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Friday, August 10, 2012

The Annals of Chinese

When I look back on my little adventures and recollect on all of the places I have been over my 8 years in this city, I feel equal parts joy and frustration.  Joy from all of the wonderful things I've eaten and wonderful people I've eaten them with, and frustration at missed opportunities, inefficiency, the never ending list of places to try, and indeed the restaurants that were less than - how shall I put this delicately - good.

My friends, it is true, I have had my fair share of lousy eating experiences, but my recent trip to Yun Nan Flavour Snack was not one of them.  A muggy day it was indeed, and I was adorned in a wool navy blue suit.  It would be untruthful to say I didn't look dashing.  The sky was darkening and wind blew in from the east or north: a storm was coming.  I made my way to 8th Avenue and 49th Street in Brooklyn to find an unadorned, run-down shop.  I entered.

I was pleased to find Chinese people slurping noodles.  A man stood up and said "first time?"  I had to admit it was.  Regular readers of these chronicles will know that I prefer "dry" noodles, as opposed to noodles served in soup, and therefore asked for the hot dry noodles in spicy meat sauce, as it was called.  The kindly gentleman urged me to order the cold rice noodles, which usually are served in a soup.  "Rice noodles are fine, my good man, but please, make them dry!" said I.  "Ok, for you, I will make dry and hot!"

Well, this affable fellow was truly a noodle genius, for my strands of bliss were soon before me and I couldn't help but squeal with delight. What I had before me appeared very much like Sichuan dan dan noodles.  There was ground meat on the top with some chili seed paste and sprigs of cilantro.  Underneath was a small amount of liquid.  I tossed the noodles around, dispersing the ground beef throughout and soaking the noodles in the sauce.  I was ready to eat.

The noodles were unlike any I've had: chewy and fresh, with a discernible rice taste.  The consistency was so perfect and unique I first thought the noodles were long hollow tubes, but upon further inspection I saw they were indeed completely solid.  The liquid was beefy with a sour, but not too sour, bite.  The cilantro added subtle freshness.  Yes my friends, these were some of the finest noodles I have tasted on my journeys.

As I walked to the train I noticed the storm was passing without unleashing its furies.  I most likely had  bits of noodle all over my face, but such things don't matter when you're as handsome and well-fed as I was.

Yun Nan Flavour Snack
49th Street close to 8th Ave, Sunset Park, Brooklyn