MOSCOW — When you crave authentic ethnic food and live in small town Idaho, you’re often willing to take a risk.From the outside, Young’s Alley, Moscow’s newest Chinese restaurant, looks like a hole-in-the-wall. Open the front door and you meet a confusing array of furniture and tables. Your taste buds will thank you if you ignore this and walk up the ramp to the kitchen in back to order a handmade, authentic meal to-go.
Young’s serves lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, offering a handful of traditional Chinese meals that change daily. Saturdays you can find them at the Moscow Farmers Market where they got their start three years ago and built a loyal following.
On a recent weekday the menu featured Catfish Tofu, Cumin Lamb, Crunchy Potatoes and
Sautéed Cabbage, all well under $10. Another day you might find Sautéed Pork with Wood Ear Mushrooms or Pork Stew with Tea Eggs, a traditional dish where a boiled egg is cracked and then boiled again in tea, sauce and spices.
Rice, noodles, steamed buns and potstickers are daily mainstays. In China, steamed pork buns are on-the-go street food. Young’s buns ($2) are fluffy and filled with a savory blend of cooked pork, jicama, soy, leek and bean thread. Top them with a house almond sauce and they’re even better. The fried potstickers (10 for $6) are also a delicious deal.
The other half dozen diners there that day spoke Chinese, which leads me to believe a taste of home drew them there. My advice is call ahead, or order online, for an affordable lunch outside the usual takeout box.
Young’s Alley, 304 W. Sixth St., Moscow; (208) 301-7888