Xi'an Famous Foods Midtown
24 West 45th St (5th & 6th Aves)
City: New York, NY
Hours: 11:00AM-9:00PM Daily
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Area: West 40s
Entree Price: <$10
Payment: Cash only
When you feel the need to fire up your senses, a trip to Xi'an Famous Foods is in order.
At their newest location on West 45th Street in Midtown you will often find a line out the door. Peruse the list of menu items on the wall, make your pick and be sure to hold onto your receipt. You will need it to claim your meal at a small window in the back of the restaurant. Space is tight, so grab a seat at the narrow counter as you wait for your number to be called. Or, if you're lucky, you can watch as their famous hand-pulled noodles are being made.
On my first visit, I ordered the oxtail soup. Be aware that even mild dishes here are quite spicy here. So, be sure to gauge your heat appropriately. The soup arrived in a deep bowl with ribbons of thick noodles that seemed endless which makes for plenty of slurping. The oxtail is so tender it literally falls off the bone into a deep, rich broth below that is swimming in fiery chili oil. If you've got a cold, this soup will clear your head.
On a subsequent visit, I opted for the "Spicy and Tingly Beef" which lives up to its name and is a steal at six bucks a plate. Ground beef is piled high on a bed of noodles with bits of cabbage, zucchini and peppers. It can easily serve as a full meal. A Tiger Salad ($4.50) makes for a nice palate cleanser amid all the heat. It's made from freshly-chopped cilantro, stalks and all, in a light dressing. My least favorite dish was the Spicy Cumin Burger ($3). It is so packed with dried and fresh chilis that it's hard to decifer anything else. Other specialties include the Chang-an Spicy Tofu ($2), Spicy & Sour Lamb Dumplings ($5) and Cold Buckwheat Noodles ($5).
The best thing about Xi'an Famous Foods is the location. Finally, Midtown has a giant spark of flavor.
Review By: Thomas Rafael