Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA, 88 East Broadway (near Forsyth Street), ChinatownFinding places in Chinatown is really difficult. The winding streets and unmarked doors create a confusing system for finding a new restaurant. The address for Taste of Northern China is on East Broadway, but the entrance is actually on Forsyth Street. The sign reads “China Local Cuisine,” but the menu calls it Taste of Northern China. It’s kind of fun, like a scavenger hunt, and when you finally find what you’re looking for, the rewards are plentiful.

This new storefront under the Manhattan Bridge is run by a woman who also operates a skewer cart uptown and specializes in dishes from central and northern China, especially cumin-laced skewers. I’ve seen these meat sticks from carts in both Manhattan and Flushing and the most common are squid, lamb, and other meats. Here, the list goes on and on and even has some surprises like cauliflower and corn on the cob.

One skewer that many people rave about (including the NY Times) is the griddle pancake. I’d probably skip right over it normally on the list, but my interest was piqued.

And while the chewy squid, crisp fatty lamb, and smoky cauliflower were all superb, nothing beat this pancake on a stick.

Griddle Pancake at TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA

Playfully presented on two sticks (also because it makes it easier to cook the bread over the charcoals), the pancake is like a dense Naan bread, slightly doughy and enhanced by its grilled exterior and seasoned with the same spice mixture the others get. While cumin, chile, and salt are obvious for meat and vegetables, it works even better on this pancake.

Each bite was warm and crisp with lots of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. I could have just ordered three more of these.

If nothing else, this pancake on a stick makes Taste of Northern China (or whatever it’s called) worth searching for.

TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA
88 East Broadway, #106
(entrance on Forsyth Street),
Chinatown
(917) 302-8831
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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