Just returned from a first-time lunch at Chanoodle after making a work visit to the NY Supreme Court. I barely squeaked in the door in time for the $4.50 lunch special, which includes hot and sour or wonton soup. I got the hot and sour along with crispy fried pork ribs. The pork ribs were greaslessly fried in a orangey-yellow batter that tasted familiar, but I couldn't remember what that familiar taste was and I don't know enough about Chinese food to guess. Kind of pakora-ish, but I don't know if chickpea flour would be a probability. Anyhow, it was a pleasant dish--mostly a texture experience, but an enjoyable one. Not much porky flavor, and the green chilies and scallions sprinkled on top didn't really impact things. If you try it, don't forget that these are ribs, so you don't freak out when you hit bone matter.
I also got the crispy fried clams, on the Times's recommendation, which as was noted there are not fried or crispy, but which come in their shells with crispy garlic slivers, bits of pork, and sprinkles of celery and scallion. The pork again played a minimal role flavor-wise, but it did provide a bit of chewier texture to contrast the silky clams and the crispy garlic. The garlic got rather tiresome and over-dominant after a while, but I'd still say it's a yummy dish over all.
The one downer was the hot and sour. It came lukewarm, and was standard except a bit of extra smokiness.
Still, the whole thing came to $10.60, so it was a very nice bang for the buck.
It's on 79 Mulberry, about halfway down to the east of Canal. (I think it was to the east; my directional sense is not good.)
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