I’m a sucker for noodle houses. I mean, who in their right mind doesn’t love noodles!?
So when I came across Xi’an Famous Foods during a lunchtime stroll a few weeks ago, I knew I had struck noodle gold.
You know what I really love about Xi’an though? They’re a family owned business that’s committed to serving fresh food. They started in the basement of Golden Shopping Mall in Flushing Queens back in 2005 and have since grown to a 7 location chain-let, as they call it.
The newest location opened Saturday on the Upper West Side(UWS) at 2675 Broadway. And festivities kicked off with a food giveaway aka the very best giveaway possible!
Their menu consists of 33 options– the stars being the spicy cumin lamb burger and the biang biang noodle dishes. If you aren’t familiar when biang biang noodles, get familiar! The name “biang biang” comes the slapping noise made by the noodles hitting the work surface as they are being stretched out. Xi’an makes these wide, chewy, glutinous wonders, to order right in front of your eyes.
The pictures that accompany the menu are a heaven send for newcomers and those looking to try something different. Nothing is worse than ordering a dish and being disappointed by what you get.
If you’re a meat eater there are dishes with chicken, beef, lamb and pork. There are colr-skin noodle dishes, soups, cold vegetable salads and even a lamb face salad if you’re feeling frisky.
Xi’an also posts the 4 levels of spiciness beginning to “Not Spicy” and ending with “Extra Spicy”.
I usually go for the stewed pork noodles, mildly spicy but opted to be adventurous and ordered the stewed ox tail noodles and a cumin lamb burger.
I love the open kitchen! You literally can watch your dish being put together. The line looked a little scary from the outside but I don’t think the total trip took more than 30 minutes.
On to the food.
The cumin lamb burger. The sliced meat is super tender and packed with flavor. It’s spicy without being overwhelming. If you aren’t a fan of cumin, I’d suggest steering clear because that cumin flavor doesn’t punch you in the face but it is definitely there. I also tasted a hint of 5 spice powder which was a welcomed touch to balance the cumin.
This dish is super hearty. You’ve got the biang biang noodles, stewed oxtail, cabbage and a little cilantro. I was disappointed to see that only 2 pieces of oxtail landed in my bowl; one of which was the tail end meaning there was no real meat on it. However, I couldn’t really complain too much, it was free I was glad that the oxtail had that fattiness that oxtail eaters love. And the mildly spicy kick from the Sichuan peppers was enough to make my nose run yet enjoyable at the same time.
Considering the fact that I’ve decided to eat at Xi’an at least once a week, every single week, having a location this close to where I live may be dangerous. But I’m SO glad it’s now an option!
If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend trying Chinese food like you’ve probably never had it before!