We've eaten three Fridays in a row at 86 Noodles, 8602 4th Ave at 86th St and 4th Ave (R train). It's diagonally across from one of our favorite Middle Eastern restaurants, Karam, but I'm assuming that everyone knows that one? If not, that's a post for another day.
Why is it so hard to find a good neighborhood Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn? I'm not sure, but we happened into this one quite by accident, and it has become a very pleasant little find.
Curry Beef Soup ($5.50) is a steamy, spicy, broth that screams "rainy January night" but works well in August too. Pork Chow Fun ($5.95) is a super tasty mixture of broad noodles and barbecued pork.. and even though it's too much food, it can't hurt to add some garlicky Chinese broccoli. Or some Spicy Cabbage and Shredded Pork with Noodle Soup. It all works well with a pot of hot, sugary Ginger Tea.
The place looks unassuming, and the menu looks like something from a typical take-out joint. Maybe we've just ordered well, but I have to say that 86 Noodle is as good as almost any Chinese we've had in the city, and it gets bonus points in our book for not being on Smith Street.
Finally, if this vaguely written explanation leaves you struggling to come up with a reason to head all the way down there, remember that you can bundle it with a shopping trip to Brooklyn's Century 21, which is half a block away.