I've tried a few Chinese restaurants in the Boston area, and I wasn't really wowed by any of them. They're fine and would satisfy cravings, but there wasn't really many shops that specialize in any particular thing. But I kept reading about Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe, and I thought, this would be it. Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe, despite the name, really specializes in Xi'An style hand pulled noodles, also known as biang biang noodles.
The owner, Gene Wu, hand pulls the noodles every morning. There are a variety of noodle dishes you can try with the hand pulled noodles, but the crowd favorite seems to be the #9, served with cumin lamb. You'd also want to get a side of the cumin lamb skewer for $1.50 each.
The #9 dish consists of a base of chili oil, then hand pulled noodles, thin slices of cumin-seasoned lamb and topped with fresh bean sprouts, carrots, and cilantro.
The hand pulled noodles are thick and nicely chewy. The lamb was flavorful and the chili oil adequately spicy, but I still like having the extra flavor and meat from the side skewer order.
I also tried the pork flatbread sandwich. Be warned, it is quite oily, though the pork is tender. It's warm, pretty big and filling, though. For $4 it can work for a light lunch.
They have two locations: Chinatown and Woburn. I have not been to the Woburn location but the Chinatown one is conveniently steps away from both Downtown Crossing and Chinatown T stops.
Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe
86 Bedford Street
Boston, MA 02111