Pig’s Ear, Chicken Feet, Tilapia, and Lo Mein from Tops Food Co (139 East Broadway, 212-566-0203)
Where to begin?
First off, this hot, heaping display only costs $5.25.
Second, and most important, this is by far one of the better meals we’ve had during this series.
The shredded pig’s ear — with just the perfect amount of cartilaginous crunch — comes tossed with halved peanuts in a light soy-based dressing. In an obvious nod to food of Fuzhou, the fantastically fatty chicken feet have been cooked in a pink, semi-sweet glaze that’s similar to the barbecue sauce used with roast pork. The tilapia, though simple, bursts with fresh flavor — perhaps on account of its no-frills prep.
And the noodles, mein godt, the noodles: This greasy bed of round, starchy strands comes packed with green onion and ginger and takes on the meats’ juices, making this savory staple outright masterful.