In Chinatown, the landscape is shifting. Two-week-old Xian Famous Foods brings street bites from north-central China to a neighborhood dominated by Cantonese and Fujianese food.
Chowhounds know these dishes from Xian's original locations in the food courts of Flushing. A signature favorite, there and here, is the cumin-scented "lamb burger," a bit of hearty meat stew tucked into a griddled wheat bun. "It was spicy with intense robust cumin flavor, wonderful," sighs stuartlafonda. "It left that nice low level spreading warmth in the mouth."
The same lamb is paired with noodles, rolled and pulled to order, which Westminstress finds "awesome with the perfect amount of springiness." The Tiger Vegetable Salad, a bracing mix of cilantro, scallions, and other greens spiked with green chile, is "strangely addictive," she adds. Another specialty, cold liang pi noodles and wheat gluten, tossed with a lively mix of chile, cilantro, and vinegar, "sang with flavor," CalJack reports.
The address is 88 E. Broadway, but don't look for Xian Famous Foods inside the shopping center at that address. Instead head around the corner to the Forsyth Street side. And don't expect to eat there; there's a tiny counter, but this is mainly a takeout shop.
Xian Famous Foods [Chinatown]
88 E. Broadway (entrance on Forsyth Street), Manhattan