Okay after Very Fresh Noodles the other day the craving came back pretty fast. Instead of going back, I thought I’d go down the street to the newer Chelsea location of Xi’an Famous Foods.
Got the lamb noodles and a pork burger.
It was, unsurprisingly, delicious. As good as I remember.
So now let me do a biang biang esque pull and try to connect this to creative work.
- Help your audience pick: There are a couple pages posted up alongside the menu. I remember one from the first time I went to the St. Marks location: eat take out orders fast or the noodles stick together. At this location one page had a disclaimer about spiciness. The owner would order it spicy, otherwise he finds it too bland.
- Compromise, sometimes: Now, there’s a story Seth Godin tells where David Chang allowed customizations at Momofuku when Godin went in the early days. Then one day it was, nope, no customization you’ll have to go elsewhere. And in not compromising, he became a creative success. It’s a good story. It’s also not a black and white world. Sometimes it’s worth following the data. Someone spreads the word by bringing a friend in, but their friend doesn’t handle spicy well. The mild option helps in that situation.
- Treat your team well: No tips signals that employees probably get paid a good wage. And the owner responds to reviews, defending his workers if they’re accused of some kind of devious intent. While it might be breaking the “customer is always right” idea, his team must appreciate that support. Good for the long game.
I’m writing this at the end of my week in Manhattan. I might write a couple more: Katz’s, Minetta Tavern. But for now I’m very, very full.
(P.S. for my Road to 159 audience, dry lamb noodles are 1000 cals. Well worth it.)