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Friday, August 12, 2011


On a recent trip to Richmond, B.C., the value of a good guide was reaffirmed when exploring Chinatown. (Anywhere, for that matter.) With thousands of options, how do you figure out where to go, let alone the two specialties on 100-item menu?

Craig Nelson figured out Manhattan’s Chinatown on his own. Not For Tourists guide editor by day, Nelson spent years worth of lunches trying every place he could walk to near their offices. Then he made his own app – Chinatown Chow Down. (Insert gong sound here).

We started with pork buns at Mei Li Wah Bakery – brown (baked) or white (steamed) – is about all you need to say at the counter. We scarfed them in the street - they’re packed with sweet, meaty flavor. Total cost for both? $1.60! Cheaper than a Snickers bar!!! Ha!

We had sit-down handmade noodles around the corner, fritters and a mustard green sandwich from a street-food vendor which we ate in the park under the West Side Highway. We capped the tour with my favorite – fresh sour plum juice at Yuen Yuen. It’s sweet, sour, funky and smoky. How did they make it smoky? No matter – just keep it coming. How much? $1.25! Fresh juice for less than a Coke! Where’s that gong?!?!

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