Sunday, July 13, 2008

pork bone at Eastern Noodle

I was picking some stuff up near school around lunchtime and decided to stop into Eastern Noodle to try a new kind of Lanzhou noodle--the pork bone I had seen other patrons voraciously picking at before.

when I ordered it, the noodlepuller was like "what? pork BONE?" I guess he didn't want to scare me with the bone if I actually wanted neatly-cut-up pieces of juicy pork. no, I wanted the bone. okay.

the soup comes piled high with pork bones, all right. first thing I noticed was that it was a pork broth, not a beef broth, which was great! I had worried that they'd just be using the same broth. the pork broth was good in a very different way than the beef broth, lighter but still full of flavor...the noodles were good, of course. I thought the high point of the soup would be the pork bones themselves. each were split in half for easy marrow access (see picture) and I got at least two big femur bones and some smaller bones. there were even some pieces of pork and fat clinging to the bones (which I gnawed off).

however, the pork bone ended up not being the focal point of the meal. see, the marrow was delicious--I scraped it out with my chopstick and it was like foie gras, velvety and fatty and so deep with porkiness. however, I found I liked it better when I hollowed out the bones into the soup and ate big mouthfuls of broth and noodle and bok choy, with chunks of marrow mixed in to add flavor to the whole mouthful. the pork bone seems like the central feature of the meal because it's so huge and in your face, but I think it works better as an addition, with the noodles and broth at the center.

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