Everyone's favorite noodle purveyor, Xi'an Famous Foods, is back at it — the newest location will open in midtown Manhattan on April 22.
The location at 24 W. 45th St.will have two kitchens, says owner Jason Wang, one for takeout and one for dining in. It's to anticipate the midtown craze, says Wang. "It’s reasonable to assume that it’s going to be busy at the peak hours so we want to make sure we can take care of that," he says. "Our other restaurants have that problem already, so in anticipation of the lunch rush in midtown, I thought we would need to have two kitchens." The grand opening is slated for April 22 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (details and coupon here).
While there won't be any new menu items (save for the recently-added spicy and sour dumplings), Wang says he's still experimenting with new recipes he discovered on his last trip to Xi'an. He may even be using the pizza oven left behind by the previous tenants (Karam Restaurant II, a falafel and Middle Eastern restaurant). "Even though it’s a pizza oven, I think we have things that can be made well in there," he says.
So what's next for the family-owned franchise of Xi'an Famous Foods — and will there be a second Biang! location? Wang says he's closing in on a location for Xi'an Famous Foods on the Upper West Side this week. "If all goes well, we are looking to open sometime in the summer," he says. "We’ll try our best." But as for the second Biang!, Wang says it won't happen. "Biang’s a one-time thing," he says. "Never say never, but Biang! is sort of our flagship store that’s unique. At this point we really just want to focus on Xi'an Famous Foods, it’s what we know how to do. It just makes sense to have that type of food where people can grab and go."