We have a favorite noodle place in our town. It's in the heart of Chinatown. Here in Seattle we refer to it as "The International District" because, hey, we're a very open-minded, inclusive, and precise bunch, but let's get down to brass Buddhas: on the corner of Maynard and Weller there's a little place called Hing Loon, and it's in Chinatown!
Why we love Hing Loon:
1. Do you see these pictures? Can you imagine getting away with this kind of high jinx at Chinoise!!? The Hing Loon ladies let our kids (1) squeal, (2) spar, (3) whine, (4) spill stuff, (5) fight over who gets to sit next to mama, and (6) slurp very audibly.
2. When I walk in, I'm not in my world anymore; I am in China, or, having never been to China, something akin to the little family street restaurants I hung out in when I visited Thailand in the early 1990s. Chinese characters cover the walls. Buddha and his altar stand ready to welcome us in from the cold. And Ms. Hoola Dancer hoolas away next to the register, her tan bum sticking out of her little grass skirt. Soup's on!
3. Once you taste said soup (I would suggest the rice noodles with dumpling) you will cease to require further explanation.
4. We laugh, we splurp, we tell the owner that her restaurant is the standard by which all Chinese restaurants are held ("This isn't anything like Hing Loon!" my son will loudly protest without hesitation at a sub-par noodle joint).
5. We sup until we are too full to move, and the check arrives. Dinner for 4 is under $20. Hing Looooooooooooon!