Thursday, May 27, 2004

Marco Polo Noodle Shop

94 Baxter St, 212-941-6679

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Cost per person: $7
"YGWYPF" factor: 9/10 (you get what you pay for)

Cheap, moderately fast, fresh - this low-profile, hole in the wall place on the border of Chinatown is my personal favorite to chow down a bowl of chow chow (sorry!). They make their own noodle, sometimes right in front of you.

Noodle soup comes with the choice of fresh made noodle (Lanchau) or regular noodle - make sure you choose the fresh one! My personal favorites in noodle soup: beef with Chinese mushrooms, mixed seafood, beef stew noodle soup - to name a few. You really can't go wrong with any of them - except maybe the three kinds of beef noodle soup - I didn't quite like the taste of stomachs and other strange parts.

If you are not into soups, or have been here several times already, I highly recommend the mini rice casseroles. My personal favorites - spare ribs in black bean sauce and beef with ginger and scallion. These take a little longer to cook- about 15 minutes - and are served in a sizzling bowl. The taste is sharper than the soups, and the rice crust tastes very unique.

Whatever you select, soup or casserole, make sure you add on the extra vegetable on the side, for an additional 50 cents. This option is written in the menu only in Chinese, so now you know.

I don't recommend the standard fare, like General Tso's and the rest - have never tried them here, since they are the same practically everywhere. Personally, I don't see why you would want to have any of the regular ones, when you can get selections here that are rarely available elsewhere.


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