Downtown Lunch: Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles
Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.)
Unfortunately I don’t speak Chinese, so I didn’t know the name of the noodle shop on 144 East Broadway which doesn’t have any English words on the front. Fortunately though other parts of my body (nose and tummy) could care less if the words were written in Swahili or Hebrew. The language of love for me this week was found in the narrow quarters of 144 East Broadway, home to good cheap hand pulled noodles and dumplings. (I found out later alot of people call it Lan Zhou, although that’s really just the region where this style of noodle comes from.)
When I walked in I found a woman hand pinching dumplings on one of the small tables which are scattered about in this little wedge of a Chinatown lunch spot. I grabbed a table with my two dining companions and we ordered quickly, both because they came over fast and because you don’t have much to choose from. Beef Brisket, pork chop, and lamb are a few of the soup options. Besides the soup you can go for pan fried or boiled dumplings (8 for $2) to round out the menu. We tried 2 soups and both kinds of dumplings.
The pan fried dumplings are among the best I’ve had in the city so far. They blow Fried Dumpling on Mosco out of the water (or frying pan) and definitely beat out my goto lunch spot Tasty Dumpling.
The meat in the beef brisket soup was perfectly tender but the real star was the hand pulled noodles, which were delicious. The broth was somewhat bland but that was easily fixed with some sriracha hot sauce.
How much is a bottle of water you ask? 75 cents they say! No shit I say! 75 cents? Wow, that’s pretty sweet.
Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles, 144 E Broadway (btw. Allen and Essex/Pike & Rutgers), 212-566-6933