Where the Port Washington-bound LIRR crosses Broadway, a bright red awning advertises hand-pulled noodles and northern dumplings. Under this awning is one of the homiest restaurants in Elmhurst. Tall windows and glass doors wrap around the front of the building, admitting plenty of light to the dining area. The dining area is roomy (if crowded) with a high ceiling. A large bronze relief sculpture depicting river boats hangs on one wall.
There is no table service; after ordering at a counter, you sit where you please. I ordered lamb and hand-pulled noodles, and then went to watch my noodles being made. There were a couple of stools in front of the noodle-making station, apparently especially for people to watch. The noodle-maker was happy to have an audience.
This noodle-maker’s method was:
Let the dough rest (right), then knead vigorously (left)
Pull, fold, and knead some more
Pull and twist
Break into segments, and roll out
He was remarkably fast. A lump of dough became handfuls of noodles in a few minutes. (“About a year,” he said, when I asked how long he’d been doing this.) I believe this was the Lanzhou method of pulling noodles.
The noodles came mixed with slices of lamb and cubes of liver, as well as stalks of bok choy. The soup was lightly seasoned. Much of the flavor came from the stewed lamb—but ginger and garlic rounded out the flavor to make a tasty broth.
The noodles had a remarkable mouth feel. They were chewy, but also slightly wiry, like very thick ramen noodles. Excellent.
老北方 (“Northern Dumpling House”)
Elmhurst, NY 11373
11am – 11pm every day