If you're like me, having a salad for lunch tastes like defeat most of the time. I'll take green vegetables for lunch—even as my lunch—but I want them to have a little more heft than some waifish salad greens.
For times like these, the green beans ($6) at Big Wong King are not to be overlooked. They have the telltale wrinkles of dry frying, where beans are cooked in a shallow pool of hot oil for several minutes. Dry frying renders beans more tender than in-vogue "crisp-tender" preparations (i.e., half-raw), but it keeps their beany bite intact. At Big Wong King, they're dressed with a subtly sweet and plenty garlicky sauce, just oily enough to turn a pile of green beans into a meal.
The well-seasoned, intensely flavored pods are compulsively snackable. Order with a side of white rice to share with a friend over some tea—which is surprisingly better than you'd expect—and settle down for some people watching in this classically Chinatown spot.
Big Wong King
67 Mott Street (between Bayard and Canal; map)