NYC Chinese Food: $3 Scallion Pancakes Steal The Spotlight at Mee Noodle Shop

Date January 21, 2009

We came for the noodle soup, we left praising the scallion pancakes.  Mee Noodle Shop on 2nd Avenue near 30th street may have the best prices outside of Chinatown, but at this meal neither noodle soup with meat dumplings or General Tso’s chicken beat the heaping $3 pile of greasy, flaky and freshly fried scallion pancakes.  Read on for more scallion pancake porn and to find out why the noodles and General Tso’s fell short…


Scallion Pancakes ($3.00)

There’s only two ways to mess up scallion pancakes: overfry or underfry.  The best kind are greasy with crispy edges that reveal thin, silky layers of dough embedded with chopped scallion.  I’ll admit Mee Noodle’s pancakes weren’t perfect, exhibiting a slightly gummy consistency, but compared to the rest of the meal, this was the best move.


The pulled apart pancake below is a testament to the delicacy of each layer of dough and the crisp nature of the outside pieces.  It tastes even better when soaked in the accompanying sauce, which is similar to dumpling sauce.


Mandarin Noodle Soup with Steamed Meat Dumplings ($5.45)

A soup is only as good as its broth and this version resembled a bland, watery attempt at miso soup.  You can choose from seven types of noodles but I would pass on the Mandarin seen below, they are starchy and didn’t taste fresh.


The dough of the four steamed meat dumplings was a little gummy, but overall the dumplings were tasty and provided the only redeeming quality of this soup.


General Tso’s Chicken, White Meat Requested ($10.90)

Whenever I order a chicken dish at a Chinese restaurant, I’ll always pay a little more to receive a dish of only white meat.  If I’m eating fried chicken or roasted chicken, the dark meat is always a more flavorful option, but in the case of Chinese food, I find you get better quality chicken by opting for white meat.  Instead of empty scraps of fried cartilage and skin you get nice chunks of identifiable chicken. Unfortunately, requesting white meat didn’t save this dish.  The chicken was fresh and crisped nicely on the outside but the sauce was sweet and devoid of spice not contributed by the accompanying chili peppers.


So Why Return to Mee Noodle Shop?

  • For starters, the prices.  There are few, if any dishes, over $15.  And there’s a “special platters” section offered any time for eat in or take out and every dish is just $5.45.  Dishes include Chicken & Garlic Sauce over rice, Chicken or Beef & Broccoli and Double Sauteed Pork over rice.
  • One dish I’d consider ordering upon returning was the Sizzling Shrimp Platter I saw at another table.  It resembled sizzling fajitas and smelled delicious due to the sliced onion also sizzling in the skillet.  You can also get a this with beef, tofu, mixed seafood, and red snapper.
  • Another reason to return is that the restaurant offers a full sushi menu in addition to its offerings of noodle soups, sliced meats and traditional Cantonese dishes.

img_0139Mee Noodle Shop & Grill (Menu)

547 2nd Ave b/t 30th street & 31st street
New York, NY 10016
Hours: 11AM – 11PM