Monday, November 16, 2009

Taste of Chinatown

I had a massive craving for Chinese food two weekends ago, so I texted all of my friends that Sunday to see if anyone wanted to go on a Chinatown food crawl. Unfortunately, I'm a huge loser -- no one wanted to eat with me.

Screw my friends. I don't need them. It's not like I talk to people mid-meal anyway. I'm much too focused on the culinary delights set before me.

I only had three objectives on this particular food crawl:
1) Go to Lan Zhou to try the handmade noodles
2) Revisit the fried food cart at Mott & Canal to get more chicken
3) Get a chocolate-covered cannoli in Littly Italy

I figured anything else I eat would just be a spur of the moment decision. Here is how it went down:

Lan Zhou
144 East Broadway
What I Ate
- Beef noodle soup, $4.50
Success! This was delicious and extremely filling. The noodles were top notch. I didn't try them that day, but the dumplings here look amazing. They don't look like the mangled product you get at Prosperity Dumpling or Fried Dumpling. They're wrapped well, and fried perfectly so the wrapper is nicely browned. I'll be sure to come back when I'm not on a food crawl so I can stuff myself.

Unnamed skewer cart
Northwest corner at Forsyth & Division
What I Ate
- Hot dog on a stick, $1
I had to get this because it was a flashback to my childhood. Growing up in the Philippines, I ate hot dogs on sticks all the time. It's probably why I was a chubby kid. When we moved to the states, my mother sent me to lunch one day with a couple of hot dogs on sticks. All the kids just looked at me like I was some kind of freak -- "why is your hot dog on a stick?" America is a scary place. It probably didn't help when I brought siopao. I need flavor; my classmates were eating bologna and American cheese sandwiches on Wonderbread, and that just didn't cut it for me.

Unnamed fried food cart
Southeast corner at Mott & Canal
What I Ate
- Fish balls, $1
I discovered this cart last Sunday with Disco Stu. We tried the chicken legs for $1.25. Greasy goodness. You could feel it going down. I wanted to come back to try their noodles and/or spring rolls. It must've been my lucky day because on this day, they had deep-fried fish balls -- 5 for $1. Heaven. It's another street treat I used to eat as a kid. Yum.

Fong Inn Too
46 Mott Street
What I Ate
- Taho, $1
Another treat from the motherland. I was on my way to get dumplings when I saw a sign on the awning that said they had taho for $1. The version served at this establishment wasn't as high in syrup as I'm used to, nor did they have the tapioca balls. For $1, it was close enough for me. Filipinos actually buy this stuff from street vendors in the morning and eat it as part of breakfast. It's a nice sugary start to the day.

Fried Dumpling
106 Mosco Street
What I Ate
- Fried dumplings, $1
I just needed something salty before I devoured my cannoli. I'm big on alternating between salty and sweet. And a quick note on how I rank the $1 dumpling establishments:
1) Prosperity Dumpling
2) Vanessa's Dumpling House
3) Fried Dumpling

Cha Cha's
113 Mulberry Street
What I Ate
- Chocolate-covered cannoli, $3
Up until this point, I had spent only $8.50 for my entire food crawl. I leave Chinatown for dessert in Little Italy, and they charge me over 1/3 of what I had spent to that point just for a cannoli. Those Italians... It wasn't enough for Marco Polo to steal our noodles. Now, they're overcharging me for a delicious cannoli. So ungrateful. I can't wait until Chinatown learns how to make cannoli. They're going to put Little Italy out of business. $1 cannoli! Payback time.

Total damage was $11.50. This will probably go down as my cheapest food crawl.

1 comment:

  1. soooo... I can't help but notice the language of, "I texted all of my friends..."

    Yeahhhh... about that... I totally didn't get a text last Sunday... just sayin...