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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pale Rider

I set out at high noon on Sunday, riding into the sun bleached sky, hazy with neon light and tickled by little green Eskimos.  I rode East, into the rising sun.  My destination: Coney Island.  I easily zoomed past the other bikers, chucking at their feeble attempts to pedal.  It was like a Hell’s Angel against toddlers on tricycles. 

I made it to Coney Island in 90 minutes.  I saw a man with the largest potbelly I have ever seen in my life.  I wanted a frozen lemonade.  I had this idea in my brain that Nathan’s sells these concoctions.  When I say a frozen lemonade, I mean these icy drinks, basically lemonade slushies.  Nathan’s doesn’t sell these.  Why did I think they did?

I headed back, knowing that I wanted to stop at Super Taste for noodles.  I also ended up stopping at Eton Too, an Hawaiian Ice parlor in Brooklyn.  Passion fruit and lemon were the flavors I had, and after a hard ride it was amazingly refreshing.  Energized, I was ready for the final push into Manhattan for Super Taste.

Super Taste. Had been wanting to sample for a while, but a recent "best of" list by Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese (see my recent discussion) compelled me to take action.  When I walked in, a lady welcomed (ordered me) to sit down.  My general opinion when it comes to hand-pulled noodles is to get the dry versions, which are stir fried, as opposed to the soup-based version.  The menu listed some dishes as "soup," and others were listed simply as "noodle with beef ball," for example (ask me not what "beef ball" is).  I settled on "hand-pulled noodle with Chinese style bacon and pickle cabbage."  I assumed this would be a dry, stir fried dish.

I placed my order and had it re-iterated (screamed back to me) by the waitress.  I waited for my food.  Everyone in the establishment seemed of Chinese origin.  I read the paper menu, which gave a nice explication of hand-pulled noodles.  It guarantees a "genuine" beef noodle experience. My noodles arrived.  Let the experience begin.

The first thing I noticed was that my dish was indeed a soup, not a stir fry.  Fooled again!  Yet I placed some chili oil and Siracha into the cauldron and began eating and was delighted by what I found.  A rich, flavorful broth with a nice contrasting sourness from the pickled cabbage.  The Chinese bacon, which I assumed would be pork belly, seemed much more like beef.  If it was pork, it was rather dried out yet still offered a nice bit of meaty flavor.  This was an enjoyable noodle soup.  

I later asked the waitress if they have stir fried noodles, and she said you have to specifically ask them to prepare it that way. Further investigations are warranted.

Eton Too
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Super Taste
Chinatown, Manhattan