Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Thwaping You Hear is the Hand-Pulled Noodles

Hand-Pulled Noodles with Beef – Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles

And then we jumped a fence.

Trying to cross the glacier field that is Bowery, and admittedly a bit tipsy from our mid-day cocktails, we face an impasse: a puddle of sludge the size of Lake Erie.  Cornered in the middle of Bowery, we have two options: trudge through the puddle, thereby ruining our slightly-inappropriate-for-a-snowpocalypse shoes and soaking ourselves below the knee, or jump a fence.  We choose the latter.

Let’s make one thing clear: we are NOT fence jumpers.  Always more likely to head towards the swings than the monkey bars in our playground days, we’re not the most daring or coordinated of souls.

Also, to be fair, we don’t so much “jump” the fence as “climb over it like buffoons.”

And said fence is approximately three feet off the ground.

We do, however, attract the attention of a young man, also faced with the choice, who applauds our courage.  Anything in the name of tasty, hand-pulled noodles.

In any case, once we scale the fence with less grace than Tonya Harding, we make our way into the heart of Chinatown.  Which is just about our idea of a nightmare.

Despite our tendency to frequent Times Square, we’re not really into crowded sidewalks.  We are impatient, we walk fast, and we don’t like anyone to get in our way.  Particularly when we’re on our way to eat.  Chinatown is not compatible with any of these preferences, especially when the already-narrow sidewalks have been halved by mountains of snow.

We finagle our way to Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles to try Guy Fieri’s favorite IN A BOWL dish, Hand-Pulled Noodles with Beef (and if we wallop a small child or two on the sidewalk in the process of getting there, so be it).
Non-Cardboard Menu
Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles is not exactly Le Bernardin (which happens to be one of the establishments on The Best Thing I Ever Ate list that we think we are going to have to take up a collection in order to enter).  Holding about 6 tables with standard-issue chairs, it has the distinct level of griminess that might not earn it a Sanitary Inspection “A.”  But we are on a mission.

We sit at a table in the corner and order our bowl of noodles.  Within minutes, a line forms at the door – Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles is the place to be in Chinatown.  Guy Fieri seems to know his stuff.

As we wait, a non-rhythmic pounding can be heard in the back room.  Vodka tells Ginger matter-of-factly, “The thwaping you hear is the hand-pulled noodles.”  And after the combination of our cocktails and fence adventure, the word “thwap” becomes entirely too amusing.
Noodles that Thwap in the Night
Our soup arrives in a bowl the size of our heads.  It looks, for lack of knowledge of Asian soup dishes, like ramen.  Steaming hot, the broth is full of slices of beef, assorted greens, and most importantly, strings and strings of noodles.  At this point, we could have used a lesson on how to eat the stuff.

In a method that is undeniably incorrect, we scoop portions of the soup into the tiny serving bowls with which we have been provided.  Something is decidedly off with this technique, as half of the noodles always remain draped between the two bowls, causing us to bite off large mouthfuls of pasta in a manner akin to Lucy Ricardo meeting William Holden in the Brown Derby.
What's Wrong in this Picture?
The noodles themselves are phenomenal: thick and chewy, they taste of comfort.  The rest of the dish is flavorful, but we only finish the noodles themselves.  We decide that we would have the dish again, but only if it were not located in Chinatown.  For the stress our fast-walking feet encounter on the mobbed sidewalks of the place is not worth the taste of this dish, thwaping noodles or not.

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles’s Hand-Pulled Noodles with Beef: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. I want those noodles, now. Thwap thwap goes my heart (and belly). <3