Dan dan noodles from Land of Plenty (204 East 58th Street, 212-308-8788), $4.95
If you’re addicted to the brain-altering heat of Szechuan peppers, you can feed your addiction for next to nothing at this Upper East Side garden level joint.
We’re fans of heat in our food, but we’ve never totally been on board with the idea of blasting all other flavors of a dish into the oblivion with an overpowering whiff of chilies. But when it comes to the Szechuan peppercorn, that Pacman-shaped husk that imparts a mouth-numbing sensation, we can’t get enough — and we’ll eat any dish that’s topped with them until our teeth vibrate. That’s why we love the dan dan noodles at Land of Plenty, a pile of pasta inundated with chili oil and smothered in peppercorns plus topped with pork for a little extra savory heft. It doesn’t take us long to slurp ourselves into a hallucinatory oblivion — and spend the rest of our meal tempering each bite with beer. This dish is listed in the appetizer section, by the way, but it’s substantial enough to constitute a full meal. If you’re totally famished, though, you could also add a $4.95 order of Szechuan pork dumplings.
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