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Suggestible Eating

November 13, 2012
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I don’t know how normal people figure out what to eat each day, but I know that no matter what I had planned, no matter how virtuous or delicious — all I have to do is read about something — and it all changes. A description of an apple, or someone describing a delicious grilled cheese sandwich, or even a character eating some McDonald’s … it triggers a craving that could last for days. Sadly,  I read a lot more about cookies, pies and fast food than I do about grilled salmon and steamed veggies. I should probably read more fitness magazines, but knowing me, my food craving would be triggered more by the “before” food instead of the “healthy makeover version.”

Anyway, I’ve just finished a pretty good book called The Last Chinese Chef. I don’t know if I loved the book, but I did love the detailed descriptions of authentic Chinese banquets. And one thing they keep stressing is that American Chinese food is nothing like it. Which of course, I knew. But man, it’s killing me. Especially knowing I live in NYC – subway stops away from Chinatown, which has to at least have a close approximation, and yet — I fear that without a Chinese friend guiding me, I’ll never have the experience I crave. The closest I can think of to the kinds of food they describe in the book is a Vegetarian Dim Sum place that I love. So, I’ll go there but … I really need to expand my social circle.

Any suggestions? If you were a white chick trying to order semi-authentic food at a Chinese restaurant and knew you were going to get a watered-down American version anyway — what would you order? Any NYC foodies with a recommendation for a restaurant or want to go for dinner?


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich Mintz permalink
    November 14, 2012 11:44 am

    I’d suggest going to Great NY Noodletown and ordering pretty much anything (although I have a fondness for roast pork on rice). The dishes are plain, the atmosphere plainer, which makes it clear that you are getting something real.

  2. November 14, 2012 10:39 pm

    I’m still feeling sort of new to the area and so have no suggestions (sorry!) but I’m up for trying a few new places if you need a companion (or two).

  3. Jake permalink
    November 20, 2012 12:39 pm

    SO many options, Erica!! Here’s just a short list of authentic Chinese food that is accessible for non-Chinese speakers. Still may have some difficulty but plenty of pictures and places to point.

    Xi’an’s Famous Foods (Chinatown/Flushing) [Western Chinese, lots of spicy lamb and noodles]
    Spicy Village – formerly known as Henan Flavor [spicy wide noodles] (Chinatown/Flushing)
    Super 88 [Traditional Hong Kong dimsum] (Chinatown)
    Jade Asian [Traditional Hong Kong dimsum] (Flushing)
    Joe’s Shanghai (Chinatown) – a bit “touristy” but you can’t deny the authenticity [Shanghai style] (Chinatown)
    Full House Cafe [Taiwanese Style] (Chinatown)
    Hong Kong Station [Hong Kong diner] (Chinatown)

    And this is just the beginning!!

    • November 20, 2012 1:04 pm

      Jake!!! How did I forget that you are the PERFECT person to help?

      When are we going for dinner?

      • Jake permalink
        November 20, 2012 1:16 pm

        T-giving break possibly? Or some other random weekend? Topher and I are always down for Chinese food…its the #1 thing we’ve missed since moving to Williamsburg :-/

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