Tag Archives: Chinese

On a Mission.

As has been well-established by now, I am not one to jump on the sceney-restaurant bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t want to try the latest and the greatest; I do. But a combination of minor social anxiety (does anyone ever feel skinny and well-dressed enough for trendy new restaurants? Please say no), a growing dislike of crowds (not at all caused by an inherent lack of personal space here in New York—why do you ask?), and a low tolerance for two-hour wait times at tiny spots that don’t take reservations for parties of less than five means that I just don’t tend to enjoy evenings out at this city’s hot spots.

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One solution to this problem? Brunch.

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Tour for a Tour Guide.

One of the side effects of living in New York is a constant influx of visitors. A positive one, too: Whether I’m introducing guests to my favorite spots or testing out new ones, I do some of my best dining with out-of-towners. (Jill could’ve been semi-serious when she suggested that we incorporate food tours into our repertoire—someone is always passing through, and meals always need to be eaten. Two birds, one stone.)

FoJ (that’s Friend of Jill, naturally) Bethia Woolf, blogger and tour-leader extraordinaire, was recently in town to promote the Columbus food scene to various media outlets; Jill played matchmaker, and then left the two of us to make our own arrangements. As always, it was great to meet a member of the posse of foodies that Jill often crosses paths with, and one who’s an adventurous eater, at that.

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Peking Challenge.

It’s difficult to write about a disappointment, especially when it has so much build-up. I made Peking duck, and I made my long-desired scallion pancakes. And when it comes down to it, next time I’m likely to leave the Chinese cooking to the Chinese. Except that it wasn’t a complete loss. The side dishes, the company, the experience and the pictures from my Chinese New Year feast were delightful. And so it goes.

The feast was on the second day of our first big snowstorm, which gave me plenty of time to prepare. Time, it turns out, is an essential ingredient to making Peking duck. My recipe (found on About.com) required my duck—complete with beak, eyes and feet—to hang in a cool drafty place for ten hours. That duck and I spend a lot of time together.

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Field Trip.

It started over an innocent glass of wine, as so many things do: The owner of one of my favorite Carroll Gardens bars proposed a food-based outing to Queens, and she didn’t have to ask twice. After months of text-message correspondence, we finally agreed on a day and hopped on the 7 train.

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Armed with the print version of this list (the accompaniment to a New York Times article with a local angle on the Beijing Olympics, published last year) and looking every bit the tourists, we set off in search of Chinese goodies. First stop: Nan Xiang, for what are touted by some as the best soup dumplings in the city.

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Tent City.

I made it out to the Asian Festival for the first time ever this past weekend. Sheepish admission: I’d never gone before because I’d considered it to be competition to the store’s Salmon Roast. Boy, have I been missing out. I will no longer live in such ignorance. If I can run around during the entire four-hour roast, go home, shower and still manage to make it down to Franklin Park Conservatory to gorge myself with Asian food, then so can anyone.

The free festival featured countless back-to-back performances and a small tent city of food.

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About a half of the vendors do not exist in restaurant or store format, outside of the festival. But I did see some favorites, including the people from Dosa Corner.

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First Date Redux.

My first meal with Baseball Boy was in the parking lot of a Subway off of Cleveland Avenue. This past Saturday, we finally got to visit the restaurant he had intended to take me to on a first date: Ying’s Teahouse & Yum-Yum. Had things gone as planned, I would have been very impressed with both Mr. Baseball Boy and his choice of restaurants. Subway was okay, too, I guess.

I found Ying’s to be both modest and delicious. You don’t go to Ying’s to see and be seen. Rather, you go to Ying’s for excellent food at reasonable prices. You also, it seems, go to Ying’s to get a pot of jasmine tea served upon dishes that your stepmom used during your childhood. These suckers are unbreakable.

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Ying’s, unlike other tea destinations in Columbus, does not charge for a refill of hot water.

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