If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve recently started to eat “clean-ish” on the weekdays. Wtf does clean-ish mean? Well, I this time around for me it’s a loose interpretation of Whole 30…except only during the week days. So Whole 5?
Lately I’ve been feeling a little more sluggish and bloated that usual and decided that I want to play around with my diet to see how different foods affect my body. Even though the mostly plant-based diet that I’ve been eating has nourished and sustained me through the warmer months of spring and summer, now that we’re approaching the throes of winter I’ve felt the needs of my body shift. I’ve been wanting to experiment with whole-30/paleo for a while, intrigued people claiming it’s helped them boost their energy levels and regulate the their body.
So here we are: for the last five days, I’ve been omitting grains/sugar/dairy/sugar/alcohol etc. and honestly, I feel… kind of the same but a little less tired and a little less bloated. I’m also surprisingly not hungry all the time like I thought I would be. I consider all of these to be successes.
The one thing I really did miss eating though, was a big bowl of chewy, carb-y noodles. If you know me, you’ll know that I fucking love noodles. A lot. So much so that I would probably eat a bowl of noodles in one form or another every day if it was socially acceptable. Enter: Send Noods, a series in which I’ll highlight some of my absolute favorite noodle strongholds around town (and there are a lot), as well as new discoveries in New York and beyond. It’s also kind of an excuse for me to force my family and friends to eat noodles with me all the time..not that I have much of a problem doing that already.
Lower East Side, Manhattan NY
When Friday finally rolled around after a full work week of eating “clean-ish”, the only thing on the brain was noodles and beer. Specifically, the sweet, silky, chewy hand-pulled noodles at Spicy Village on Forsyth street.
Spicy Village is hardly a secret. When we got there yesterday around 7:30, the shoe-box sized, hole-in-the-wall joint already had a small, but sizable, crowd of people milling about waiting for seats. Despite this, we only had to wait about a half an hour until the three of were able to grab a table…or well, part of one. When our names were called, the young waitress brusquely pulled a stool up to a four top, where we were crammed in with a duo already happily feasting on the eatery’s namesake big tray chicken (chunks of roughly chopped chicken thighs stewed with spices and numbing szechuan peppercorns) with a heaping side of noodles. No complaints here though, it’s worth it.
Protip: After you put your names down for a table, run to the bodega in the corner to pick up a six pack or two of Tsing Tao to wash down your noodles and dumplings with. Spicy Village is one of the rare, truly BYOB gems in Manhattan (no corkage fee, but there is $10/person food minimum).
The $10 a person minimum gets you very, very far here. Between the three of us, we ordered a side spicy cucumbers, pork dumplings and three bowls of hand-pulled noodles. Not excessive at all for three hungry gals. Each noodle was delicious. The beef noodle soup was soothing and comforting and brimming with pieces of brisket, just what we needed after standing outside in the cold. For my veggie friends out there, go for the spicy vegetable noodles: bok choy, sliced tofu and strands of seaweed are stir-fried with the rustic, hand-pulled noodles. It’s much more decadent than it sounds and so so good.
My absolute favorite dish here though, is the tomato and egg noodle. Tomato + egg might sound a little odd together, but it’s actually a classic Chinese (Cantonese) combination. Think of it as a tangy, egg-drop soup. Growing up, we always ate stir-fried tomato and egg over rice…but I’ve come to learn that it’s sooooooo much better over some chewy noodles. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of this one, because it was gone in two seconds flat before I could sneak a photo in.
Special mention also goes out to the pork dumplings. When you order them, make sure you get it with the soy scallion sauce. You’ll understand why when you taste them. The chili oil is also exceptionally good here. I’m not sure if it’s house made, but it’s damn good, so make sure you pile it on. It’s called Spicy Village for a reason, you know.
Spicy Village, 68 Forsyth St B, Lower East Side, Manhattan NY