Best second act: Biang! (Xi’an Famous Foods)



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Sour and spicy pork noodles at Biang!

Sour and spicy pork noodles at Biang! Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

RECOMMENDED: Food & Drink Awards 2013

Other nominees: Hanjan (Danji), M. Wells Dinette (M. Wells), the Pines (Littleneck)

The best sophomore efforts are ones that surpass the original in scope, artistry and nerve—just look at The Godfather Part II, Led Zeppelin II and even Pride and Prejudice. Add this noodle-slurping spot to the list of fruitful follow-ups: After the debut of their still-stellar Xi’an Famous Foods—the Bourdain-approved Chinese chainlet born from Flushing’s ramshackle Golden Mall—father-son team David Shi and Jason Wang dodged the dreaded second-year slump with Biang! Their downtown-meets-Chinatown den pleases both Instagram-happy young’uns and Mandarin-fluent grannies, with Billyburg-mined trappings (exposed brick, Edison bulbs) that freshen up Xi’an crowd-pleasers (ragged-edged biang biang noodles, tangled with spicy-sour pork belly or stewed oxtail) and befit menu newbies like quail eggs sitting pretty atop teensy mantou toast. One thing’s for sure—that exclamation point at the end of the name is no accident. The joint’s the most exciting thing to come out of Flushing since, well, Xi’an. Biang!, 41-10 Main St between 41st Ave and 41st Rd, Flushing, Queens (718-888-7713,

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