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Every time I use a crappy iPhone photo collage for a blog post, a cold shiver runs through the collective soul of the art department.

Cheng Biao Yang, perhaps the best known Szechuan chef in town, is officially behind the counter at his casual new spot in Pike Place Market, pulling noodles by hand but mostly rolling out and forming little Szechuan flatbreads known as guo kui. They're griddled, then baked in a special oven similar to a tandoor, then split and stuffed like a sandwich.

In short, Country Dough has turned a centuries-old labor-intensive Szechuan street snack into the perfect $5 modern day lunch.

Country Dough opened last Saturday; the space doesn't have any seats, but on a sunny day you can head straight to the courtyard right outside in hopes of snagging one of the cement tables.

Watching Yang roll out the guo kui by hand is rather hypnotic. The menu is simple: six flatbread dishes, two noodle plates. I ordered the No. 1–a flatbread split and stuffed with meat plus lettuce, pickles, fresh herbs, and some heat via a chili sauce–by way of a baseline. It packed a nice amount of heat. The woman behind me in line ate at Country Dough yesterday and apparently liked it enough to return 24 hours later to continue working her way down the menu. 

There isn't a website or Facebook page for the operation quite yet, but Country Dough is located in the Soames-Dunn building across from Emmett Watson's, in the former Sabra space.

UPDATE: Country Dough's hours are 10–6, seven days a week.

 

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