Back in October, I was heading down Buford Highway, looking for dinner, when I put “ramen” in Google maps. It led me to Lan Zhou Ramen. Lan Zhou shares a parking lot with both Chef Liu and Supermercado Chicago (home of fantastic tamales at the counter in the back – and the best fresh masa you can buy, that I know of). From the reviews that I’ve read on-line, they are not related to the Lan Zhou Restaurant located in the Chinatown mall food court. They both just reference the same place: Lan Zhou, the “noodle capitol” of China. Lan Zhou is known for their hand-pulled noodles.
The restaurant is large, by Buford Highway standards and likely seats more than 70. On my first visit, I ordered a spicy chicken soup with cut, as opposed to hand pulled ,noodles.
This bowl had more noodles than any other ramen place I’ve been to in town. The broth is rich and flavorful and that chili oil on top had quite a bite. On a second visit, I went with beef hand pulled noodles. Just as tasty.
Along the back wall is a window where you can watch the chefs hand pulling the noodles while you wait for your food – the window is lined with neon. You’re definitely watching the star of the kitchen. We’ve seen this before at Man Chun Hong. It’s like watching a pizza maker stretch his dough, as they roll it out and stretch and roll it out and stretch. But you get ramen when he’s done…