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Where to eat after Chinese New Year Parade Saturday?

j
Jennifer Feb 1, 2001 11:25 PM

Will it be too packed to eat in Chinatown?

  1. k
    Kara Elise Feb 2, 2001 01:42 AM

    We're having a class reunion BEFORE the parade at Great Eastern at 1, as we, too, feared it being a mob scene later... Though when I noticed the reservation book at the restaurant, I noticed we were the only reservation they had all day!! (This was 2 wks ago.)

    So maybe you would have some luck if you did want to get in somewhere afterwards. I'd try the search feature on this site, and see what the latest word is on the ChinaTown restaurants. (R&G is good and very popular as well. I was just there today for a late lunch, and I loved how the server refused my request to alter a dish. I asked for some tofu to be added to the garlic eggplant dish. He said that would change the taste too much, and they wouldn't do it. I like that integrity.) Anyway, s/b fun this wkend!

    1. t
      Tida Feb 2, 2001 04:51 PM

      It will be crowded but I'd call around to see who can take you. Last year I reserved a table at R&G for 8 people after the parade and it was OK. I would definitely encourage a reservation however.

      This year, we are skipping the parade and are doing the SF treasure hunt. It's supposed to wrap up around 9:30 PM and our 2 teams are going to Great Eastern at 10PM to laugh about our adventure. I'm still in search of the GREAT Chinese restaurant and hope the seafood will be awesome.

      Good luck!

      19 Replies
      1. re: Tida
        b
        Bill Daltry Feb 2, 2001 09:05 PM

        I'm not from SF, but why is the parade a full week and a half after the holiday? Wouldn't one of the past two weekends have been more appropriate?

        1. re: Bill Daltry
          f
          Fine Feb 4, 2001 05:36 AM

          My ancestry isn't Chinese, but so far as I know the actual New Year celebration is very traditional and family-oriented. A huge parade would interfere with folks' observances.

          1. re: Fine
            m
            Melanie Wong Feb 5, 2001 02:44 AM

            Yes. Also the celebration isn't limited to just one day. In Asia people take 3 or 4 weeks off of work. Here the observance of New Year's customs and parties go on for about 2 weeks, and the parade marks the end of that period.

        2. re: Tida
          m
          Melanie Wong Feb 5, 2001 02:41 AM

          Cousin Tida, how was your dinner?

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            t
            Tida Feb 6, 2001 08:33 PM

            Cousin Melanie!

            I was very excited to try Great Eastern and I need to go back so I can order correctly.

            I went with 5 other people at around 10:15 PM. We had been scaveging around on the SF Treasure Hunt since about 4PM or so. By the time we decided to go for dinner, most people on my 14 person team were either too tired or had eaten already when we stopped in a bar to strategize. When we finally made it to Great Eastern, no one was really in the mood for the more traditional New Years feast, nor were they in the mood for ordering dishes that could indicate the quality of the kitchen.

            We ended up with the more conventional potsticker/eggroll, wonton soups, noodle soup, Singapore noodles, and a roasted pork chow mein. All were very very good but I really wanted a steamed fish, winter melon soup, and sauteed greens but no one was going to eat that with me. My husband judges Chinese restaurants by their salt and pepper shrimp which is what he ordered (heads-on!) They were excellent! So I got a little taste of what the kitchen can do!

            Nevertheless, I was very impressed by their comprehensive list of fresh seafood available and what looked like innovative dished on the menu. This definitely me curious to go back to try it "for real."

            1. re: Tida
              m
              Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2001 01:29 AM

              Happy new year, Tida! I know the feeling. I've stopped to look at the menu at Great Eastern so many times, even walked in once, but turned around. Just didn't have the time or large enough party to give the kitchen a real work out.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                t
                Tida Feb 7, 2001 10:12 AM

                Gung hay fat choy cousin Melanie!

                I sense a potential opportunity for another Chowhound get-together in the future?!? I'm actually quite disappointed as I was out of town for the Hayes and Vine gathering and will be out of town again for the dinner at the end of the month. One of these days I'd love to partake in a what I'm sure has to be a great meal with other chowhounds!

                1. re: Tida
                  m
                  Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2001 01:40 PM

                  Feels like it to me too, Tida, considering Kara's report as well. I hope you'll be able to join us soon. Maybe you can call the next one after a little more reconn at Great Eastern.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    t
                    Tida Feb 7, 2001 07:16 PM

                    I'd be happy to call one! I'd finally get to meet some of you guys! Any suggestions on parameters in evaluating a potential chowhound restaurant? How was the 2/28 Sing/Malay idea generated and how was the restaurant picked? Any particular criteria? If there are, I'll keep those in mind when uncovering Great Eastern.

                    1. re: Tida
                      m
                      Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2001 07:31 PM

                      Oooh, such a systematic mind! You're obviously the right chowhound for the job. Here's a link to where the Sing/Malay idea was born.

                      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        t
                        Tida Feb 8, 2001 06:31 PM

                        Melanie,

                        Thanks for the link. I had seen some of the initial inquiries re. how the Hayes and Vine gathering was but never went back to see if anything had been added. I appreciate the direction.

                        I won't be able to do any additional reconn. on Great Eastern until mid-March or so. As you guys are getting together 2/28, don't let me hold the momentum up if people want another dinner and there's a place that comes up in discussion. When I return, I'll do some reconn, post findings here, and we can all go from there.

                        On a different note, I read the posted link all the way through and enjoyed the discussion about the Madeira. It reminded me of an article I had read and wondered if you've also come across it. It's called "Drinking an 1806 Chateau Lafite" by Richard Daley. It's in the Travelers' Tales FOOD, edited by Richard Sterling. I thought it was a great article and your comments on the Madeira you had purchased echoed some of the same reflections as Richard Daley. If you don't have a copy, I'll get one to you.

                        1. re: Tida
                          m
                          Melanie Wong Feb 13, 2001 02:52 AM

                          No pressure, Tida. Get-togethers are for fun, not a major undertaking. I'm sure we'll meet soon enough. With everyone's busy schedules and commutes, it will probably take a few cycles to include all those interested.

                          Thanks for mentioning the piece by Daley - I'll get my hands on a copy. I enjoy those sorts of wine writings (instead of only buyer's guide point evaluations) that delve into the history, tradition and enjoyment of wine. I recently read a series of interviews with Roy Brady, part the Sonoma County Wine Library's oral history project, on his life in wine. He was a major collector of Madeira and engaged in debate with Michael Broadbent MW and Darrell Corti on the classic wines. He was the Calif. wine wit of his day and passed away a couple years ago. I'm so glad the library had a chance to talk with him and assemble some of his personal papers.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            t
                            Tida Feb 13, 2001 05:16 PM

                            Given that I'm not dead tired of Asian food by the time I return, I'll be more than happy to delve into Great Eastern's treasures in anticipation of a chowhound meeting I might be able to make!

                            What is the Sonoma county wine oral history project? Sounds really intriguing. And let me know if you can't find a copy of that essay.

                  2. re: Tida
                    d
                    Deb H. Feb 7, 2001 04:05 PM

                    Remember that there's a Chowhound get-together coming up on Wednesday, February 28 at Singapore Malaysian Restaurant, 8:00 pm (drinks beforehand if people arrive early at nearby Front Room -- both places around 9th & Clement ). E-mail me (address above, remove NOSPAM) if you'd like to join us! Melanie's mentioned that she'll be there with wines specially chosen to accompany spicy foods (people wishing to partake can chip in on the corkage fees). Hope you can join us, Tida!

                    Best,
                    Deb H.

                    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                    1. re: Deb H.
                      d
                      Deb H. Feb 7, 2001 07:23 PM

                      Tida,

                      D'oh! Didn't read all of your message to realize that you're out of town for the next one.

                      Absentmindedly,
                      Deb H.

                      1. re: Deb H.
                        m
                        Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2001 07:33 PM

                        Doesn't hurt to say it twice. I'm hoping that we'll get to meet some of the newbies (and veterans too) who've added so much to the board in recent weeks. The SF board gets better every day!

                    2. re: Melanie Wong
                      l
                      Limster Feb 7, 2001 04:25 PM

                      I went to Great Eastern about 2 years ago and tried as much seafood as my friends would let me order. It's been a while, but I remembered that the food was good, although not as delicate as some of the restaurants I've been to in Singapore. I don't recall all the dishes that we had, but I do remember chowing down on crab meat and veggies, braised sea cucumber and fish maw with "hair" vegetables (fa chai), the common jelly fish appetizer, cold cuts, a steamed fish etc. Not a bad deal at all.

                      1. re: Limster
                        m
                        Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2001 07:57 PM

                        That's my philosophy too when I find a good Cantonese seafood place. All seafood, all the time . . . if the others at the table will let me.

                    3. re: Tida
                      c
                      Caitlin McGrath Feb 7, 2001 12:44 PM

                      Too bad I wasn't with you; as much as I appreciate good noodles, a steamed fish and sauteed greens sounds like comfort food to me!

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