If you go to Xi’an Famous Foods and you order the “not spicy” option don’t complain about it being bland. According to Eater New York, the CEO of Xi’an Famous Foods, Jason Wang, is tired of all the people complaining about their food when they get the “not spicy” option. After reading bad reviews on Yelp like the “food sucks because it’s so bland and tastes like nothing to me,” Wang had an epiphany that the people complaining were the ones eating the food with no spice.
“To me, our food is spicy and savory, so I really didn’t get where they were coming from,” he told Eater.
Their noodles can be ordered with four different spice levels from “Not Spicy,” “Mildly Spicy,” “Regular Spicy,” to “Extra Spicy.”
Wang ended up posting a letter in all of their 14 locations warning people that “Not Spicy = Not As Good.”
He said that for him that he would never get the “not spicy” option because it was just “too bland.” However, Wang sympathized with people who can’t eat spicy foods so he asked patrons to get something that doesn’t require chili oil like their “Stewed Pork Burger.”
“So, while you can order your noodles ‘not spicy,’ please do so at your own discretion knowing that the food is going to be missing an important component: our special house-made chili oil which is infused with 30 different proprietary spices!” he wrote.
Wang concluded that if one cannot get the regular spice level, he recommended their “mildly spicy.”
His message seems to be working because people that have tried the food with spice now are loving it. “I have had people message me saying they were glad to try the dishes with a bit of spice after always having it without any in the past,” Wang said.
Xi’an Famous Food is a New York staple founded by Wang’s father David Shi. They went from one stand in Flushing to 14 stores in New York after their popularity blew up from being featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.”