Xi'an Famous Foods brings the heat to the East Village
With the recent opening of its fourth food stall, Xi'an Famous Foods is doing for the food of China's Shaanxi province what Grand Sichuan has done for, well, Sichuan cuisine.
The new East Village outpost serves an almost-identical menu to the mini chain's Chinatown and Flushing locations. Known for its chewy hand-pulled noodles and knack for merging sour with spice, Xi'an offers dishes that will take your senses on a torturous-but-gratifying journey.
Work through the picture-board menu, arranged alphabetically from A to F. Our favorites include item B-2, the signature lamb burger ($3)--chunky bits of lamb mixed with zesty cumin, hot-pepper oil, caramelized onions and green peppers--and D-2, beef hand-pulled noodles ($6) that are hotter than Dante's inferno but satisfy with each fiery, electrifying bite.
The more adventurous should try D-10, stewed lamb-spine noodles ($7). Eating the dish can be a daunting, messy task (gloves are provided) but the reward is some of the most tender meat imaginable. Equally thrilling is E-3, the "spicy and tingly" lamb face salad (pictured; $9.75), which is both tangy and refreshing amid all that heat.
Don't get too cozy, because this tiny stall--with its 10 seats--was created for die-hard Manhattanites too busy (or lazy) to take the No. 7 train to Queens. Squeeze in and embrace the heat and the offal. If this is purgatory, we'd like to stay forever.
Xi'an Famous Foods, 81 St. Mark's Pl.; xianfoods.com
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