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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Noodling New York: Why a Duck?

It was Thanksgiving in New York, and I was flying solo. As I more often than not do when I'm having dinner alone there, I hopped on the 7 Train and headed for the Golden Mall in Flushing. I wasn't jonesing for turkey, as my visit had triggered a pre-emptive family Thanksgiving dinner upstate, replete with turkey, ten days before, and just two days earlier I had enjoyed a fried turkey leg, a one-off created by Eddie Huang at the late lamented Xiao Ye. Nonetheless. But why a duck? Some unreconstructed traditionalist in me cried fowl, and what better time to check out the duck la mian I'd been ogling on the menu of the Lanzhou Handmade Noodle stall?

Lanzhou Noodle's duck noodles came with the house's reliably springy fresh hand-pulled noodles in a rich, slightly sweetish broth. It was perhaps a touch too sweet for my tastes, but this sweetness was easily attenuated with a dollop of la you. The soup was topped with a generous portion of duck, as can bees seen in the photo above. The duck, quite obviously, was made off-premises, roast duck logistics being what they are. It was less aromatic and more ducky in flavor than the typical Cantonese roast duck, at least those I am familiar with in San Francisco. Overall, the duck noodles are one of the best options on Lanzhou Handmade Noodles' menu. At just a buck or so more than the standard beef la mian, they stand out as one of the best bargains as well.

Where slurped: Lanzhou Handmade Noodles, 41-28 Main St., Flushing NY

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