Friday, February 20, 2009

Super Taste... is super tasty!

Super taste storefront

Another Friday, another day of glorious non-self cooked lunching! Today was different though, because instead of heading to midtown, I had to go to Brooklyn. Why? Because apparently I need to get a certificate of fitness from the FDNY, saying that I'm safe to be alone in a lab. What a joke, I'm not even safe to be alone in my dorm by myself (I injure myself in a surprisingly diverse set of ways). Anyway, first thing in the morning I head over to 9 Metrotech Center, figuring that I'd be out of there by 11:00 at the latest with my card of certification. Yes, I did end up leaving by 11:00, but without my certificate of fitness because I needed a note saying I'd taken a lab safety course before... what a crock (In other news, I'll be headed back to Brooklyn next week!). Did I mention that I also lost my mailbox key AND got lost on the way there? Not really important, just thought I'd throw that out there.

Super taste menu

Back on point, by this time, I'm pretty annoyed that I had to come back a week later, and that I'd lost my mail key, but I didn't want to make this a wasted trip. So what does a good luncher do? Go to Chinatown. I love Chinatown... but it's far... and would normally cost me $4 ontop of the cost of food, so really it's not cheap for me. Today was different though, I was so close already! I made up my mind and hopped on the F train, and got off on East Broadway, rather than going straight to work. Having my heart set on a bowl of hot beef noodle soup, I marched towards Eldridge street, home of both Lan Zhou Noodles and also Super Taste Noodles. Ultimately, I chose Super Taste because numerically it came first... but Lan Zhou is next on the chopping block (maybe as early as next week haha).

Beef noodles w/hand pulled noodles

It is what it is, a super small shack of a store, not unlike those that you would actually find in Taipei. So on the basis of authenticity, it gets a nod of approval before even walking in. Inside you find just a few tables, with the kitchen nestled in the back, very homely I guess. The menu... all Chinese, legitimacy was now through the roof. I quickly ordered the classic, the spicy beef noodles (辣牛肉拉麵), priced at $4.75... something that would easily cost $7 in midtown. Yes, there are more adventerous things on the menu, but hey, you always start with a standard right? Within a couple of minutes, a bowl of piping hot red brothed noodles sat in front of me, generous portions of thinly cut beef, a layer of bok choy, and a nice serving of handmade pulled noodles in a white plastic tub (lol at that). On another tangent, I tried to buy a plastic bowl from the woman behind the counter, but she kept insisting that since the manager wasn't there, she wasn't allowed to sell anything aside from noodles... which is a pity, those plastic bowls were pretty versatile (what with all the microwaving and crap that I do in my dorm).

Cross section of tendon

Was it good? I'd have to say that it could match the average noodle shop in Taiwan, which is to say it was excellent by US standards, and on cold day like today... I was in heaven. The texture of the noodles was soft, yet resilient, which is a defining characteristic of hand pulled noodles (they also serve the knife cut variety), the broth was rich and clearly stewed for a long time, and the beef... just look at the mix of tendons with lean and fatty meat (what's known as 半徑半肉 in Chinese).

Hand pulled goodness

This is definitely a bowl that could stand up to any I've had in NYC. So in the end, I do recommend this as a great place for cheap eats ($5 will fill you up). If you want a traditional bowl of noodles that is high on authenticity, then you shouldn't have to look further than Super Taste. It really is good... or should I say... Super Tasty! Haha, I'm sorry for that last bit, it's getting late and I just wanted to get a little bit of humor in this post.


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