Delicious Chinese street sandwiches at Pike Place Market.
From noodle master Cheng Biao Yang, the original owner of Chinatown International District stalwart Seven Stars Pepper, this Pike Place Market cubby focuses on guo kui, a stuffed Szechuan flatbread that’s popular in China as street food. Rolled out by hand, then browned and leavened in an oven that’s a cross between a kiln and a tandoor, the pastry pillows have a pleasing crackle of an exterior, with soft, warm Szechuan spiced goodness stuffed inside.
And don’t worry, the hand-shaved noodles that made Yang’s reputation are also available at Country Dough.
The menu: There are three baseline options — flatbreads ($5 or $5.50), crêpes ($5.50, $6.50 or $7) or noodles ($7.95) — each available with various sauces and proteins.
1916 Pike Place, Suite 14, Seattle (206 728-2598 or countrydough.com)
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
Etc: major credit cards accepted; no alcohol; the usual Pike Place Market parking challenges; no obstacles to access
What to write home about: The cumin-sauce flatbread had the slow-building heat characteristic of Szechuan cuisine, alongside a savory complexity. The Chinese crêpe was eggy and silky the way a crêpe should be, with a nice kick from the spicy sauce. In texture, noodles were the platonic ideal of the form, though they could have used a tad more seasoning.
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What to skip: Takeout. These fresh-baked numbers are best enjoyed hot. Also, as almost everything’s made to order, be prepared to wait a bit at peak times.
The setting: Bigger than a kiosk, but not by much, Country Dough has only outdoor seating in an adjacent courtyard tucked deep in the Market.
Summing up: One Szechuan flatbread with pork, one cumin-sauce flatbread with chicken, one Chinese crêpe, one order of sweet-and-spicy dry noodles and two iced teas — enough to feed four — came to $42.46 with tax and tip.