Friday, March 28, 2014

Fresh Noodles and Buns at Chinatown Express

Chinatown Express is quickly becoming my favorite lunch spot in DC.  They make the most amazing fresh noodles and steamed pork buns.  My great love for old school noodle shops may be a nostalgic throwback to my Poppy taking us out for lunch at noddle shops in Chinatown Philadelphia.  I just love watching people making the fresh noodles and buns in the front window. 
It really is a unique skill and it certainly makes a huge difference in the quality and taste of the meal.  This also means that your lunch arrives at your table super quickly, making it the perfect spot for a weekday lunch break from the office.  Especially if you are lunching with your friend Bob and you are listening to him complain about...everything.
Fresh Noodles and Buns at Chinatown Express
We only ever order two things and they are easy to remember because they are the top two things on their Lunch Special Menu: Fresh Noodle Soup and Steamed Pork Buns.  We get the fresh noodle soup with duck and it is one of the 40 Dishes Every Washingtonian Must Try 2013.  It is on this list for a reason.  It is totally delicious.  The duck has crispy skin and the broth is so rich from the delicious duck. 
But the true star of the dish if, of course, the noodles.  No limp, boring noodles here.  They are perfectly cooked and tender, but with great body.  They soak up the delicious broth and are full of flavor.
This is really one of the most perfect lunch dishes that will leave you perfectly satisfied and ready to take on the rest of your day at work.  Or take a nap under your desk.
Not to be outdone, the steamed pork buns come out fresh from the steamer with a little bed of cabbage.  It may sound weird for a pork bun to taste "fresh" but that is what the handmade dumplings will do.  It is a the perfect ratio of bun to pork filling, which makes for two delightful little bites.
They have a trio of delicious little sauce-ish items to accompany your buns.  My favorite is the super garlicky green sauce.  There is a really spicy red sauce, but I am too wimpy to use it.  They also have pickled ginger.  But the green sauce will give you the WORST garlic breath in the universe, but it will be well worth it.  The punchy garlic green sauce compliments the sweet pork and dumplings perfectly.
Yum, yum, yum.

One Year Ago: Fried Fish Tacos
Two Years Ago: Spicy Apricot Baked Chicken
Three Years Ago: Provencal Beef Stew

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