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$1.25 + $.70 = Chinatown

November 09, 2007


While this amazing city offers culinary delights like no other, most come at a cost and the other day I was feeling quite poor after realizing that taxes wipe out my income. I’m not kidding. Like ALL of it. But I still wanted some good food. And I didn’t feel like cooking. So I walked to Chinatown with Shann, the one part of Manhattan where you always leave feeling like you’ve scored a bargain.

We stopped at this vendor on Canal Street, home of $1.25 noodles and lots of other cheap, hot and greasy food.

Spring rolls, fried chicken, fried rice, fish balls on sticks, lo mein and mei fun!

We took our noodles to Tai Pan Bakery just block away and sat one of the metal tables in the back of the bakery. I always feel bad sitting at their tables when I don’t buy anything from the bakery…but we’ve yet to be kicked out, hehe! That’s Shann’s mein you see above. I never cease to be amazed by the sheer amount of noodles they manage to stuff in such a tiny container.

I couldn’t decide between the mein or fun…so I got both! They don’t charge extra or anything, so that’s super cool :) The best of both worlds! In the end I liked the mei fun better cause it was substantially less greasy and had bits of scrambled eggs, onions AND tons of peas, which I really love. I LOVE PEAS!! (Yes, even the frozen ones, heehee). The mein was also very enjoyable, thick and chewy, nicely salted with cabbage and carrots…though I felt somewhat disgusted when I saw the pool of oil swimming at the bottom…If you like your noodles spicy, make sure to ask for hot sauce, which the cart guy will liberally squirt over the noodles before smashing your box shut.

The noodles left us happy but feeling like our tummies harboured a vat of grease. So we headed up to Orange Tea House on Mott Street for a warm cup of nai cha.

Mmmm, check out the bakery options! It takes a strong will to resist the siren calls of cheap and delicious Asian pastries…

…but we had our heads on straight and objectives in mind that day! $.70 buys a cup of black tea with a splash of milk and just enough sugar to taste. We parked out okoleson the counter seats and watched the fall Manhattan day pass by, via Chinatown.

Orange Tea House
79 Mott St.
NY, NY 10013
(212) 732-7178

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