BY GABE HERMAN | Xi’an Famous Foods has several Downtown locations that serve quality Chinese food, though its cuisine is different than most Chinese restaurants in Manhattan.
Xi’an is a city in northwest China, where the restaurant’s authentic dishes originate.
“The city…boasts a unique cuisine that combines Chinese and Middle Eastern flavors,” according to the restaurant’s Web site. “Heavy in cumin, chili, Sichuan peppercorns and other spices, local specialties range from famous hand-ripped ‘biang biang’ noodles, seared in hot oil, to lamb ‘burgers’ with a jalapeño kick. Not for the faint of heart, but famous for a reason.”
The menu of the family-owned business includes cold noodle dishes; pork burgers or spicy cumin lamb burgers; lamb pao-mo soup; and several varieties of the hand-ripped “biang biang” noodles, which are long and flat, with options including lamb, beef, “concubine’s chicken” and vegetables.
It’s very affordable, with most dishes falling in the $5 to $7 range.
The food is also very tasty and has gained media attention, including from Anthony Bourdain, who visited the original Flushing, Queens, location in 2007 for his “No Reservations” show on the Travel Channel. That original location has closed but Xi’an still has another spot nearby in Flushing.
The fast-casual restaurant opened a Village location last June at 313 Sixth Ave., at W. Third St. There are a total of 14 Xi’an locations in the city, with 11 of them in Manhattan. Other Downtown locations include 81 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village; 68 Kenmare St. in Nolita; 45 Bayard St. in Chinatown; and its newest location, 8 Liberty Place in the Financial District, near Maiden Lane.
Each Xi’an spot is generally small but comfortable for eating in, and home delivery is available through Caviar or Postmates. More information about the restaurant can be found at xianfoods.com.