located throughout Xi’an, China
I’m back from a two week trip home in Beijing where I ate five meals a day, mostly from my mother’s kitchen. I also did a short two day trip to my dad’s hometown in Xi’an. If you live in New York, you probably recognize Xi’an from the deeeelicious Xi’an Famous Foods chain. Well, I visited the original Xi’an Famous Foods and (no offense) it blew me away. Xi’an Famous Food is amazingly great. But compared to what it aspires to be, I think there is still room for improvement. 子午路张记肉夹馍 (Zai Wu Lu Zhang Ji Rou Jia Mo) is a chain that has apparently been around for ages and ages. It serves up just a handful of classic Xi’an foods.
Then find a seat and wait. Fast food style.
This is where the dude chops up that juicy, flavorful stewed pork for the burger.
This stewed pork burger is the most delicious stewed pork burger I’ve had. The bread is on the dry side so it can soak up all the fatty juices without falling apart. The meat has the perfect amount of fattiness for flavor and texture without making you feel nauseous. Any more and you won’t be able to finish it. Any less and it’ll just not be juicy enough. Definitely the most popular item on the menu.
The second most popular item is the Liang Pi, or directly translated as “cold skin” noodles. The Xi’an Famous Foods version is made with flour (I believe), while this version is made with rice. The result is a more delicate, chewier noodle. The noodles are also more round than the Xi’an Famous Foods version, which add more body to the noodle. Flavor is spicy, oily, garlicy, and vinegary. In other words, addicting. I do like that the Xi’an Famous Foods version has tofu. This only comes with bean sprouts.
I love the simplicity of Xi’an food and so grateful that Xi’an Famous Foods exists in New York so I can satisfy my cravings. They have opened up so many shops that I can almost guarantee finding one close to me wherever I am in Manhattan.