Long’s Noodle House has been on my “hit-list” for far too long. It’s a tiny, easy to miss spot on Main St. between 32nd and 33rd with a great reputation for their Shanghainese cuisine.
We arrived during the noon-hour on a Monday. The restaurant was about half full. Before too long, it was packed. Our friendly server/owner, Sandy, was running the floor single-handedly. When I told her we were going to order about ten dishes, she didn’t bat an eye or even grab a pad of paper. As I reeled off our choices, she simply tapped a fingertip for each one. Amazing, really.
Our first dish is a must-order here. The Wine Chicken is served at room-temp in a beautiful ceramic crock. Chicken legs are poached in Shaoxing wine, broth, pepper, ginger and a bit of sugar. A great display of simplicity.
I’ve always wondered what, exactly, is the difference between a shawarma, a donair and a gyro. It turns out, not much. All three terms refer to “turning” or “rotating” spits of meats. Trencher Man summed it up nicely in a forum on chow.com. There are, however, variations in sauces used. Gyros, typically have tzatziki. Donairs may come with a creamy, garlic sauce. Shawarmas may be laced with tahini. Recently, I checked out Abdul BBQ for his version of Lamb Shawarma.
Abdul, the affable owner is also its only employee, as far as I can tell. After many visits over the years, I’ve yet to see anyone else helping out. It’s quite a busy shop with a steady stream of regular clientele.
This is a man who takes great pride in his work. It’s probably more to do with him being the owner…not a hired hand on minimum wage that has no real stake in the business. You can see the result not only in his food but the general cleaniness of the establishment.