A Taste of Chinatown
A couple of weekends ago, Chinatown New York, played host to its annual Taste of Chinatown party. For $1 or $2 a plate, depending on the restaurant, you were given a sample of the foods that make Chinatown great.
The vast majority of participating restaurants were located on Mott Street with a few scattered about the side streets. The best food was closer to Canal Street. The closer you got to Chatham Square, the food offerings became more and more mundane, almost mall like with samples of sweet and sour chicken, general Tso's chicken, pork lomein etc.
This was a great culinary adventure. Dim Sum, Chow Fun, Peking Duck, Pork Buns, all sorts of noodles, meats, fishes and poultry. It was all there for the taking. I tried all sorts of foods without even knowing what some of them were. I didn't care. I was here to eat. I even tried fish balls. Yup, they were as awful as the name suggests. I did however draw the line at vegetarian duck. That just sounds nasty. I just don't want to know what goes into vegetarian duck!
The best food, IMHO, was found at 70 Mott Street. They had some shrimp chive dumplings that were out of this world. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. Another great food option was the Peking duck at another place just off Canal. Damn, it was good. I should have paid attention to the names of the restaurants, but the crowds made that near impossible. And I was too busy eating!
It had been a while since I'd been to Chinatown and I forgot how good and cheap the food could be. I've got to get down there more often. But even Chinatown has it's share of lousy restaurants. Here's one that tries to fit into the neighborhood, but it's just another tourist trap. Thank God my kids have learned to stay away from places like that.