Tonight I successfully reached Foodie Nirvana. A lot of my followers ask me, “What’s the best dish you have ever eaten?” Well, I finally have an answer. If you find yourself in New York City, do me a favor and please go to Xi’an Famous Foods at 81 St. Mark’s Place. Don’t let the 12 stools and small amounts of counter space discourage you. If you find a seat, excellent. However, I suggest ordering your dish to-go. You can dine at one of the nearby pubs or parks in the area.
When I walked into Xi’an Famous Foods I asked the gentleman ahead of me in line what to order. He pointed to the menu and said enthusiastically, “You have to order N1. I keep coming back to New York City solely for this dish.” Little did I know, but my life was about to change. “N1” stands for Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles.
I ordered N1 and couldn’t find an open seat. Luckily, I caught the M15 bus at 1 Ave to head back to Caryn’s Upper East Side apartment. My hands were freezing from the New York wind and bitter cold. I wrapped my hands around the to-go container of noodles. People started looking around for the person responsible for the amazing aroma that began filling the bus. One lady even eyed my to-go container in envy. My mouth was watering. Hurry up! I needed the bus to stop so I could make a run for the apartment at sit at the kitchen table to devour the bowl filled with noodles. Once my fingers were thawed, the bus reached 1 Ave. and 62 St. I jumped off the bus and reached Caryn’s apartment.
I ripped open the container and dug into the dish using a pair of wooden chopsticks. I pulled one of the wide and tender hand-made noodles to my mouth. The noodles were perfect with a rough and doughy texture. These steamy hot noodles were topped with chunks of sautéed cumin lamb. Sweat began rolling off my brow and I felt my face turning pink. The lamb was tender and spicy. The pieces of chopped cabbage, onion and celery cooled down the dish. I debated on getting a glass of water but the food was so amazing, I remained glued to my chair. What a mental struggle!
I can honestly admit that I shed a tear after I finished eating Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles. Maybe that tear was out of pure joy or perhaps it was from the intense, yet perfect array of spices. I have never been so satisfied in my life. I don’t want the glorious after taste of the dish to leave my mouth.