Exactly one month ago, I wrote about the godawful roast pork bun from Sun Say Kai. Well, I’m happy to report, Sun Say Kai has redeemed themselves with the most awesome pineapple buns (bo lo bao) in Chinatown! I kid you not, these buns are the real deal. The bread itself is soft, dense, and chewy, as Chinese pastries tend to be, but what really makes the pineapple buns at Sun Say Kai better than most, is the extra-thick crunchy topping. The sweet crumbly top is practically cookie-like, and is definitely addictive if you like thin crispy sugar cookies made with lard. MORE »
Spring is here and that means it’s taco time! Sure you can get a taco in the winter, but nothing beats grabbing a taco on a warm spring day and immediately eating it street-side or even better at a park right after it’s been made. Also, temperatures conducive to drinking ice cold cerverzas with your taco don’t hurt. Two weeks ago, it was one of those beautiful sunny Sundays in New York just meant for lazy city meanderings and taco eating, when David and I came upon Pinche Taqueria in Nolita. I’d read on Serious Eats they had the “first good fish taco” “outside Southern California or Mexico,” so our meanderings momentarily ended as we filed into the tiny shop for some south of the border goodness. MORE »
My usual go-to banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) spot is Banh Mi Saigon on Mott Street. I used to prefer the other popular shop in Alphabet City, but then last summer, I got a severe case of food poisoning one day after eating a banh mi there. After that, I’ve been a bit wary of the place, and have been sticking to the Vietnamese sandwiches in Chinatown. Because trust me, if I got sick, something must have been terribly wrong.
Last week, I got off the N train on Canal Street with a craving for a banh mi, but for some reason, I didn’t want to go above Canal Street. Instead, I ended up wandering down Mott Street when I saw the grand opening sign for Pho So 1 advertising a ten percent discount off all of their Vietnamese sandwiches (take-out only). Banh mis, usually in the $3-$4 range, are cheap as is, but a ten percent discount on top of that was pretty ridiculous. So where some people would be scared of a discount on food in Chinatown, I readily descended into the depths of Pho So 1. MORE »
The bad thing about ever denying yourself anything, is that you’ll crave it even more and overindulge when given the chance. Case in point, the end of last year, I decided to reduce my carbohydrate intake. Subsequently, two weeks ago, I finally gave in to my cravings and ate three Chinese pastries immediately after eating a bowl of pho. Yeah, not so good. So instead of delaying the inevitable, I decided to forgo the carb diet nonsense, and have been happily spending my lunches at Sullivan Street Bakery, aka Carb Heaven. MORE »
I should really title this post “Desserts at Sun Say Kai,” since I went there after eating a few spring rolls and an entire bowl of pho, but Chinese pastries aren’t really desserts. They’re more like portable mini-meals that a normal person would probably eat for breakfast or a mid-day snack. So, for the sake of appearing less like a glutton, let’s just say the snacking took place a few hours after lunch, not a few minutes.
At a Chinese bakery, I normally get either a roast pork bun (char-siu bao), a pineapple bun (bo lo bao), or a slice of rice cake (baak tong gou). At an attempt to watch my weight, I decided to nix the pineapple bun and got a sticky rice roll, a roast pork bun, and a slice of rice cake. Yes, I could have gotten just one pastry, but my rationale at the time was that I would just have a few bites of each. Of course that didn’t happen, but each baked good was only seventy to ninety cents. In my mind, if it’s that cheap, it doesn’t really count. MORE »