Head to Bensonhurst for Dirt-Cheap Hand-Pulled Noodles
House special combo ($7.50)
All photos Sara Ventiera for the Village Voice
NYC has a million options for cheap Chinese — one could find a decent bowl of noodles or dumplings on nearly any block in some neighborhoods. But few inexpensive noodles are as inspiring as those found at Hand Pull Noodle & Dumpling House (7201 18th Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-232-6191) in Bensonhurst, where you'll find an excellent assortment of fare for well under $10.
The nondescript storefront serves just under 50 different options of its specialty, and prices are capped at $7.95. There are vegetarian selections, like mixed vegetables with fried hand-pulled noodle ($7.50). Seafood is spread throughout, with choices ranging from shrimp to fish balls. And there are more meat-filled dishes than one could imagine; the shop even offers a spicy special Buffalo wing with fried noodles — in case you're looking for a fusion Super Bowl celebration, perhaps.
If you're OK with chewing on some offal, go for the house special combo. For $7.50, the soup is filled with al dente noodles, beef, beef tripe, beef tendon, pork chop, and egg. The flavorful broth isn't gamy, just savory, but it benefits from the condiments supplied. The shop offers soy sauce, vinegar, chile paste, and chile oil. Go for the oil; it has the perfect amount of heat and depth.
Steamed dumplings, $4.50
The shredded chicken with black bean sauce over fried hand-pulled noodles is a great alternative for those who can't stomach the innards. A heaping portion of noodles, chicken, peppers, carrots, and onions are tossed in the slightly sweet and salty sauce for $6.25. A larger portion is offered for $7.95.
While the namesake dish is enough to sate even the largest appetites, the dumplings here are a worthy addition. Filled with superbly seasoned pork, they come fried or steamed for $4.50, unless you happen to hit the place during happy hour: Monday through Friday, from 4 to 6 p.m., an order of eight sells for just $2.99.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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