dessert truck is back (sorta) & lamb burgers

First, thanks to Serious Eats for the shout-outs on their NYC page and Hamburger page for my review of Mikey’s. I got about a gagillion page views as a result, and that’s always nice. A friend encouraged me last week to do more restaurant reviews on my blog, and even though my followers don’t comment very much on those posts, they’re a lot of fun to write. Plus, I was feeling kinda down today, so I went on a mad, crazy romp around town to check out some new stuff. I started off with a trip to the Bronx, but more about that some other time. When I clicked back to Serious Eats to see the links to my blog, I noticed this piece about Dessert Truck opening up a permanent spot on Clinton Street. Yeow!

I was such a huge fan of Dessert Truck, dating back to when they were still on University Place. When they disappeared from Third Avenue forever, I was very unhappy and perplexed. I’m so excited about the new retail spot on Clinton Street. Yeah, they have seats. And I have to say, I think the desserts are even better now. You just can’t beat a real kitchen. This is the warm molten chocolate cake with olive oil ganache and hazelnuts. I’ve had “molten” cakes before, but not like this. It was oozing with chocolate gooeyness inside, and the chocolate was bitter and lightly sweet, just the way I like it. I think I ate this in three bites. Let me know if an apartment opens up on Clinton Street, because I’m gonna need easier access to this new spot.

I also read on Serious Eats about Xi’an from Flushing opening up a Manhattan branch. Yes, the address is 88 East Broadway, but don’t make the same mistake I did and wander around the inside of the shopping mall under the bridge. The storefront is outside on Forsyth Street. Lucky for me I met a cool couple inside the mall also looking for Xi’an, and they were smart enough to ask for help. (I usually just stand there when I’m lost…)

I think the memo got out about Xi’an. The line is long, and the service is slow, but that’s a good thing because every order is prepared with care. Forget about seating, by the way. And I like this photo because there is a guy there looking at me like “you are not taking a photo of me, are you???” Oops, sorry.

A trip to Xi’an would not be complete without trying the “burgers.” I know, they don’t look like burgers, but that’s what they call them. I got the Savory Cumin Lamb. (By the way, after you spend 5 minutes inside Xi’an waiting for your order, you will smell like cumin all day long, trust me.) This thing is a must-try — zesty, aromatic, meaty. I can’t wait to try the pork next time. You shoulda seen the people staring at me while I tried to take a photo of this burger on the street. Yeah, I’m a food dork. P.S. The lamb burger costs $2.50.

My to-go containers turned into something of a disaster as I walked away, and there was no way I was gonna be able to eat the noodle dishes until I got home. So I hurried back and tossed them into some bowls to photograph, I mean eat. This is the Stir-Fried Cold Skin Noodles. Unless I’m losing my mind, it has chunks of bread in it.

And that’s the Mount Qi Pork Hand-Pulled Noodles. I’m in a bit of a noodle haze now… the flavors were good, but it’s really about the noodle texture. This place is for noodle maniacs. If you love spicy, hearty noodle dishes that bite you back, then definitely try Xi’an. It’s famous for good reason.

18 thoughts on “dessert truck is back (sorta) & lamb burgers

  1. Love reading about your restaurant reviews. 🙂 Although I don't live in NY but this would be a great info when I finally get to go visit there. 🙂 Dessert truck sounds nice, too. 🙂

  2. LOL – about trying to take a pic of the lamb burger on the street. Yes, I'm a food dork too 😀 Looks like some wonderful places to eat.

  3. sook: hopefully you'll make it here to try out some of the spots i've reviewed. definitely put the dessert truck shop on the list.lpr: right, especially on the weekends. Yesterday wasn't too cold, fortunately. And ha, good, it's not only me.

  4. Now you've done it – I am missing NYC.No food trucks in the twin Cities. They'd all slip down the icy roads these days. But compiling a list for when I drop by this summer. Trying to see how I can fit it all in.

  5. ha! you're not a food dork you're a foodie!! big difference. and yes I agree you should do more restaurant/diners/dives reviews….you live in the best place for we need more foodporn photos. LOL!and more video's LOL! (had to get that one in there)

  6. claudia: i'm surprised there aren't food trucks around there (except of course for the cold). and technically i'm from queens too, so i'm allowed to pick on it!mary: that's sweet, thanksdawn: ha, okay, videos are interesting to make. i'll keep that in mind.

  7. Lamb's the best. Here in KL, Malaysia, there is one burger joint we love called the Daily Grind. Everything is homemade, even the ginger and root beers. they only have one Lamb burger here, called 'Lamburgherni'. Heaven on earth with all the sauces oozing out as you take a huge bite! I love the restaurant reviews… keep it coming! I would definitely visit these places when I go to NY /NJ one day!

  8. I'm always taking pictures of food in the market or on my plate in a restaurant. I'm beginning to get used to the looks and if anyone actually bothers to ask what I'm doing, I give them my card. Networking lead-in. Yay! Those lamb burgers look amazing, especially for the price. Way different from the lamb burgers I was stuck eating as a child. (We raised sheep). There was lamb in abudance in my mom's kitchen and not always well prepared. : ( Love the noodle pics and descriptions too. I totally enjoy stopping by here.

  9. sarclover: wow, a malaysian burger joint? that sounds awesome. love the burger name… i wonder if a place like this would be a disappointment by comparison, like trying pizza in italy and then coming to new york?krista: well, taking photos of desserts in that dessert truck place was almost normal — at least 2 other people were doing it at the same time, because the place had been open for 1 day. Taking photos in NYC's chinatown is a little different, unless you're just a tourist taking photos of the sites. anyway, thanks for the support.

  10. Justin, I guess I was wary about the joint at first, because to be honest, I stay away from any local outlets selling western food (Of any kind!!) because they, most of the time, disappoints. But I have to say, daily Grind had me sold! As Asian, we don't eat any meal of huge servings, and these guys prepare pretty big servings. Ah well, but yes… I am sure maybe if I go to NY and had burgers over there, I might stop eating burgers altogether in Malaysia! :)… google 'Ramly Burger'… these are truly Malaysian burgers… ;).. tell me what you think why doncha?

  11. sarclover: hmm, that ramly burger, in terms of the bun and topping, looks like a normal american burger. but i can't tell what the pattie is made of. the lamb burgers in my post are obviously quite different. the meat is chopped up bits, just sort of smashed together right before placing inside the bun, but still quite loose. and the bun isn't american-style at all. it's a kind of bread that you see all over chinatown, and it's used for different purposes. as for regular burgers, nyc has some really great places for that, like my post before this one about mikey's burgers.

  12. Making lamb burgers tonight. You make me jealous for living in NYC. Those look fantastic! And thanks for letting all of us know we're not alone in being weirdos who photograph their food on the street! 😉

  13. Ramly burgers are basically greasier than your normal burger. loads of chilli sauce.. nooooo ketchup. loads of Mayo (this part I hate) and the patty is different than your standard patty. I cant describe here, but I have expat friends who tried it and they either love it or hate it. To be honest with you, the lamb burger in the picture looked more like pita kebabs to me. That's definitely what people here would call it. but its yummy. 🙂

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