Doyers Street is one of my favorite streets in New York City, partially because it provides an unexpected pocket of grungy, quiet, deserted charm in the middle of Chinatown (as charming as Chinatown can be, at least), and because it's the location of Excellent Pork Chop House. It's so much easier to order food at a place you've never been before when they name themselves after their specialty.
Obviously, you have to go for the Taiwanese-style pork chop. A bowl of sweet, tender strips of pork served over rice with pickled mustard greens and bits of stewed pork (why shouldn't pork be garnished with more pork?) will only set you back $5, a bargain to experience the perfect combination of tart, crunchy mustard greens and sweet pork in every bite buffered by a clump of rice. You can also order the pork chop by itself or as a side to a bowl of noodle soup, but I think the rice bowl option works the best.
Other main dishes may be hit-or-miss. Wonton noodle soup topped with strips of dried seaweed, dried shrimp, and chopped scallions was satisfying, but curried chicken over rice didn't have much flavor. Since beef noodle soup is a popular Taiwanese dish, I'd want to taste their version during my next visit.
For a side dish, I love the marinated seaweed and dried bean curd. Dried bean curd is my favorite incarnation of coagulated soy milk—it's dense and slightly chewy, like a semi-flavorless fish cake without the springiness. The noodle-like slippery and crunchy seaweed strips provides contrasting textures to the bean curd, although on its own the seaweed's slimy nature can be off-putting. Either dish can be order on its own, but I think they go well together.
Excellent Pork Chop House
3 Doyers Street, New York, NY 10013 (map)
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