Columbia University has many benefits to offer prospective students, but great Chinese food isn't one of them. So Wang Yuanzhen from Henan Province knew there'd be a ready clientele of hungry expats for Northwestern Famous, the food cart that he rolled out last fall outside the school's main gate.
His northwestern Chinese pork "burger" ($3) is tender and agreeably fatty, and his stew noodles ($5) hit the sweet spot between pan-fried and lo mein styles, HLing reports on Chowhound. Snacks like these, which draw crowds of regulars to Broadway and 116th, "made the little corner seem like China," she says. Next on her to-try list: soft bean curd and northern-style boiled dumplings.
Based in Flushing (as Eating in Translation reports), Northwestern Famous works its customary spot from midday till 8:30 p.m. or so. It's not quite worth a special trip to Morningside Heights, HLing adds, but "if you are a Columbia student homesick for Chinese food, you'll be happy you don't have to go all the way down to Chinatown."
Northwestern Famous [Morningside Heights]
Broadway near W. 116th Street, Manhattan
No phone available
Photo by Dave Cook / Eating in Translation