This is the first entry in my new food centric blog. Now that Xander isn't in Philly anymore, I don't think I will be using my LiveJournal blog anymore. Plus, my entries of late have been more about food anyway.
The name "Noodle Door" is something Wil and I made up back in 2002 when we were facing the complete tanking of Sig Bio. It was our version of "going off the grid" (the biotech grid that is). Wil and I were going to open a noodleshop in the finanacial district. It's still our joking Plan B.
So on with the food... as many of you know, I started a new job in SSF. And having just come off of a vacation to Taipei, I was jonesing for some Taiwanese food. I found old posts on CH about New Mandarin Garden in SSF so decided to give it a whirl. From the previous posts, I was ready for a really generic Chinese-American looking place. That I got. But when I saw that the people working there speaking to each other in Cantonese - that really threw me off. I almost wanted to leave because I was afraid that it was going to be an Ollie's in NYC rendition of BNS (meaning Cantonese version of a Northern/Sichuan dish with thin egg noodles and tomato-ish taste to the broth).
But I was already there, so I ordered the BNS (called Chuan Wei Nu Ruo Mein) off the Chinese menu which had no English ranslation. On this menu there were dishes that are supposed to be Taiwanese. There was also a whole section of the Chinese menu that was written in Korean with what appeared to be Korean-Chinese noodle dishes. While I was waiting for my food, I noticed there were two tables of people speaking Korean and happily devouring noodles, a large table of Shanghainese speakers without food yet, a table of Taglog speakers conversing with the waitstaff in Taglog about their steamed whole fish, and a smattering of Cantonese speakers also conversing with the waitstaff. It was like a conglomeration of Asian cultures!!! I felt like I was in bizarro Asian world.
My BNS was pretty good - deep flavour on the broth with a little heat (not too bad considering my preference for mild and I didn't ask them for mild either). The beef was much more tendon than meat, but soft enough. The noodles were fantastic - so much bite and bounce. I still think Little Potato and New China's broth and meat are better. But New Mandarin Garden's noodles are hard to beat.I will definitely go back and try the Taiwanese dishes (fried rice noodle and dan zi mein). Also, am intrigued by the Korean section.
And beef noodle soup - it's the epitome of Taiwanese small eats. I can think of no better subject for my inaugural post!!!