Happy New Year!
While I am anxious to share with you the incredibly exciting and memorable evening I had with my love over the new year, I decided to change things up a little bit by posting a review. If you have been reading the blog for a while, you would know that I used to have a happy balance between restaurant reviews and recipes. And when I moved to Brooklyn, just 7 short months ago, I began cooking more at home. I do still enjoy an evening out or even some take out on the couch but the things I have been most passionate about are the things that I create myself.
I also acknowledge that quite a few of my closest friends consider themselves “kitchen challenged” and while they love the food porn, they really want to know where they can get a great meal in the city.
Today, I grant them that wish.
The other day, during the lull in the office between the holidays, I ventured out to Chinatown for lunch with a colleague. With it being the holiday season, Chinatown was bursting with tourists. My craving for dim sum brought me to my favorite Chinatown landmark but the hordes of people waiting outside for tables led me to search for a new place to dine with 45 precious minutes remaining of my lunch hour.
A few steps over on this awkward and very small street in Chinatown I came across Excellent Pork Chop House. It had been bookmarked on my yelp account for almost a year and while I always had it in the back of my mind, now was good a time as any since it was right in front of me in a time of need.
This place is not fancy.
It’s kind of dingy actually. But to me, it has personality. It wasn’t totally empty. The people that were dining seemed happy. The place smelled great. Like pork chops. (for obvious reasons). Me and my guest seated ourselves and were given photo albums by a smiley older woman. I am pretty good at navigating menus but I loved the idea of this photo album. It took away the uneasiness, especially for my guest, of ordering from a new place. With the photo album depicting every item on their menu, I had a better idea of what I was in the mood for.
One thing that is blatantly clear when you are dining at Excellent Pork Chop House is their unabashed use of MSG. Those three infamous letters are everywhere on the menus, just in case you missed it. MSG gets a bad rap. Personally, I don’t mind it. Its purpose in food is to enhance the flavor.
So, after being notified of the addition of MSG, I continued to browse through the album and then I spotted it.
Pork Chop and lo mein.
The photo made it look so appetizing. And this lo mein was unlike any I have tried before. The noodles tasted hand pulled. They were fresh tasting and were tender and not too chewy. They were not greasy. They were savory with crumbled pork and fermented greens on top. The combination was hefty for a measly $5.25.
The pork chop was fried but was not dry. It was one of the best tasting pork chops I have had outside of moms house. I loved the combination of the greens and savory pork with the noodles. I probably shouldn’t have, but I ate the entire thing.
My guest ordered the house made wonton soup. A fresh and clean tasting broth with plump little dumplings floating around made for a delectable and light lunch for $4.
We made note to come back.
The service isn’t top notch. But the staff are not rude. If you need something, a simple wave of your hand or a nod in their direction ought to do it.
This place is cash only. But with lunch for two costing less than $10… you read that right…. this is a place you really need to try.
I have since been back several times. Even once for dinner. Sometimes you just need a bowl full of noodles.
Oh, and you have the option of ordering pork chops a la carte. $2.50 a pop.