Even if you’ve only been in the city for 5 years, it’s easy to see how quickly things can change. An overgrown elevated rail is suddenly the Highline, an empty lot becomes a towering condo building, and an old sandwich shop becomes a froyo joint. More often than not, the businesses that once occupied these spaces become little more than ghosts of retail past. So when the East Village’s Mee Noodle Shop burned down in 2006, only to be replaced by the ubiquitous Starbucks-and-condos combo, longtime customers bemoaned its passing. For the past 15 years, the nondescript eatery had provided savory sustenance to the neighborhood and garnered a steady local following.
Lucky for us, and the East Village, the story didn’t end there. Though they’d been absent for 7 years, the former owners of Mee Noodle Shop stumbled upon kismet in May of 2013. Birdbath Bakery was closing down over at 223 1st Avenue, just up the block from Mee’s former home. The building’s landlord happened to be a big fan, hungry for the restaurant’s triumphant return. The two parties quickly made an agreement, and the rest is nothin’ short of a noodle miracle. Today, Mee is back in its familiar stomping grounds, serving up plenty of old favorites. Behold, the main camps you’ll find on the new menu:
Similar in width and texture to the Italian-style linguine, these are a classic when paired with savory sauce, tender beef and ample veggies.
These are also akin to the Italian cousin, but made with spinach in the dough, giving it a nice green color and a reason to tell your doctor you are totally eating enough iron.
These guys have a rounded shape and a slight chew to them, not unlike spaghetti. Take a break from tomato sauce and get ‘em with baby shrimp or roast duck. Go crazy. Get ridiculously full. You’re welcome.
Thin Cantonese Noodles
Think of these as akin to an angel hair pasta. They’re narrow and pliant, so they’re excellent for absorbing all the sauces that you’d normally want to lick off your plate if you weren’t, you know, surrounded by other humans in a public eating establishment.
Also called mei fun, these tasty strands are a favorite in Southern China and Singapore. They’re similar in shape to the Cantonese Noodles (thin and round) but they’re made with rice.
For some reason, these suckers are just incredibly fun to eat. Though they’re also made with rice, like the Mee Fun, the Chow Fun are flat and wide with a softer texture, not unlike a delicate wonton wrapper.
A bit wider than the the “thin” variety, these are ideal for hot soups to cure what ails ya. Cantonese Wanton and Noodle Soup certainly makes us feel better about catching colds even when it’s 90 degrees out. It really isn’t fair to get sick in the summer, so ya gotta even the score, right?