Great N.Y. Noodletown

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007 | All Things, Eats

We decided to kick it old school Chinatown for this Thursday’s lunch at Great N.Y. Noodletown. This cash-only restaurant on Bowery has long been a fixture of the after hours downtown dining crowd — long before Congee Village burst onto the scene, New York Noodletown (as it was then known) was a beacon, serving off-duty chefs and restaurant workers, post-gig musicians, jet-lagged tourists and late-night revelers until 4AM. (Oh, the stories…) New York   magazine named it one of their go-to places for “late night munchies.”

The ambience — such as it is — is created by the roasted meats and whole fowl hanging from hooks in the steamy front window, creaky chairs, perpetually crowded communal tables, high-school cafeteria lighting, and menus permanently slid under glass tabletops. But you’re not here for the ambience.

New York Noodletown

The restaurant is just up the block on Bayard from New Green Bo, and specializes in classic Cantonese cooking: Hong-Kong style noodle soups and roasted meats (though I prefer the char siu  at Big Wong on Mott — perhaps out of habit.) The salt-baked items — soft-shell crab, squid, shrimp — are reliably excellent, and their “Roast Duck with Flowering Chives” has some diehard devotees.

Foodies and locals rave about it. Great N.Y. Noodletown is one of food critic and Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl‘s 25 favorite New York City restaurants. Top Chef winner Ilan Hall loves it (and Florent, too — my kind of guy, though fellow TC contestant Sam Talbot is one of the ten sexiest chefs in New York… er, according to Zink  magazine.)

Today, I was in the mood for a steaming bowl of congee with lean, marinated pork and preserved egg. Here, it’s done right with the chunks of blackened egg and slivers of seasoned pork slow-simmered in the congee until the ingredients mesh together beautifully — not merely tossed into the plain rice base at the final moment. So good, so comforting. No fried dough cruller today, though.

Noodletown Congee

Great N.Y. Noodletown or New York Noodletown… it’s always been just “Noodletown” to me.

Bayard Street

There's 1 comment so far ... Great N.Y. Noodletown

March 8, 2007

I dream of noodles, really, I do. I just love noodles. Maybe I’ll go get some right now.

Go for it ...