Taste of Chinatown - Autumn - Oct. 21st
i just got back from this. what a disappointment! lo mein, spring rolls, chow fun, fried rice, chicken wings, and things of that nature were mainly what seemed to be out. even crab rangoon at one table. the main virtue appeared to be the very low prices, and the streets were jammed with people carrying bags of takeaway boxes. definitely good for the businesses, at least. perhaps i gave up too quickly, but after cruising bayard and two blocks of mott i had enough. maybe i just managed to miss all of the good stuff?
I just got back myself. I liked the finny soup (as in, I guess, not really shark fin, but "shark finny") at Hong Kong Station, the giant fried shrimp on a stick at Ping, and the egg noodles with a combo of shrimp ball, fish ball, fish cake & steamed shrimp at Bo Ky. I also had green pepper stuffed with shrimp at Sing Wong and a big container of bean sprouts with thick noodles, um, somewhere -- by this time I was getting woozy. And I picked up a serving of tapioca cake and a bag of flavored jerky to take home.
But Wleatherette is right. At least 75% of the offerings were standard issue fried garbage you wouldn't cross a street for under normal circumstances. There was a block long line for Peking Duck House, the most popular stand as far as I could tell.
i went and wandered around the whole area. sorry, dont know the names of the places i got food from, but i had some delicious pork fried rice, pork buns, lots of dumplings (fried and steamed, vegetable and pork/chive), fish balls, some rice thing wrapped in a banana leaf (like a tamale), bbq chicken on lo mein, and absolutely fantastic stir fried noodles.
(I mindlessly started my own thread, here's a reprint. Mods should feel free to delete that other thread entirely.)
Having, apparently, missed this thread before the fact, I went down to Chinatown to do a little shopping and just sort of ran into it. Many of the offerings were pretty blah - run of the mill spring rolls, fried noodles, wontons, etc, - at room temperature. But even loaded down with shopping bags and not being willing to run ALL over the place with my bags, I did manage to find a few tasty things more or less on Mott.
I stuck the flyer in my pocket, unusually for me, I can name names: a curried wheat-gluten "kebob" from Buddha Bodai Vegetarian. Wheat gluten is an acquired texture, maybe, But without tasting like chicken at all, they did have nice chicken meat-y texture. And after all, nibbling bits of tofu-textured blocks from a skewer would feel a little silly...
A curried beef pastry thing and one of those sticky rice packets, the name of which I never remember, stuffed with Chinese sausage and some other stuff. Nothing orgasmic, but tasty enough, and for a total of $2. These were from I think May May Bakery on Pell.
Some stir-fried choi sum with garlic from Ping's, but a rather small portion for $2.
The line for Peking Duck was absurdly long and while I waited on it (eating my other purchases while I waited), it really wasn't worth it. Not being a huge duck fan to begin with, I've never gone to the restaurant, but realistically, there was no way it was going to be great with duck after duck being rushed through the kitchen to be wrapped in cool weather on a table on the street. There was a very limited (and controlled) line of people waiting to pay $2 for the (rather meaty) carcasses, and that would've been amazing. But I had too many bags to even bother asking how they were working that aspect...