One of my favorite little lunch spots is the Chinese deli hidden away inside United Noodles, the oriental market hidden away inside the Seward neighborhood in south Minneapolis.
There are only five tables, and no table service – you order at the counter, and bus your own dishes when you’re done. The menu is very limited – actually, there is no menu, just a few signs taped here and there, with some photos, plus the steam tables, where the foods aren’t labeled, but easy enough to figure out.
This is a different kind of Chinese food than you’ll find on most Chinese restaurant menus – even the more authentic places, like Mandarin Kitchen, or Grand Shanghai – it’s really more like Chinese home cooking, or Chinese street food. The last time I visited the choices included big chunks of stewed beef and radish, chopped pork with long bean, chicken with broccoli, and glistening red slabs of barbecued pork and glazed roast duck.
I usually go for the combo special – any three of the entrees, plus rice and tea for $6.99, but I have also enjoyed the Taiwan style beef noodle soup – stewed beef and fat noodles garnished with chopped green onions and cilantro.
The deli is going to close for remodeling sometime around July 15, and reopen a couple of weeks later with an expanded kitchen, including a grill for cooking American food. (“American food?” – “Like steak.” ) And eventually, they are also going to start serving shabu-shabu, a Japanese hot pot dish that’s a little like sukiyaki. But not in the summer – nobody eats shabu-shabu in the summer.
United Noodles, 2015 E. 24th St., in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. 612-721-6677.
Monday to Saturday: 9am – 7pm
Sunday: 9am – 6pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm