Sunday, February 26, 2012

A pleasant Sunday morning in Chinatown

We went into Chinatown early this morning to visit K's invalid parents and their caretakers. Bright sun and a cold breeze greeted us as we ascended from the 1 train line to Canal Street.

Inevitably our many trips to this area are, apart from the visit, focused on food. As we walked the 8 blocks to her parent's apartment tower, I stopped in a long standing Chinese bakery for coffee and pork buns, the buns to share with the caretakers. Chinatown coffee is automatically mixed with sugar and milk unless one intervenes, and I never bother. When in Rome...

The buns were terrific, not gooey as some are but chunks of spicy pork mixed with onion. The coffee was cloying but did have the requisite caffeine.

The hour long visit went well and the depressing aspects are offset by whatever recognition comes at times. Then we were out to Mott Street, me back to Big Wong to get some food to take home and Kathy to a tea shop to buy a gift for a co-worker who has been especially helpful to her recently.

The Big Wong agenda today was Singapore Chow Mai Fun with spicy curry seasoning, Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce over Rice, Ma Pa Tofu or fried bean curd sauteed with minced pork, pickled vegetable, and red pepper, and two spring rolls. All of this will be sampled over several days and all of it is GOOD. A fascinating aspect of Big Wong is that they seem to just make up a price to charge that bears no relationship to the costs listed on the menu. It is always significantly lower. They seem to know me by now. The listed price would have been $34. Somehow they came up with $26.50. I never disagree.

Walking back to the subway, we picked up some Chinese vegetable from a street vendor. That's the only name that I know for this stalky leafy green stuff that cooked with garlic is delicious. Then as we hit West Broadway and Canal we walked half a block into Soho to buy a sandwich and espresso at Salume, a wonderful northern Italian spot. My sandwich on crusty baguette type bread was tomato, mozzarella, and proscuito with olive oil. The espresso is a game changer.

The LIRR had us back home by 1pm. Accomplishments early in the day are a good feeling.


Anonymous JR said...

Thanks, John for reminding me how far a buck goes when eating in Chinatown NYC. My first time at the Golden Unicorn four of us had a table littered with little plates and beer bottles when time came for the waiter to add up what we spent. He wrote furiously, filling one side of the receipt slip, then the second side. We were expecting to be hammered. He announced the total -- about $25 apiece -- and we almost fell out of our chairs. Turns out it was dim sum family Saturday, or some such, and all the food was half off. Just last week we ate at a restaurant in Richmond that expects $100 or more per person for upscale frozen dinners and ridiculously overpriced wine.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi JR,

Thanks for your comment. As I am sure you know, there are ethnic enclaves of food all over Manhattan and the other boroughs that in authenticity and price are exceptional. Off the corporate client entertaining dole for quite a few years and not inclined to change my uniform of varied jeans, casual shirts, and rough jackets, the white tablecloth venues are not in my roladex anymore, as if there was such a thing as a roladex anymore.

So much good food around the city - every time that I go to Manhattan I tend to bring back as much as I can carry. That's limited as we don't subscribe to a $800 a year parking place at our village station and the last quarter mile of the walk home is as close to uphill as a road can be.

2:28 PM  

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