Apr 132011

Our last day in New York consisted of heading to Chinatown first. I love going to places like this because the culture is so strong, and you can really get a feel for their food and lifestyle. New York’s Chinatown is one of the largest Chinatowns in the entire United States, so it was exciting to explore and fun to compare it to the Chinatown I frequent in San Francisco. We went to a Dim Sum bakery for lunch, and for about $5 each we were full off of shrimp dumplings, pork buns, and sweet sesame balls for dessert! And even though we were nice and full after the meal, as we were walking down the street I couldn’t help but notice a street cart selling “Chinese Cakes”!

These “cake” are basically flavorful puffs that resemble the texture of a waffle. Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods describes these snacks as a “mix between a fortune cookie and a waffle”. Simply put, delicious. And nothing is better than eating them so freshly made! I was able to watch the lady make about 4 dozen of them while I was waiting in line! She pours the batter into a cast iron skillet with circular molds. She then puts another cast iron skillet on top to cover it up and sets the entire thing on an open flame. This slowly cooks the batter until they form a shell but keeps the inside warm and fluffy. Then the finished mini cakes are dumped into a serving pan and dished out to customers in a small bag.

For $1, I got 15 pieces of heaven–totally worth it.

We then visited a local bakery, and if you haven’t been into a Chinese bakery before, you’re missing out. Pastries, desserts, and breads are piled throughout the room, and the aroma makes you want to buy everything.

After grabbing some bread and picking up a couple of souvenirs, we headed over to the Financial District of New York. It seemed like the area was filled with two types of people: tourists and very well-dressed businessmen/women. We snapped some pictures by the famous Charging Bull near Wall Street, saw the New York Stock Exchange Building, passed by some interestingly marketed ads for the area, and then went on our merry way to our final destination in Manhattan.

Our last stop of the day before heading to Boston was Madison Square Gardens! The area was incredibly busy but nonetheless had numerous stores and shops! We stopped in front of a store called A & H Food Plaza and were enticed by their gelato so we went in. I had to rub my eyes and make sure I was seeing everything correctly because the back of the store had the largest hot/cold food line I have ever seen! There had to be over 100 dishes, and I couldn’t stop walking up and down the isles! Ribs, chow mein, salads, fruit, chicken, vegetables, cheeses, dessert–if you name it, it was probably there. I know if I lived near that area, I would go there all the time (and probably gain about 15 pounds in the first week)! Here’s what some of the dishes looked like:

Finally, before our 4 hour bus ride to Boston, my cousin insisted that he try a kabob from one of the street stands. His goal was to get one from a Sabrett Cart since they were the most popular and you could spot their signature blue and yellow umbrella on almost every street corner in Manhattan! They added some barbecue sauce before grilling it for him and then smothered some more on afterwards. It looked soo good!!! Mission: Completed.

This is part 3 out of 6 about my recent visit to the East Coast. Normal posts will resume after this series!

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  8 Responses to “NYC: Chinatown, The Financial District and Madison Square Garden”

  1. Your trip to New York seemed so exciting. The best part was the many choices of food to eat. Ummmm, Im not a big sweets person so I like the ribs and the heavy stuff. Thanks again Steph

  2. I love hearing about your trip to New York, I definitely have some ideas for my next visit, especially the 5$ dim sum lunch, that is a must.

    Do you get out to Boston and New York often?

    • Thank you so much for reading!! And it was actually my first time on the East Coast! I went a little crazy and was the ULTIMATE tourist haha. It was so amazing, and I’m living vicariously through your blog posts about New York and Brooklyn now! :)

  3. The couple of times I ventured down to China Town when I lived in NYC, I kept passing restaurants with dead chickens hanging in the window.

    My appetite kind of disappeared.

    PS: I NEVER found a Chinese bakery. That would have brought my appetite back to life.

  4. hi! my husband LOVES those chinese cakes so I’ve been looking for a way to make them for him. And guess what? I discovered that Williams-sonoma sells the waffle pan!! I surprised him with it for our anniversary: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/nordic-ware-egg-waffle-pan/?pkey=e|waffle|18|best|0|1|24||11&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Feature_Recipe_Rule-_-#BVRRWidgetID

    We’ve made it a few times with the waffle mix that you can buy with it, its definitely hard to pull off. We are going to keep trying with a different more authentic recipe.

    • That’s so cool you can buy the pan!! I never knew that so whenever I see someone making them or the cakes on a restaurant menu, I always order them!! :) Now, maybe I can see if I can make them at home! Thanks for the tip! Amazing!!

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