Ed. Note: Our new neighborhood is so riddled with crazy inexpensive lunches that we've decided to try out as many as we can. Our lunch today could be your lunch tomorrow.
No sooner did we move to Grand Street than Xi'an Famous Foods opened their newest storefront just a few blocks away. And while we would've gone to their East Broadway location anyway, we like to think it's a sign of good favor.
The Spicy and Tingly Lamb Face Salad ($9.75) may not be the cheapest lunch we've featured thus far, but given that it could easily feed two (especially if you throw in a $2.50 pork burger), I'm not complaining. It's also just about the greatest name for a dish I've ever heard. It's a joyful tangle of cucumber and cilantro and Mung bean sprouts and celery with all sorts of shredded lamb meat that, yes, comes from the face. But even less adventurous eaters will appreciate it; with some tendon, some muscle, it's all intensely lamb-y but not aggressively so. Tossed in their signature sauces, which bring a mouth-tingly richness to the dish, it's both main course and salad, virtuous and indulgent—a lunch special on one plate.