I head to Thousand Tasty recently for some Shaanxi-style wheat treats. Their large selection of Chinese hamburgers (e.g., rou jia mo), pancakes, and hand-pulled noodles tempted me, but I only had stomach space for one dish and got the their lamb soup. It contains soft slices of lamb, wood ear, cabbage, lily buds, scallions, glass noodles, a savory milky broth, a little ginger, and your choice of wheat accompaniment.
The server said that the less traditional accompaniment was a pao bing, a layered pancake kind of like a green onion pancake. I went the more traditional route and got the “pita,” aka paomo, a big disc of bread that they chop up and put in the soup. The paomo is dense and resilient. It reminded me of the stirfried flower balls (chao ge da) at Beijing restaurant. I’ve read that pao mo is an ancestor of noodles, and it is tough to see why anyone would feel the need to invent something new – – the paomo both absorbs the flavors of the soup and retains its chewiness, even in my leftovers the next day.
50 Dixon Rd
Milpitas, CA 95035