Cold Noodles At Xi’an Famous Foods Are Better Than Salad On A Hot Day

It’s that time of year when everything smells like hot garbage and cold lunches start to sound good. Yesterday was a scorcher and at first I was thinking a sandwich sounded good for lunch. But then I remembered that a new location of Xi’an Famous Foods had opened on Bayard St. (btw. Mott & Elizabeth) and that they had a few cold noodle dishes. This immediately sounded like a way better idea than a sandwich so I made my way to the J train for the first time in a long timeĀ and headed up to Chinatown.

There are a few cold dishes on the menu and that was what I was after since it was upwards of 90 degrees out and Chris had already told us about some of the hot items – the lamb burger and the Mt. Qi pork hand-pulled noodles along with the cold spicy & tingly lamb-face salad. I was after A1- otherwise known as liang pi cold skin noodles ($4.50). The dish is mixed by the guy at the front counter who also takes your order and gives it to you, and brings food to the dining room.You can get the noodles as spicy as you like although I don’t think I’d go with extra spicy unless you really want to feel the burn.

This cheap-ass lunch (which also happens to be vegetarian) consists of those hand-pulled noodles, some squares of wheat gluten that look a bit like tripe, along with bean sprouts, cilantro and slivers of cucumber. You can get the chili oil sauce on the side, but I think it’s better to let all of it marinate on the walk/train ride back to wherever you came from. If you have more time on your hands, there is a decent-sized dining room.

The other cold options are buckwheat noodles or the same cold skin noodles that have been stir fried. I’m sure the buckwheat version is fine, but really, this place is known for its hand-pulled variety and the cold skin noodles I had were nice and bouncy sitting in their bath of red oil. Unfortunately even this new location doesn’t deliver or take phone orders so you’re going to have to get on the train or walk there for lunch. I can tell you that you can get there and back in an hour from the upper part of the Financial District, and it might be well worth it on a sweltering day.

Xi’an Famous Foods, 67 Bayard St. (btw. Mott & Elizabeth); 88 E. Broadway #106 (at Forsyth)

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3 Comments

  • I’m obsessed with the buckwheat cold noodles. I eat it very often from the St. Mark’s location. They put mustard oil on the buckwheat noodles which are absolutely addictive.

    Not to say that there’s anything bad you can order at Xi’an (there isn’t). But I am obsessed with the buckwheat noodles.

  • This place is highly overrated. I cannot understand the hype.

    Never tried the cold noodles here but i suspect it tastes exactly the same as the Spicy Cumin Lamb, the Spicy Tingling Beef, and the Pork ChaJang. Because i ordered all 3 and all 3 tasted exactly the same. Oh and there was barely any meat.

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