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Posts tagged chinese

Congee Bowery Restaurant

Last week, I went and saw one of my favorite bands growing up, Soul Asylum. I really didn’t know if I wanted to see them. I think it’s weird seeing your childhood favs as old people. But I went anyway. It was cool. Being drunk helped. And it’s weird. Most of the band members are different now. I don’t know if that made it better or worse, so I didn’t have to see so many old people on stage. They played my favorite song, Closer to the Stars. I got my money’s worth.

Then I went next door to Congee Bowery afterwards. I was so drunk and slurring so bad to the host. I’m surprised they sat me. I think it was almost time to close.

I think I tried to order the Turtle Soup, but they were out. Then I asked for Congee and the waiter said no. So ordered pan fried dumplings.

After the waiter left, I turned around and the guy I was rubbing shoulders with in a pretty empty restaurant was eating some awesome looking stuff. I asked the host what he was eating. I want that. It was Crab Porridge. Wait. That’s Congee! He let me order it. So I don’t know why the waiter was lying to me.

It was delicious and everything costs about the same as one beer at Bowery Ballroom. Free tea too!

Congee Bowery – 207 Bowery (btwn Rivington & Spring St) New York, NY 10002

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Chinese New Year NYC 2013

Gung Hay Fat Choy! We went out to watch the Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony. But because it wasn’t in the place where I thought it was, we ended up on the wrong side of Chinatown. So we just went to Dim Sum instead. Like always, the popular places are packed. So we went to East Market Restaurant like always. Always out of the way and somewhat hidden.

I thought it was funny that Josh, who used to be Vegan, loved the Chicken Feet. Sam also liked it too. I think they are more Chinese than I am.

A nice surprise was the Custard Steamed Buns. Sweet dessert-like in the middle of our meal. The filling almost tasted like cookie dough.

East Market Restaurant – 75 E Broadway Ste 85 (2nd floor under the Manhattan Bridge) New York, NY 10002

Xi’an Famous Foods Brooklyn

Weird. Xi’an Famous Foods just opened up a storefront kind of close to where I live in East Williamsburg. But what’s weird is that in the middle of nowhere. So far from the train and mostly just among warehouses.

Seriously, this is the Google Maps street view…
Google%20Maps%20 %20Xian%20Famous%20Foods%20Brooklyn Xian Famous Foods Brooklyn

Well after talking to the guy there, it makes actually makes sense since it is the location of their central kitchen. They make almost all the stuff there (sauces, meats, noodles) before shipping them off to their restaurants. And the location does make sense since it’s close to the highway. Might as well add a storefront since they are making food there anyway. And there are people that live close enough …like me.

Today is their grand opening and they are giving out free burgers or noodle dish if you go to their Facebook page. If you catch this quick enough and willing to trudge through the snow, you can still print out the coupon. Todd told me about it since he lives even closer and said he was going to go right when it opened …and they would hang his coupon on the wall like a first dollar bill. Anyway I beat him and was the first person there, but he and Elissa came after. No line because of the blizzard. People soon came in after us, but we already hogged the three stools at the counter. I feel bad all those people had to eat their food in the snow.

The food was good as usual. Maybe spicier? It had a lot of kick.

Xi’an Famous Foods – 86 Beadel St. Brooklyn, NY 11222

There was a big CPR poster on the wall. Is it weird that the people in the drawings look Asian? Maybe they just look at Asian because we’re in an Asian restaurant.
10 Asian CPR instructions Xian Famous Foods Brooklyn

I do hope they hang my coupon on the wall.

Happy Star Bakery’s Chicken Sandwich and Almond Cookies

Uncle Marce wanted to pick up some of his favorite Almond Cookies. I just wanted to pick up a beer. We went to Happy Star Bakery in Chinatown/LES, formerly named Sun Light Bakery, where I once got a Chinese Sausage Bun.

I saw a Chicken Cutlet Sandwich and really wanted it. So Uncle Marce bought it for me. It had the baked style bun that they use for a lot of stuff –slightly sweet bread. I think it was around $1.75. Pretty good for sitting around in the little heating cabinet.

The Almond Cookies were pretty good too. Crumbly and chalk, like how I think Chinese people like it. I think Uncle Marce likes to treat himself sometimes.

We also picked up some Steamed Pork Buns. They were soggy and wet. Not good.

Happy Star Bakery – 160 E Broadway (@ Pike St) New York, NY 10002

Tio Wally Eats America: China Wok (Lebanon, Indiana)

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Lebanon, Indiana.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: China Wok (Lebanon, Indiana)

Greetings from Lebanon, Indiana
N 40° 03.962’ W 086° 28.396’ Elev. 820 ft.

The crew of the SS Me So Hungry ended up spending Xmas day here in one of the USA’s many Lebanons. We were very thankful to be here for a couple of reasons.

First was that, despite Indiana being a remarkably retarded state, it was a far sight better than being stuck in Pennsylvania’s Lebanon. Secondly, we were fortunate enough to find a restaurant that was open that didn’t have a sign outside that read Denny’s or McDonald’s or Huddle House.

Indeed, we ended up having sort of a traditional Jewish Xmas feast: Chinese food. And considering that the restaurant choices numbered in a single digit (1), it wasn’t too bad.

China Wok is a franchise with locations all over the country. I was surprised not only that the place was open, but that it was offering its “Lunch Special” menu on Xmas. The specials are offered every day between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and consist of an entree, served with Fried or White Rice, with prices ranging from $4.55 to $4.95.

Because we knew there was a nasty storm system coming in and didn’t want to be caught short of provisions — the only other places open were gas stations and, curiously, drug stores — we went a little further overboard than normal on the selections. But what the hell, it was Xmas.

For entrees we selected Sweet & Sour Pork, Roast Pork Lo Mein, and Beef Hunan Style, all with Fried Rice, which we know from experience is much better than White Rice when eaten cold.

The Sweet & Sour Pork ($4.75) was breathtakingly bogus. While the Sweet & Sour sauce was fairly decent, the morsels of pork were basically batter-balls with a little Pinto bean-sized piece of pork in it. And although the pork was tender there just wasn’t enough of it to get any flavor from. I don’t know how to say Pork Grinch in Mandarin but they sure were stingy with it.

But the cardinal sin they committed with the Sweet & Sour Pork was that it contained no pineapple or bell pepper. I never ever order Sweet & Sour anything because I generally consider it to be kind of silly. The only reason I did this time was because I really wanted the pineapple. After all, it showed big chunks of pineapple and bell pepper in the picture on the menu!

Skippy wanted to go back and, doing our best impersonations of Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski, burst in and yell “Shenanigans!” ’til we got pineapple. But it would’ve been just too much of a hassle. Besides, such an action probably wouldn’t work anyway. After all, the place is called China Wok not City Wok.

The Roast Pork Lo Mein ($4.75) however was great. It had a generous portion of big strips of tender roast pork, along with green and white onion, cabbage, and slivers of carrots and celery. That the Lo Mein was served with rice was kind of baffling though. But hey, it was a Lunch Special. Besides, you simply can’t go wrong with Lo Mein noodles.

But the shining star of our Jewish Xmas feast surely was the Beef Hunan Style ($4.95). It had a generous amount of tender sliced beef, along with big chunks of broccoli, bell pepper, baby corn, snow peas, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and carrots. Although it’s billed as being “in chef’s spicy Hunan sauce,” I thought it could’ve been a little hotter. But this is Indiana, and it was great nonetheless.

Besides the minor Xmas Miracle that the China Wok, being located in the middle of the buckle of the Bible Belt, was open on a Christian High Holy Holiday, it had a few other things going for it. The Fried Rice was actually pretty good, and the price was more than reasonable. But the containers the food came in were awesome.

These things are so far superior to both the classic Chinese Take Out boxes and the despicable, un-degradable styrofoam containers. They seal really tight and keep the food warm for a really long time. So tight is the seal, in fact, that they even keep rice moist after it’s refrigerated.

Heck, we’re so impressed with the little plastic bowls and lids that we’re going to wash them out and keep them for future use.

And so we roll.

China Wok, 2218 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon, Indiana, and nationwide

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Yummy Taco – Greenpoint

We were watching some Gator football at Jody & Christa’s in Greenpoint. I asked about the Yummy Taco (Chinese run Tex-Mex) around the corner. Jody said it was yummy and mentioned that they have a Super Burrito that includes chicken, steak and shrimp ($6.99). That sound weird. So I had to try it.

I went in and it was like any other Chinese run Tex-Mex like Fresco Tortilla Grill or Super Taco Express in the city. They make their own flour tortillas fresh. This place, their machine looked pretty cool. A manual hand cranked squashing machine. I was nervous of taking a photo of it, because they looked nervous of me being in there.

I brought back a big bag of food –the Super Burrito, Nachos, and a Veggie Taco. They included those small red liquidy hot sauce containers like the other places. How did they all coordinate to do that? If I was them, I just put in hot sauce packets like at Chinese takeouts, since it seems easier. Oh! They should also do Chinese homemade hot mustard. That would be sick on that food …sick as in awesome.

The food tasted alright. Just like what you expect from Chinese Tex-Mex. Not amazing, but affordable and good enough. I love the fresh flour tortillas. The Super Burrito had huge ass  fried shrimp in there. Several of them. Pretty good deal with it packed with so much big shrimp.

Yummy Taco – 941 Manhattan Ave (btwn Java & Kent St) Brooklyn, NY 11222

M Noodle Shop’s Seaweed Salad and Marinated Turnips

After last Saturday’s Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, I met up with Todd and Sam to get some food and beer back in Williamsburg at M Noodle Shop. We were starving and sober from attending that concert. Apparently if you wanted to drink, you either had to sneak it in or pay for the couple thousand dollar VIP level.

M Noodle Shop is a good idea because I wanted a warm bowl of soup because I felt a cold coming on, plus they open so late …up until 6pm in fact. I got the same thing I got last time –the Curry Chicken Noodle Soup. But was also contemplating the Marinated Turnip Noodle Soup. The waiter said we could get just the turnips as a side dish. Sam ordered it along with his Seaweed Salad. I liked both of his dishes. The Marinated Turnip had a nice Asian/Chinese flavor. Not overpowering. Tender.

M Noodle Shop – 549 Metropolitan Ave (btwn Union Ave & Lorimer) Brooklyn, NY 11211

Oh yeah, Todd and I went to a Global Citizen Festival pre-party sponsored by Starr African Rum the night before. We drank so much. Then I remember seeing the Foo Fighters standing next to me at the bar. But I acted too cool by pretending I didn’t even notice. Then we left. Now that I think about it, I was kind of a dick. Not that Dave Grohl cares if I acknowledge him or not. But it was a behavior that only I knew I was doing. So it was like being a dick, but I was the only one that knew I was.

Ruby Foo’s Time Square

Dang, last night I went to see Mike Tyson’s one-man show on Broadway –“Undisputed Truth”. It was really good.  He pours his heart out and did a great job. It was interesting to watch, since I’ve been recently taking acting classes and practicing my speech and voice with workbooks. Tyson pushes himself to be open and daring, outside of his comfort zone on stage …that inspires me in my work, even in food blogging. And even though Tyson doesn’t have the best speech and voice (although I can tell he’s been working on it), he’s able to still communicate and connect with the audience. That gives me a lot of hope and better understanding that you can always work with what you got.

There were a lot of empty seats. And tickets are still available for the last final shows through this Sunday night. I recommend checking it out if you have the time and money. http://tysononbroadway.com/

I was kind of drunk and hungry leaving the show. Mike Tyson had a fancy car waiting for him to leave and a bunch of people standing at a guard rail on the sidewalk waiting to take his photo like paparazzi. It was a funny scene because it’s on the sidewalk and people like me need to cross it. I went to the corner and I saw Ruby Foo’s. I’ve heard of that restaurant. I think I read that that Tim Tebow ate there or someone else famous.

Entrees looked kind of pricey for certain things, like Pad Thai for $22 …but most of them were in the $20 range. I sat at the bar because they had the Olympics on and plus there were two chicks sitting there. I asked the bartender which was better, the Salmon or the Peking Duck? He was like “eh…” To simplify, “Which one is more popular?” He said neither are popular. No one really orders them. So I asked which dish was the ordered then. He said the General Ruby’s Chicken. I looked to see what that was —Chicken and Broccoli with Peppers. I thought to myself, “Oh shit, this is like an Olive Garden or fancy Applebees.”

I went with the Peking Duck ($22), because I didn’t think $21 Chicken and Broccoli sounded like it was worth it. The duck was pretty good. I was surprised there were no bones, except for the drumsticks. But that really shouldn’t be that surprising at a place like this. The meat was good and tender. Lots of that crispy skin that went well with the hoisin sauce. The bad was the overcooked limpy scallion and the tortilla-like pancakes. I wish they gave me steamed fluffy bao-style bread.

Ruby Foo’s ain’t too bad. But walking away, I thought it was a chain restaurant. But one that I’ve never been to …and I’m from Orlando. Now that I look it up, it isn’t a chain. The only location is in Time Square. But it is owned by BR Guest (Blue Water Grill, Dos Caminos, Wildwood BBQ). So I guess it makes sense in that fashion.

Ruby Foo’s – 1626 Broadway (btwn 49th & 50th St) New York, NY 10019

…Now that I think about it, I think I went to the old one that used to be in the Upper West side years ago when I first moved here. It was one of my first dates. I remembered liking it because you could get Chinese food and Sushi. I was young. I think my date was pissed by the end of the night …not because of Ruby Foo’s.