Hand Drawn Noodles

June 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

It ain't a pretty scene, but it was damn good eating. Thank you Israel for Michael Solomonov.

Last week was all about Philadelphia, and its last impressions — a new taste of Israel and Chinatown’s hand drawn noodles.  I was there with Chef for two events, and true to form, we followed our noses to eat good food off the clock. In early May, we had booked dinner at Zahav (‘gold’ in Hebrew) immediately after Michael Solomonov won Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. After meeting him on his home turf, he insisted we change our reservation for later Thursday evening so he could be there. So at 9:30 we arrived to Society Hill in a light drizzle to drink Israeli sauvignon blanc and feast on salatim (a rainbow of small salads and pickled vegetables,) mina (beef brisket with crisp matzoh and coffee,) and the chef’s fall-off-the-bone lamb shoulder. The meat was tender and juicy, lacquered with pomegranate glaze and slow roasted whole for three days until it was rested atop crispy Lebanese rice dotted with nutty chick peas for us to devour.  And then Solomonov really did it. I’m not speaking of the other dishes paraded out of the kitchen nor of the genuine hospitality that had Arak (an anise flavored aperitif not unlike ouzo) flowing over ice-filled glasses in front of us. Though these gestures were beyond generous and appreciated, it was his recommendation for lunch before leaving the following day that really did us in, in the best of possible ways. With hot chili oil, pig ears, and hand drawn noodles! We were to head to 9th and Race to find it, although he couldn’t remember the name of the noodle shop. So the next morning, luggage safely in hotel storage, we set out due northeast following Solomonov’s trail of crumbs. They led to Zan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House and this awesome, humble lunch.

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