Xi’an Famous Foods, originally a treasure from the Golden Shopping Mall in Flushing, Queens, is expanding further still with the launch of an eighth location at 648 Manhattan Avenue, the former home of Polska Ksiegarnia Polish bookstore.
Brought to the spotlight on Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations in 2006, the fledgling food stall based in the basement at the Golden Shopping Mall has since expanded to two locations in Queens, one location in East Williamsburg, and four locations in Manhattan including the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Midtown, the Upper West Side. A new location on the Upper East Side is set to open as well.
Lunchtime lines at the midtown location often stretch around the block, last 30 minutes or longer, and stay strong even after the traditional lunchtime period ends at 3 p.m.
Xi’an Famous Foods started as a bubble tea shop in 2005 in Flushing, created by David Shi, who had moved from Xi’an, in Western China, in the late 1990s. Shi began selling specialties from his hometown – lamb dumplings, buckwheat cold noodles and cumin-spiced lamb burgers – on the side.
Once he was featured on Bourdain’s show, however, Shi never looked back. Collaborating with his son, Jason Wang, who had moved to the States, earlier than his parents, to pursue a degree in Business Studies, the family behind Xi’an Famous Foods has seen their business become one of New York’s most unique culinary experiences. Much of Xi’an’s cuisine comes Shi’s birthplace, and is based on Wang’s grandfather’s recipes.
The street-food style specialties are priced for the thrifty, with most items costing under $10 and the popular lamb burgers selling for as low as $3.
The new Manhattan Avenue location will be approximately 900 square feet inside with a 600 square foot back yard.
A date for the opening is as yet undecided.
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