Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fresh hand pulled noodles at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe

The typical weekend brunch for the Mo and I usually involves some type of noodles whether I make Phad Thai or "mee cha" at home or we dine out at one of the many Cambodian or Vietnamese restaurants a stone's throw away.  Some days it's pho and others we crave mee kathung.  If it's Chinese dim sum we are indulging in, we never fail to get the shrimp rice noodle roll.

This Sunday, the Mo suggested we try something different.  He wanted to go to Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Chelmsford.  We pulled up to a small hole in the wall-
type place on Littleton Street where the parking lot was nearly full.

As we walked into the small restaurant, I felt like I was stepping into a Chinatown eatery that had 8 small tables of Chinese families enjoying their meal.  The menu on the wall display was limited, specializing in noodles and offering a couple of sandwiches and sides.

#1 Beef Flatbread Sandwich  $4.00
#3 Pork Flatbread Sandwich  $4.00

#2 Lamb Hand-pulled  Noodle Soup $ 11.00
#7 Lamb Stew  $ 11.00

#5 House Noodle Soup     $ 5.50
#4 Handpulled Noodles     $ 6.00
#8 Xi'an Cold Noodles      $ 8.00
#9 Cumin Lamb Hand Pulled Noodles $ 8.40
# 6 Xi'an Chilled Noodles $ 4.50 (Weekend only)

They also had a small offering of Chinese appetizers including chicken fingers, wings, crab rangoon etc between $ 3.00-4.00.

We got there a little after 1:30 PM and the Xi'an Chilled Noodles were already sold out.  Gene, the owner took our order and gave us a receipt with order number.  This is a cash only establishment.

Our order included a lamp skewer, beef and pork flatbread sandwich, hand-pulled noodles and a house noodle soup and two drinks for about $ 28.00.  Once our order was submitted, the kitchen staff got started on the noodles.  We were advised that all noodles are made to order.  Each batch of noodles are hand pulled at the time of the order only and not pre-made.

After a short 5 minute wait, our number was called to pick up our red tray with steaming bowls of noodles and a bread basket.  The lamb skewer was full of flavor but a bit on the dry side.

The sandwiches were perfectly toasted on a slightly sweet roll.  The sandwich rolls were soft with a nice outer crisp and the meat fillings were generous.  The Mo liked the beef sandwich with all the vegetable fixings, similar to one found on a Italian sausage.  I preferred the pulled pork sandwich that had tender chunks of pork shoulder.

Using my chopsticks, I stirred all the ingredients in the House pulled noodles to combine all the flavors and ingredients.  There was chopped cilantro, chili powder, garlic, oil and I added the chili paste condiment as well.  The flavors was tantalizing; tangy and spicy.  The texture of noodles was reminiscent of a peking ravioli wrapper.  I realized then that it was a vegetarian dish but the flavors and textures was so satisfying that I didn't miss the meat at all.

The Mo liked his House Noodle Soup.

It was a great meal and I was happy that we found a new place for weekend brunch.

You might also like: Lin Garden Weekend Dim Sum in Dracut
Lin Garden weekend Dim Sum in Dracut

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