Midtown’s Xi’an Famous Foods is Officially Open (And Here’s Our First Taste)

If you were just as excited as I was, you’ve had the grand opening of the Midtown location of Xi’an Famous Foods (Monday, April 22, 2013) highlighted in your calendar in neon green, and your “free burger” coupon printed out since earlier this month. After we checked out the soft opening on Thursday, I decided to go back to personally celebrate the grand opening by redeeming my free burger and seeing the new digs for myself!

I decided to go after 2pm yesterday after hearing about the long lines from Thursday’s soft opening and expected a long wait, but was surprised at how efficiently the take out line moved. I got in line at 2:25 and was out of there by 2:40. Not bad for opening day! In fact, the person in front of me only redeemed her free burger (huge self-control on her part – how could you?) and was out of there in five minutes. Go Xi’an go!

After ordering my free lamb cumin burger (normally $3.00), I tried ordering the Spicy and Sour Dumplings ($5), as I actually haven’t really been able to break away from ordering my standard N1 Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand Ripped Noodles ($7), but the guys behind the counter said that they weren’t doing dumplings because it was taking too long, so I went back to my initial plan of celebrating opening day right with a lamb on lamb lunch.

As I waited for the burger and noodles, I decided to take a sneak peek at the back seating area, and was further surprised by how easy it was to grab a seat in comparison to the other locations of Xi’an. I’m guessing this was because I went at an off hour (and perhaps people were put off by the long lines on Thursday?), but it is encouraging to know that even on the day Xi’an Midtown opened I could have potentially sat down without any real hassle. Additionally, from the soft opening, you may have noticed that the menu prices are exactly the same as the other locations, so much so that they do not offer take-out menus at the Midtown location and instead refer you to their website (www.xianfoods.com).

After the roughly seven minute walk back to my office, I was ecstatic that I could actually eat Xi’an at my desk. The lamb burger was just as delicious as the other locations, the bread still had a bit of crisp to it despite the fact that I took it to-go.

I let my N1 Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles sit in its container for a bit while I ate the burger, so by the time I opened the container, a lot of the extra sauciness of the dish was absorbed by the noodles. Xi’an is completely aware of this and it’s mentioned on their website in red that take-out noodles will not taste as good as fresh ones, so I probably should have opened the container when I got back to my desk. That being said, I still devoured the lamb noodles after the lamb burger, and it was a minor thing to deal with for having a Xi’an five blocks away from me.

All in all, I’m incredibly happy that Xi’an Midtown is here, and at the same prices as Chinatown, Flushing, St. Marks, and Greenpoint. If you went to the grand opening yesterday, tell us what you think in the comments!

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Prices are cheap and the same at any Xi’an location
  • We have been waiting for this day to come and it’s here!
  • There’s actually a decent amount of seating at this location (18 stools with wall counters)

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • No dumplings yet, still working out some opening kinks
  • Probably better to go at off hours
  • Still better to eat in than take it to go, if you can

Xi’an Famous Foods, 24 West 45th Street (btw. 5th and 6th)



    *heavy sigh*

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    some friends and i went to the grand opening yesterday as well. there was a long line but it moved pretty quickly. i had a silly fangirl moment when the owner definitely recognized me from attending the two previous grand openings.. anyway.

    two of us got the N1 spicy cumin lamb noodles – my longtime favorite. just as good as the other locations. my coworker snagged the liang pi (cold skin) noodles and said they were really good as well.

    the menu said that there were lamb dumplings..? perhaps the item is just on the menu and not for sale yet. i’ll have to check in myself in a few weeks to see if they are finally available. regardless, i’m so glad my favorite place has finally moved to midtown!

  • When will the forums come back? Ever????

  • I checked out Xian during lunchtime high hour (12:15pm) with a long line. I was about 20-25 people deep. From end of line to getting food, it was about an hour. However, there was no line for eating in. The workers went outside to announce that and people got to skip the line to order and receive their food from the 2nd kitchen.

  • I went just after 2. Took almost a half hour to order. The wait for the food was much shorter, about 10 minutes. They would occasionally pull eat-in people off the line as spaces opened up in the back.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I really want to try this place but hate spicy food. Can anyone recommend something good on their menu that is not spicy?

    • Npot spicy? I would recommend the menu itself… the actual paper. You could also eat some napkins for variety.

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        @wayne — not sure if you are trying to use humor to let me know nothing on the menu is not spicy or if you are suggesting that the fact I do not like spice is somehow a bad thing. Please clarify.

      • I am using humor to let you know that malls everywhere have Chicken Lo Mein that you would absolutely love. Enjoy.

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      Pao mo soup, cold noodles. I don’t consider the burger to be that spicy, but my tolerance is pretty high. You can ask them. A few of the noodle dishes seem to lack spice, but i haven’t ordered them.

    • There are just a handful of items that are not spicy. The website doesn’t indicate it but the menu at the place does. I think they are: lamb pao mo soup, sliced boiled lamb hand ripped soup noodles, and stewed oxtail. When you order, they do ask you the level of spiciness you prefer. So if you say no spiciness, they may be able to adapt to your palate.

  • Just ate there and was disappointed, the Cumin Lamb Noodles was a big mess with little in the dish but noodles, and tons and I mean tons of spicy oil, so it was a heavy, messy, oily meal, I was covered with the stuff when done, I like the heat but the dish needs to be lightened up, with more veggies, more meat (only a couple of bites), less noodles and much less oil.

  • Several of us went today, hoping the furor would have died down. Nope! At 12:15, there was a long line out the door. Really delicious, though, and authentic to the Chinatown flavors we were expecting. Great addition to Midtown!

    Pro tip: If you want to eat in, rather than take out, watch for the occasional staff member to step outside – they will bring you past the line and seat you immediately.

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