Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
February 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Wayne is a noodle soup fiend. That could possibly have been read as “noodle soup friend” but noodle soups tend to tremble with their broths creating tiny waves from the anxiety of knowing that when he’s around, they’re definitely getting slurp’d. He is always in the mood to eat noodle soup when he’s not craving anything in particular.
We went to Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles after my hair appointment because, while we did a good amount of planning about where we would shop, we seemed to have forgotten to do any planning about where we’d eat. There were cursory plans made on the bus ride up about getting chicken and rice— so nonchalantly planned that it is the visual equivalent of jotting down “chicken and rice” on a used napkin, and not with a sexy lipstick stain, more like greasy, juicy hamburger stain. It was so, so windy that I felt pushed forward when I walked back to the hotel after my hair appointment, and we were both tired. So our criteria for dinner was that it was close, which filtered out all options except those in Chinatown and Little Italy. The day before, we passed by Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles on our way to Excellent Pork Chop House — what is with these names? I’m glad they’re obvious, though– since Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles was located next door. Coincidence? Or laziness? Whichever– probably laziness–, the idea of hand-pulled noodles sounded really good. Wayne loves noodle soup, and I love soft and chewy textures. It sounds like a really simple way to phrase it, but it’s true. I also liked that Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles had the “They Love Us on Yelp!” sticker on the front door.
First thing we noticed was that the restaurant is tiny. The entire sitting area of the restaurant can be seen in the photograph below. There is a small alcove on the left side that isn’t shown but it only sits one person. The kitchen is off to the right where the door is left open so people can watch the noodles being pulled, tossed, and whacked against the table. There apparently were more tables located downstairs but we opted to share a table upstairs because the hostess was hesitant to offer us the downstairs option, and she wrinkled her nose when she mentioned it.
Like Excellent Pork Chop House, there was no pretense here; the hostess was nice and the service was efficient; and tea was served in styrofoam cups. The menu listed few different types of noodles such as hand-pulled, knife-cut, and wide noodles cooked in soup or pan-fried. The menu also offered several different proteins to pair with the noodle options. The ones that stuck out to me were the beef, duck, and dumpling options. Other options include fish balls, ox tail, eel, seafood. There were still more options on the menu that I don’t remember. Wayne and I didn’t get too creative with our noodle-protein pairings and picked hand-pulled noodles with beef and beef tendon and hand-pulled noodles with beef, respectively.
I love loved the noodles! They had a nice bite and were delightfully chewy. The broth tasted rich but lacked some flavor, but it could be that my tongue had been inundated with MSG the previous night at Excellent Pork Chop House. The beef was really thin and had very little fat marbling; it reminded me of the beef used in pho. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; I just personally prefer my beef a quarter of an inch thick and falling-apart tender with a 1:1 ratio of meat to fat.
I definitely want to return for another bowl just for the noodles alone; they were that delicious. But I also want to return to try the hand-pulled noodles with the other protein options, specifically the duck and eel. And, after skimming the Yelp reviews, I really want to try the dumplings.
Some times Wayne’s and my taste buds behave like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory*, but I’m glad it worked out nicely for us this time. And apparently this place was showcased on “Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the Food Network: video here. There are some great action shots of the noodles being thrown and whacked into the deliciously chewy noodles served.
* “Way to think outside but pressed right up against the box, Sheldon.” — Leonard Hofstadter
Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
1 Doyers St
(between Bowery & Chatham Sq)
New York, NY 10013