Written by Brian Bergey
It’s Saturday morning and you are moving a bit slow due to a few too many Hans the night before. All you can think about is your favorite breakfast bap, complete with a greasy fried egg and hash browns. And then you remember that you’re in Xi’an where that kind of thing doesn’t exist right around the corner…until you visit this shop that uses physics and fire to create the best sandwich you’ll have in Xi’an. Here’s why it’s the best:
The Bread: When you enter the shop, look straight toward the back to find a few guys kneading and rolling fresh dough. After forming the dough into round pieces, they reach their arms far inside a small metal fireplace made of what looks like an old rusty barrel. Steaming with hot flames and coals, they slap the dough onto the roof where it magically sticks. While it bakes, the outside turns a perfect golden brown while the inside is flaky and moist. What really makes this bread incredible are the sesame seeds that are toasted while the break bakes, along with the cumin, fennel and anise sprinkled throughout the dough. You’ll walk away with a dozen of them after you finish your sandwich and use them to make burgers for dinner.
The Toppings: Once they tear the steaming bread in half, the first thing that goes inside is an egg boiled in a spicy broth along with long shreds of tofu skin. The drops of broth soak into the bread to substitute for any type of sauce you could want. You’ll then choose amongst a wide selection of toppings prepared fresh and full of flavor. Our favorites include shredded potato, rice noodles, homemade chunky chili sauce, and roasted peanuts for crunch. By the time it’s packed full, you won’t be able to fit it in your mouth.
The Location: This place is hidden amongst the small alleys within the city wall. Use the directions on this page to find where it is, and then take all of your friends and visitors to impress them with this hidden gem that defies science while creating the perfect sandwich.
Or you and your visitors can join a Lost Plate Food Tour and find places like this and many others from the comfort of your own private tuktuk!
What You Need to Know:
Address: 西安市碑林区玄风桥南巷 (Xuan Feng Qiao Nan Xi’ang)
Directions: From Dong Da Jie (East Street) east of the bell tower, turn south on Xuan Feng Qiao Alley. You will pass San Dao Xi’ang and then look for a small shop on your right with a blue signboard. The name of the shop is 清真 高炉烧饼 (Qing Zhen Gao Lu Shao Bing).
Brian is from the US and has lived all over the world finding good food and adventure everywhere he lives. In Xi’an he works for an American software company and co-owns Lost Plate Food Tours, a tour company aimed at introducing foreigners to the best local food in the city. To find out more about their tours, check out www.lostplate.com or email email@example.com.