Philadelphia, PA - Looking around dining room, You can't help but notice that my friend and I were the only non-Chinese patrons in the noodle house. As a general rule, when it comes to hole-in-the-wall restaurants, this is good sign.
We ordered the Fish Ball Noodle Soup, my long-time favorite, and I opted for the Seafood Noodle Soup. Both soups came with the house-made hand-drawn wheat noodles that were incredibly fresh. Beads of oil danced on the surface of the mild, aromatic broth to which mustard greens, spinach leaves and fresh cilantro were added. The fish balls themselves, which are made out of a pulverized mild white fish and flour, were soft yet chewy, a perfect texture, though they were a little fishy for my taste. In addition to the fish balls, the Seafood Noodle Soup includes sea scallops, littleneck clams in the shell and tail-on shrimp, all of which were fresh and perfectly cooked. Not bad for five bucks. Not bad at all.
The Aromatic Mixed Platter from the appetizer menu featured sliced beef, beef tendon and pig ears topped with a sweet garlic sauce. my friend persuaded me to get it, mistaking my pursuit of cheap food for a desire to venture into the wilds of ethnic cuisine. For the record, folks, I am not Andrew Zimmern and this is not the Travel Channel. After trying a piece of each, I carefully pushed the plate to the other side of the table, smiled at my dining companion and told him to knock himself out.
The décor—laminate tabletops and florescent lighting—leaves something to be desired but that’s par for the course. As I listened to the diners at neighboring tables eagerly and audibly slurping up their noodles, You cab sum it all up nicely, by saying, “It’s not ghetto fabulous, it’s ghetto delicious.”
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House
1022 Race Street
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