NAN ZHOU HAND DRAWN NOODLE HOUSE, 1022 Race Street, Chinatown

We’ve sampled Italian meatballs, of course, during this food hunt. We’ve also tried Swedish, Mexican, Irish and vegan. So, why not Chinese?

Nan Zhou’s Noddle House is a vibrant Chinatown favorite that was packed with families, students, locals and people of all sorts on an early Saturday evening. Most were slurping down enormous bowls of soup.

So we joined in, ordering two varieties of the House Special Soups ($8.25), one with pork meatballs, the other with beef. We got giant bowls filled with broth, leafy spinach, cilantro, noodles and a half-dozen meatballs.

The pork meatballs were pleasant, if not special. Tender, seasoned with a hint of ginger and swimming in the broth, they made for a decent, affordable meal. We’d call them average among the dozens we’ve sampled along the way.

The beef meatballs? Ugh. Hard, rubbery little Super Balls. It’s impossible to use a knife in a bowl of soup, and these little monsters weren’t going to be taken apart by the edge of a fork. So you take them out, place them on a plate and try to slice them without everything flying off the table.

Bad texture, bad taste.

Score: 62 (78 on the pork, 48 on the beef) / 100

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