Food Tour Fall 2010: A Taste of Asia
Just like the last one in May, my friend Seth set this tour up as well. This time, we focused on Asian cuisine. Our trip started in the heart of Chinatown. Dr. Awesome and I made our way down to Xi’an Famous Foods. As per our usual ritual whenever we venture there, we stop at a little cart that makes these tasty, fluffy cakes. You get 15 for $1. It’s pretty awesome.
We met up with Seth and his husband Nate and waited around for everyone to show. I got to take in a lot of the great scenery right off the Manhattan Bridge.
Our lovely tour guides: Seth and Nate.
Once everyone showed up, we figured out what dishes to get. We decided on pork, lamb, beef and vegetarian noodles to start out. They don’t lie when they say the noodles are hand-pulled. Watch below for my video evidence. It wasn’t anything too major, but you can see how every dish is made to order, including the noodles.
Neat, right? So with our gigantic take away containers, we made our way north to sit in a park. We attracted much attention with our huge meal and our horrible usage of chop sticks.
What’s cool is that, as you can see in the video, the noodle has no separation. It’s just one long, continuous thing. It was very interesting trying to take a portion of each. Next, we made our way to Astor Place to A-Pou’s Taste cart. These potstickers that we got are from a Taiwanese recipe. We bought five pork and five beef.
I always pass this place by after I walk home from the gym. I wasn’t too impressed. It may be that we took these to Seth’s parent’s apartment and they cooled down a lot from the walk. They just weren’t very tasteful and the crunchy part didn’t taste like cooked crunch, more like a raw noodle one.
Our next stop was supposed to be a Dosa cart that was on the south side of Washington Square park, but alas, it wasn’t there, so we trudged onward to our next location in Union Square: a Cambodian sandwich place called Num Pang Sandwich Shop. Dr. Awesome and I split a five-spiced pork belly sandwich.
I don’t know, I thought it was a tad expensive ($7.50 vs. Nicky‘s which is like $5.50 and you get about the same amount). That’s not to say that it wasn’t yummy and filled! We found a spot to sit in Union Square park to enjoy our bounty.
After trying not to make a mess in the park, we headed to our final stop: Fatty ‘Cue at the Madison Square Park Market.
Dr. Awesome and I split the Fatty Dog. I don’t remember what was in it, but it wasn’t that great, unfortunately. I’ll have to go to the actual restaurant in Brooklyn and really check it out.
We eventually found a table. One of the Greek stands had a whole lamb roasting which was awesome! A lot of people didn’t like seeing that. We also spotted the Waffles and Dinges stand and had to hit that up.
After getting to pet a French Bulldog, we all said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways. I convinced Dr. Awesome to come with me and try Vandaag—a newly opened Dutch/Danish influenced restaurant/bar. It’s my new favorite place. We sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender and he helped steer us in the right direction on what cocktails we should have. I started off with a Turf War (AKVAVIT, LILLET, MARASCHINO, ORANGE BITTER & ABSINTHE WITH AN OLIVE & LEMON TWIST) pictured below:
And then ended the night with the Vandaag Gin Cocktail (BOLS GENEVER, GOLDEN ALE REDUCTION, BITTERS WITH A WASH OF KIRSCHWASSER & ABSINTHE). These drinks were awesome. What was really cool was that the bartender used the orange or lemon peel (depending on the drink) and rubbed the outer rim of the glass with it before putting it in the drink. It took the cocktail to a whole other level by having the smell of it + the alcohol and the taste at the same time. We also tried their seasonal pickle pot which came with green beans, red carrots and some sort of fruit. Went really well with what we drank.
I’m excited to see what other places we go to on the next foor tour. We were tossing around the idea of a dessert pot luck.
I have to give a huge thank you to Seth for setting this all up. As usual, it was a great time!