Xi'an Sizzling WoksAddress:
902 Arch St.
Philadelphia , PA 19107
Neighborhood: Center City
Parking: Street and lot parking only.
Cuisine type: Chinese
Meals Served: Brunch Lunch
Style: Chinatown continues to evolve and diversify with the addition of this destination for the suddenly hot Silk Road flavors of Xi'an in western China. From spicy-sour, handmade noodles to cuminy lamb skewers, pita-scattered lamb soup, brimming hot pots, and muffinlike meat pockets, a whole repertoire of novel-to-Philly flavors perfume the air of this modest Arch Street nook.
Specialties: Xi'an liang; barbecue lamb with cumin; Xi'an pancake; scallion pancakes; chive pie; pita soaked in lamb-beef soup; Song Sao fish soup; pickled pepper wood ears; biang biang noodles with garlic sauce; sautéed spicy-chicken noodles; house-special casserole; special ma-la pot (with fish); Shanghai bok choy with soybeans (edamame); celery with dried bean curd; Chinese "hamburger" with cumin beef or spicy pork.
Alcohol: BYOB. With both heat and sour marking Xi'an cuisine, look for beers that are refreshing and complex - especially farmhouse-style beers inspired by Belgium. Baltimore's Stillwater Ales are among my current faves; seek out the canned Classique.
Weekend noise: So mellow at 80 decibels I could hear the crispy rice sizzle. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Entire menu Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until 10:30 p.m.