09. June 2003 Chinatown, Chinese 0

28 1/2 Bowery corner of Bayard
about $10 for two, without drinks, with tip
♥ ♥ ♥

Noodletown is not only a restaurant, it’s an institution. When Chinatown becomes a ghost town, Noodletown, or Great N.Y. Noodletown, as their sign suggests, is still open and stays open until four in the morning. Asian kids who come from a long night of dancing and drinking usually end up in Noodletown. Customers sit with strangers in round tables with only one thing in mind: the congee to cure the hangover that’s to come in the morning. I’ve made many inebriated visits to Noodletown as well. I usually order the congee with slivers of roasted duck and dot it with spicy hot oil. Visit during the day for a saner experience and order the roast duck or roast pork hanging by the window. For less than $5, it’s a great deal for lunch. The soft-shell crabs, lightly battered and flash-fried, are delicious when they are in season. If you can manage to get one of the abrupt waiters to tell you what vegetable is fresh, order the peashoot leaves or the swamp cabbage sauteed in garlic or stir-fried in oyster sauce.