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Deep Ellum needed something like this. Monkey King Noodle Co. is an off-the-beaten-path Chinese street-food restaurant that brings big flavors on the cheap. The spicy beef noodle soup is exceptional and by far the best way to get to know the Monkey King’s handcrafted noodles. A subtle version of dan-dan noodles isn’t that spicy, but the ladle of hot chicken broth dumped over the top will soothe you. Try the wontons to see the best of what the dumpling ladies are capable of. The tender, pork-stuffed wrappers are dressed in chile oil that smacks of vinegar. They’re at once bright and spicy. Or get the pouty soup dumplings, which explode with broth when you take a bite, or the regular pork dumplings, which seem almost as juicy. Even the vegetarian dumplings, loaded with finely minced mushrooms, are surprisingly flavorful. Vegetarians should also take notice of the noodles dressed in a slightly fermented bean paste, with potatoes and fresh, julienned cucumber. Omnivores should take notice, too.


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