Tag Archives: Eating out

NYC’s Best Chinese Noodles

A wiry young man takes a small baton of dough from a tub. He flattens it and gives it a little stretch. Then, he quickly yanks it out to a length of several feet and dramatically slaps it back down. Whack, whack!

This is Very Fresh Noodles in New York City. Found inside the cavernous Chelsea Market, it’s served chewy, hand pulled noodles to drooling patrons since 2016.

I visited last Friday with my wife. I pretended to pore over the menu, but I knew what my stomach really needed: La Mei Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup.

The bowl was soon in front of me, steaming and filled to the brim. Just picking up the noodles with your chopsticks will whet your appetite. They’re thick, luscious, and glistening from the broth.

I greedily shoveled them into my mouth. The texture and flavor were perfect. The soup was aromatic and spicy, tasting of star anise. The beef is rich, incredibly tender, and falls apart in your mouth. At first I looked for extra chili oil, but soon realized I didn’t need it. These spices have a delayed reaction!

Very Fresh Noodles also has a scorching Dan Dan Mian and numerous vegetarian dishes, including the toothsome mock duck my wife ordered. There is counter seating inside and lots more comfortable seats along the sidewalk, some covered.

I’ve never had better Chinese noodles. If you’re in the area, give it a try!

Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone!

More on food:

The Best Bakery in NYC (It’s Not Levain)

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

NJ’s Best Apple Cider Donut

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I Ate the Best Burger of My Life Outside in the Dead of Winter

Find this and eat it!

I celebrated my 35th birthday this weekend! My wife very kindly arranged for a hotel staycation in New York City, along with an outstanding meal. But there was one little problem. All indoor dining is closed in NYC. And it’s January.

I used my winter camping experience to my advantage, swaddling myself in a base layer, down jacket, winter coat, and a fur hat fit for Siberia. We hustled to the Upper West Side.

I was afraid we’d freeze solid, but we arrived at Bar Boulud to find a beautiful outdoor setup. They basically built a building on the sidewalk, with one side open for ventilation. That side faced the sidewalk, not the street, so no wind entered, and we were surrounded by huge heaters that kept us very comfortable. I was encouraged to see every table booked!

We both ordered the outstanding Frenchie Burger. The flavor of the beef was intense, especially for someone like me who rarely eats meat, and it was topped with unctuous pork belly and oozing melted raclette cheese. A triumph! If you’re in the New York area and like burgers, this is a must-have.

As we sipped coffee, I looked across the street to Lincoln Center, where my wife and I had enjoyed ballets and symphonies in the past. It occurred to me that being outside right now was not a hardship, but rather a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There will be no outdoor dining next January. This beautiful structure will be taken down and never seen again. This was our one chance to enjoy this winter wonderland. And we savored it.

I encourage you to think of today’s situation as not merely negative. To be sure, many are suffering now, and we must do what we can to help. But there are also unique experiences available today that will probably never be seen again. Get out there and enjoy them! Make some memories!

Outdoor dining, even in the 28 degrees we found ourselves in on Saturday, is very doable and really quite fun. We were only slightly chilly, which was quickly overcome by hot coffee and delicious food. The fancier restaurants in particular have amazing outdoor setups that make the experience comfortable and memorable. My friend Jim* recently had a business dinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn in a private little cabana and found himself entirely comfortable.

Give it a shot and make a happy memory in this unique time!

*Not his real name