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Monkey King Makes the Perfect Feel-Good Chicken Noodle Soup

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It's that time of year, when the sky clouds over, everything gets damp and everyone's immune systems start to fall apart. The clerks at CVS are fronting the NyQuil section every other hour, noses are red and taste buds are shot. It's inevitable that either you or someone you know will succumb to a cold, the flu or some other cold-weather funk, and when the sniffles commence and Kleenex becomes a commodity, the gift of soup can be a godsend.

If you know someone who's got the funk, you can be their savior. Show up on their doorstep with a steamy container of chicken noodle soup and you'll have someone in your back pocket should you fall ill yourself or ever need a ride to the airport. And the best place to pick up soup for delivery, should you find yourself in need, can be found in Deep Ellum at Monkey King Noodle Co.

For starters, not one operation in the Dallas area is better set up for selling soup on the go. The small restaurant is a takeout by design -- they were made for this stuff. But more important they've added chicken noodle soup to their offering since they opened last year, and nothing eradicates those cold weather blues better than warm chicken stock packed to the hilt with noodles.

For $8 you get a 32-ounce container filled just shy of the rim with an unapologetic and rustic meal. The soup is made from scratch and the nearly the whole bird ends up in the pot. There's chunks of hand-pulled flesh and the occasional bits of cartilage yielding a soup that's about texture as much is it is flavor.

Cilantro and green onions round the broth out, along with noodles that were pulled by hand just seconds before they're handed to you. You can watch them take shape through the window of the Deep Ellum takeout that's wrapped in cedar, but don't get hypnotized by the twirling, stretching motions of the noodle maker. You might forget that you're here for someone other than yourself -- not that you should deny yourself your own order, and perhaps some chili wontons for good measure.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.