Chinese restaurant, the New York experience

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NYNM
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2005/10/15 21:36:22 (permalink)

Chinese restaurant, the New York experience

Had an early dinner tonite at Sammy's Noodles in Greenwich Village. While eating some good steamed veggies and chicken, I so much enjoyed looking around the place, at the "real" New Yorkers there.

One character after another enjoying their meal. Like, they were repairing the streets outside (on Saturday evening?) so the street noise was competing with the shouts of the patrons bouncing off the walls, the wierd man in the bad toupee and tinted glasses next to me, the well-dressed young black woman eating with the well dressed young Dominican man, the Jewish families, the gay couples, the elderly Village regulars, all talking louder that the other one...

I thought, this would be a great experience for tourists who want to see "real" things, not just eat in tourist restaurants with other tourists.....Food was good, too...
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    ScreenBear
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/16 02:05:09 (permalink)
    Best Chinese dinner I ever had was in London's Chinatown. I had squid (calamari) with black bean sauce. It was great. Anyone know a place in or around NYC where they serve this dish, and regularly, so that I know the calamari is fresh...not frozen?
    #2
    Scallion1
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/16 08:41:13 (permalink)
    the frequency with which the dish is served has nothing to do with whether or not the squid has been frozen. and, with all due respect, if the squid (and the same goes for shrimp)is of good quality and has been properly handled and defrosted, there's no way you'd know, in any case.
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    Scallion1
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/16 08:43:43 (permalink)
    also: i doubt that london's chinese food scene features anything that can't be found in nyc's china town. maybe - maybe - that would be the case if you were asking about indian food.

    my suggestion, if you don't get a satisfactory answer here, is to go to chowhound.com and check the message boards there.
    #4
    Trebor K
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/16 09:15:16 (permalink)
    FYI - When it comes to NY Chinatown, do not focus just on Chinatown in downtown Manhattan, although it is more convenient and still needs the post 9/11 business. If you have access by car, do not mind a ride on the No. 7 subway to the end or can afford the cab ride, check out the evergrowing Chinatown in Flushing, Queens. The influx of asian immigrants over the past 20 years has resulted in a thriving and incredibly varied Chinese and other Asian range of restaurants, greater in number than those in Manhattan. Almost any cantonese or hong kong restaurant will serve a credible squid in black bean sauce, whether the squid is frozen or not. I highly doubt that any places serve fresh squid as most squid available for consumption is frozen. So long as squid is frozen quickly and served not too long after defrosting you should have no problems enjoying squid dishes in any place worth its tentacles.

    Chowhound.com would be a good source for the latest pix in any NYC Chinatown locale.

    #5
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/16 23:55:16 (permalink)
    Thanks for the info. Do you have a particular favorite in Flushing?
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    Gary Soup
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/19 00:15:06 (permalink)
    FWIW, you won't find a lot of Cantonese food in Flushing. You seldom even hear anything other than Mandarin Chinese spoken on the streets, and the restaurants tend toward Sichuanese, Taiwanese, Shanghainese,etc.

    Sichuan Dynasty on 40th Road (?) and Shanghai Tide next door are good, as is the bubble tea place (Relax Tea House?) with Taiwanese small plates on Prince St. There are also quite a few takeaway dumpling stalls to check out.
    #7
    Scallion1
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/19 06:48:27 (permalink)
    I was always under the impression that Mandarin was the dialect spoken by the overwhelming majority of people in China, so it would only make sense that the same would be true here, or do I have my facts wrong?
    #8
    NYNM
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2005/10/19 22:57:57 (permalink)
    Just a comment.....My original thoughts were about the clientele and ambience in NY Chinese restaurants, not the food per se. In addition to the good comments, I'm still curious about comments on the "scene" in these restaurants....(and Chinese restaurants in other cities as well, I guess)
    #9
    Ciaoman
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2006/06/29 23:00:51 (permalink)
    Recently had a great dinner in NY's Chinatown: place called Great NY Noodletown. So fresh, so delicious! Amazing how inexpensive. Place was filled with Asians. They served us a dish of sauteed baby bok choy that blew us all away. Also, their lobster rolls were incredible. Very very good in all respects.

    As good as NY's Chinese/Asian restaurants are, IMHO the restaurants in San Fran's Chinatown are on a par with NYC. Especially for Dim Sum and real Cantonese. Delicious!
    #10
    Jimeats
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2006/06/30 06:09:06 (permalink)
    Be carefull, someone might chastize you for bringing up an old post, none the less an oldie but goddie. As NYNM said above we here in Boston have a few places to get the real flavor of the city and our Chinatown at 2am is the place to find it. Some very good restaraunts and real true charators, from people in Armanni suits to construction workers, working girls, cops the whole gammet but very few tourists unless there is a convention in town. I don't know how true this is but I once heard that there were only 3 good areas in the country for Chinese food. Boston, New York and San Fran. Back in the 60s and 70s when I lived south of the Mason Dixon the Chinese food was poor at best. Generally when I travel I like to eat what the area is noted for, when I have company in from out of town it's always the fried clam, steamers, lobster and chowder thing, but one meal is always Chinese and my guests invariably always rave about how good it is and they can't get it that way at home. The next time I'm in NY I'll give that area a try. Chow Jim
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    Ashphalt
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2006/06/30 11:57:44 (permalink)
    I do miss the characters in NYC restaurants. Not the fancy places but the typical haunts in every neighborhood where you get the regulars and newcomers mixed together.

    One of my favorite Chinese restaurant experiences was in the West 80s/90s about 20 years ago (at that time considered to be pretty much a culinary wasteland compared to much of the rest of Manhattan). A couple at a nearby table was obviously on their first date and the man was trying to make an impression. When the food was delivered he kept the waiter from leaving the table and told him he could serve them. Waiter replied, "this not fancy East Side place, you want food served you go to East Side," and left.

    I've always imagined that was a last date.
    #12
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Chinese restaurant, the New York experience 2006/07/02 08:42:49 (permalink)


    Going to Chinatown is a big 'must do' every time I go into the city. I have a favorite hole in the wall called The Dumpling House. It is right off of Canal Street. It's odd as they don't have that many dumplings per se, but the food comes out of the kitchen at amazing speed. There are some Korean and slight Thai flavors on the menu and special board.
    There are individual tables, but what is interesting is the big round community tables where you will sit next to strangers. If you come in with a group of five, then you will be sat there next to whoever else is eating.

    My main purpose of going to Chinatown is to bring food back home to eat. I will get a whole roast duck and BBQ pork buns. I ask them to double bag it as I will walk around the city with the stuff.
    My last and very recent trip was interesting in that on the train ride home, the duck had a pungent smell that really overwhelmed the passenger car of the train.

    mark
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