Nan Zhou’s Hand Drawn Noodle Soup is My Idea of a Perfect Post Passover Meal
For the end of Passover, I had noodles on the brain. It seemed about time to finally check out Nan Zhou- Chinatown’s destination for hand-pulled noodle soup (recommended by Profiled Lunchers Earl and Ashley). Besides a few appetizers (think pig ears and tendon) the menu is all soup. So you better believe they know what they are doing. The soups are as follows: broth with wonton or beef/fish/meat balls, shaved noodles, or hand drawn noodles. Heat wave be damned, I decided on the beef rib soup with the hand drawn noodles, listed as “Braise Ox Spare Ribs Noodle Soup.” This set me back $5.75 plus I threw in a fried egg for an extra dollar.
The big bowl of noodles in steamy soup satisfied that carb itch. The few tables inside are stocked with chili oil, Sriracha, fish sauce, vinagar, and soy sauce, and I used all of them to get at the desired kick level of the already good tasting broth. I have never met a hand pulled noodle I didn’t like; these had that right chew to them, though they were a little clumpy and I do prefer a slightly bigger noodle. Also, I was expecting a runnier fried egg to plop in my soup, not a completely cooked one. Despite those criticisms, I fully enjoyed the salty broth, the chewy noodles, and the toppings of greens and pickled vegetable. The beef ribs were fine and fun to bite around, but not spectacular. I might try the roast duck variety next time around.
The staff at Nan Zhou seemed stern at first, but I was so appreciative when after inquiring about an order of shells that buzzed by my head, the waitress immediately offered me a small bowl of her snails in black bean sauce from the staff’s family meal. I didn’t include any pictures of it, since that would be a tease, but I urged them to put the yummy little snails on the regular menu.
For a properly leavened dessert, I turned to the nearest bakery, Saint Honore Pastries, two doors down (935 Race) and my choice was staring right at me- Fried Happy Ball? How could I not? Though it was mighty hard to not think about the calorie count in one of these, the happy ball was awesome. The outside is like a jelly doughnut and the inside is like a a Krispy Kreme. Happy ball indeed!
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Big bowls of salty broth to spice up as you like
- Nothing beats a good hand drawn noodle
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- The menu is limited if you aren’t a soup person- bring on the snails!
- I would like my egg runnier
- Cilantro alert- haters, beware
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House , 927 Race St (@ 9th St), 215-923-1550