Monday, August 23, 2010

Mega bowl of noodles (建宏牛肉麵)


Do you ever think to yourself "I just wanna have as much food as possible, for as little money as possible, and I don't even care how crappy the restaurant is, or how mediocre the food is?" No? Well, I think people should think that way more often. Now I'm not saying that you should eat the mac & cheese that your grandmother added sprinkles to, because she can't read food labels (mmm... actually that'd be kind of cool), but to me, there's just too much pretentiousness towards food nowadays, and sometimes I just want to stuff my face on a budget. That's where 建宏牛肉麵 (Jian Hong Beef Noodles) comes in. Seriously, their big bowl of beef noodle soup is comically large.

Fuck yeah jumbo bowl of noodles. The way it works at this shop is that they serve 3 sizes, which appropriately enough are 小, 中, 大... with the prices being 65, 75, and 85 NT respectively. Curious as to how big the large bowl was, I splurged and gave in. For 85 NT ($2.70) you get a bowl about 30 cm across (yes I'm using metric), filled with 12 huge pieces of beef, which I actually counted, and a generous helping of noodles (both knife cut or thin are available). Here's the kicker, if you finish your noodles and still have broth, you can ask for more noodles. That works the other way too, if you have too much noodles and not enough soup... well refills on that. Crazy right? I'm not sure who exactly would even ask for seconds though, I can eat like a champ, and I didn't feel too hot after finishing. For reference... the spoon in the bowl is actually the over-sized metal Asian soup spoons. Epic bowl is epic.

Anyway, the noodles are nice and thick, nothing special, most certainly of no comparison to 良品, but there's a lot of them. The beef isn't all that tender, and is chock full of tendons, which probably need more time stewing in broth, but again... there's a lot of it. The broth, I think you know where this is going, mediocre, but lots. Summary? Massive quantities of food that would only rank as mediocre. Bonus points for giving me a carton of milk tea to wash down the noodles though.

建宏牛肉麵 (Jian Hong Niu Rou Mian) storefront

See how crappy a store this is? It's located next to a beef butcher place, so it doesn't smell too crazy fresh either. When you're paying less than $3 for more food than any normal person could ever want to consume in a whole day, what do you honestly expect? I for one couldn't care less what it looks (or smells) like. That shit is awesome.

I apologize for the follwoing rant, but I really have to mention this. Originally I was just gonna write about a jumbo bowl of average beef noodle soup for super cheap, but I then I started thinking about stuff (which isn't really a good thing). Just... in my mind, there's too much food snobbery these days, and if there's one thing that truly bothers me about food writing (or even those who comment), it's the pretentiousness of dismissing a certain food because 1. it doesn't fit their particular tastes or 2. it isn't fancy enough for them. Screw that, people need to spend less time criticizing food and more time enjoying it.


Anonymous said...

I here you brotha, your rant is justified. i read the same crap from the blogs at my home in vancouver. people get stuck up on their preception of 'authentic' and stuff like you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Jumbo bowl of noodles and soup sound awesome! But, last time I checked, the exchange rate was around 33-34NT per $1 USD?

Nicholas said...

Anonymous - glad to see I'm not alone with this sentiment. I love food and all, but I'm firmly of the camp that believes good food doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.

cubicalpeach - D'OH... thanks! That's what I get for not editing (I swear my math skills are better than that). I meant $2.70 haha. Fixed.

Danny said...

word. we all need to just enjoy what we can. life's too short as it is to worry about whether something is organic or sustainable. it's not my prerogative.

Nicholas said...

Danny - Exactly. So maybe this wasn't the greatest stuff on earth, but it was super cheap, and satisfying. I couldn't care less what those fancy nancies think about my eating habits.

DrPatman said...

Great thoughts all! Food is something to be enjoyed with vigor regardless of what it is or how much it costs. Most people in America (and it seems more so in other places with each successive generation) are too hung up on the trends and not enough on things that make them truly happy. Not to mention their "inability" to try something new and outside their comfort zone. If I didn't try everything I have over the years I would probably starve! Thanks for the awesome blog Nicholas and keep it coming!

Nicholas said...

DrPatman - and thanks for the kind words, glad you agree!

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