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By Steven Li on 2006-11-24

November 24, 2006


10:00 am snack.
The Jacques Torres mudslide cookie. Dark chocolate, melted and in jagged chucks hold it’s form with toasted walnuts in a decadent batter rich in eggs and sugar. It’s my idea of morning high. Every bite is at once fudgey, cookie-like and almost pudding dense. It’s the best of all worlds. Except when considering the possibility of diabetes and cavities. But when something is this decadent, surrender your will and indulge. Sound intriguing? If you’re not nearby, make it on your own. The Amateur Gourmet and Jeanne over at World on A Plate surely reaped the rewards of their hardwork.

11:00 am. Weather starts to turn bad. But when the tummy’s comes a calling, there’s no turning back. Even if you’re the one person in the city without an umbrella (don’t worry, I eventually got one in Chinatown).

11:15 am. Destination reached. It;s once again back to Joe Shanghai where I met the first xiao long bao of my life.

And that is why I come back here – for nostalgic reasons and nothing else. My first visit was in the summer of 2003 and I had City Search-ed this place to death (this was prior to Chowhound years). I got my parents all hyped up, because living in Hawaii, no restaurant back home offered xiao long baos on the menu. And let me tell you, they were so perfect the first time we had them that I remember we went back three times in two days. That’s dedication. And now when I come visit a few times each year, I realized that they in fact, do not make juiciest xiao long baos. The skin is always thicker than New Green Bo just streets away, and the soup can be unnervingly salty on certain occasions. But it is good food as long you know what to expect. I don’t come with the anticipation of a gourmet experience. I come to sit in the same seat I sat in years ago, before I knew what it was like to live in the city. And before I discovered just how exciting food could be.

12:30 pm. Bought an umbrella from the lady on the street. It broke after I opened it for the third time. I vow never to buy umbrellas off the street again.

Jacques Torres Chocolate
350 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-2462

Joe’s Shanghai
9 Pell Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 233-8888

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