What do we do when we find a hole-in-the-wall Chinatown treasure? We write about it so freaking much that I have to wait for 45 minutes on the street on a summer night to get to a ramshackle table with my BYOB beers and order dinner.
And yet, I get the irony. I'm part of the problem.
That said, Spicy Village, a dingy Henan spot in Manhattan's Chinatown, is already firmly on foodies' radar screens. But word has unfortunately spread further than necessary, as evidenced by the suburban neophyte diners to our left who were scared of most of the ingredients on the menu.
Thankfully, I was with a Chinatown pro (aka a Manhattan-raised Judaic pal) and he knew that we not only needed to order the Spicy Big Tray Chicken, but had the foresight to request "more noodles" to soak up the dish's deeply satisfying, tongue-tingling chili oil sauce and juices when we were starting to run low.
So, tomorrow I'm headed to Jackson Heights for a bit of a food crawl. My mission - not to say a word about the undiscovered momo counter I'm hoping to discover. Sometimes a well-kept secret is a food lover's best friend.