Xi'an Famous Foods got its start out in Flushing, a small stall in the Golden Mall basement serving the food of Xi'an, the capital of China's Shaanxi province. It's gained a cult following for its lamb burgers and hand-pulled noodles; this year, the father-and-son team opened their first more upscale restaurant. Aesthetically, Biang!—yes, the exclamation point is part of the name—could be straight out of Williamsburg. But the food is all its own, classics from Xi'an and a few more inventive dishes, but remarkably served at the same rock-bottom prices at their stalls.
Wang has managed to start franchising from a stand out of Flushing without compromise, without striking lamb face from the menu, without toning back the heat or upping the prices or changing what the stall has always done. And Biang! is proof that that concept can be taken one step further to a full-fledged restaurant.
Read more »
[Photograph: Robyn Lee]