It was a quarter past noon. I had intentionally come out later than the normal lunch hour to avoid long lines - from bus stops to food stalls. But a restaurant in the Flatiron district was clearly still very busy at that hour, as the last person on queue was already standing a few steps outside the main door, texting to while away the waiting time.
I've heard good reviews about the place, and I wondered if joining the crowd was a good idea. The line seemed like it was moving almost as quickly as it formed, so I stood behind a middle-aged man with glasses. As the line moved forward, I looked around to see what everyone was having, as I tried to match the appearance of their food with the pictures on the large menu on the wall. Some lamb dish looked popular. Roughly half of the customers ordered some wide, irregularly shaped noodles. A couple paired their food with some ginger-colored juice. I decided on the non-spicy noodles (properly called the Liang Pi or cold skin noodles) and the berry-colored Hawthorn Tea.
The cold skin noodles was a simple dish with only sliced cucumbers, beansprouts, and soft gluten mixed in. It had an unusual vinegary taste, which I surprisingly loved. Noodle after noodle, I ate as if there was no tomorrow. I just couldn't get enough, but the bowl eventually became empty. I stared at it in despair.