Thursday, April 23, 2009

Follow Us To The Best Noodles In China

Shanxi province, not to be confused with Shaanxi province, is famous for one prepared food. The dao xiao mian (literally, "knife cut noodles") are famous all over China...And for good reason. These wide "ribbons of wow!", which are made to order by a chef who slices them from a block of dough in to a huge pot of boiling water, are incredibly tasty. They are served in broth, and can be accompanied by a varied selection of condiments. Our favorite add-ons are dou fu, hard boiled eggs, small cubes of beef, pork meatballs, and, in some places, pickled vegetables. The loudness of the slurs and slurps in the restaurant is directly correlated with the quality of the noodles.

In Taiyuan, at the heart of Shanxi, we think we may have found the number one mian guan. To get there...

Leave Taiyuan Li Gong Da Xue via the Xi Men (West Gate) and turn right.

Walk for, say, four hundred meters, and turn right into the first alley.

Continue past a few noodle restaurants until you see the huge red sign on the right with the white letters...大同刀削面。

Order the rou mian.
(And if you are a little chilly, add an order of mian tang. It's the water the noodles are boiled in. While the thought of drinking noodle water may sound less than appetizing, the taste and warmth are surprisingly appealing.)

Voted by four our of four Ballas as one of the top foods we'll miss back in the US (we don't know of any Chinese restaurants that serve Shanxi noodles), we plan to continue our noodle feeding frenzy at comparable mian guan in Beijing.

~Desi

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