do yourself a favor and head out to Xian Famous Foods! Or really…just go anytime…for 3 dollars, you really can’t go wrong!