Wednesday, December 28, 2011

China Boy - Gallery Place

China Boy is a small storefront that primarily sells store made "chow foon," a broad, rice noodle, but also serves various soups, stir-fries, and crepe dishes, all of which feature their chow foon.

The store is primarily a carryout with only one table available to sit in. The interior is quite spartan and most of the people who came in while I was there had no interest in tarrying. I also noticed that the vast majority of people came in and ordered the chow foon plain, presumably to use in their own dishes at home.

I ordered a tripe noodle soup and a noodle crepe dish with dried shrimp. The tripe noodle soup was hearty, rich, and beefy. It was perfect for a cold winter's night. The tripe was tender and just chewy enough without being overwhelming offalish on the palate. The only drawback, to be honest, was the chow foon. Now, the chow foon itself was delicious, but I guess I don't much care for it in soup. I simply prefer thinner noodles with a little more bite to them. But, YMMV, as always.

The crepe dish, again featuring the chow foon, was more to my liking. The chow foon gently draped the dried, preserved shrimp, framing the briny, saltiness of shrimp in a billowing cushion of soft, chewy noodle. Some soy-based sauce and chili oil really made the dish sing. I would definitetly recommend this dish.

The woman at the counter was a little brusque, but I did get there near closing (they close around 5:00 pm). However, we conversed and she was surprised I was not Chinese since I ordered the tripe dish and visibly enjoyed it. And, I learned that, apparently, there are more than one type of tripe. The tripe she uses is only suitable for soups (and costs around $2.99/lb.) while a more expensive type of tripe can be deep fried and made crispy (something I had while eating at Ripple in Cleveland Park and costs about $5.99/lb.). You learn something new everyday!

So, if you want a crash course on offal with a side of chow foon, stop on by China Boy.

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