Great New York Noodletown
New York Noodletown, or Great New York Noodletown as they’ve been calling themselves for some time, has always been a Chinatown standby and not just for late night. I haven’t been drunk in the vicinity of lower Manhattan in years. Murmurs of its decline have come and gone for ages.
Me, I’ve never had a problem with the food, though I never stray far from roast pork wonton soup, roasted meats with rice or salt and pepper soft shell crabs (though in a recent Travel & Leisure article that gathers a bunch of chefs to eat at Noodletown and discuss late night eats, David Chang declares the ginger scallion noodles his favorite—maybe I should branch out?) That’s it. And brusqueness in this genre of eatery doesn’t bother me.
I recently went straight after work before seeing The Box on opening night for reasons I can’t yet determine, not so much that the movie was weird/slow/unsatisfying but because I rarely even see movies, let alone on opening nights. Like I said, I wouldn’t call efficiency and lack of smiling brusqueness, and the burgundy-vested waiters hear everything. They’re on it. We were speculating to ourselves not loudly whether we should order the soft shell crab and were cut off by a waiter walking by, “No soft shell crab!” Ok, roast duck it was.
I forgot to take a photo of the duck, which proves how tastiness of the meat and crispiness of the skin. Or maybe I was just starving. I have to admit, though, that my soup was a little troubled. The broth was hot, maybe a little less complex and rich as ones I’ve had there before, but clearly the noodles and pork had just been sitting out as they were coldish, not even quite room temperature. The noodles were still springy and the pork had a nice charred flavor but warm would be better.
The wontons? Maybe I’ve said this before and I still can’t determine where the flavor is coming from since they look simply like shrimp encased in dough, no herbs, but they taste like marijuana. Just subtly and I’m no stoner but I swear they are like pot dumplings, if such a think existed. I’ve never heard anyone else ever say that so maybe it’s how my tongue processes a certain taste, in a soapy cilantro manner.
Great New York Noodletown * 28 Bowery St., New York, NY