$1.25 + $.70 = Chinatown

Saturday, November 10, 2007 4comments No tags Permalink 0

While this amazing city offers culinary delights like no other, most come at a cost and the other day I was feeling quite poor after realizing that taxes wipe out my income. I’m not kidding. Like ALL of it. But I still wanted some good food. And I didn’t feel like cooking. So I walked to Chinatown with Shann, the one part of Manhattan where you always leave feeling like you’ve scored a bargain.

We stopped at this vendor on Canal Street, home of $1.25 noodles and lots of other cheap, hot and greasy food.

Spring rolls, fried chicken, fried rice, fish balls on sticks, lo mein and mei fun!

We took our noodles to Tai Pan Bakery just block away and sat one of the metal tables in the back of the bakery. I always feel bad sitting at their tables when I don’t buy anything from the bakery…but we’ve yet to be kicked out, hehe! That’s Shann’s mein you see above. I never cease to be amazed by the sheer amount of noodles they manage to stuff in such a tiny container.

I couldn’t decide between the mein or fun…so I got both! They don’t charge extra or anything, so that’s super cool :) The best of both worlds! In the end I liked the mei fun better cause it was substantially less greasy and had bits of scrambled eggs, onions AND tons of peas, which I really love. I LOVE PEAS!! (Yes, even the frozen ones, heehee). The mein was also very enjoyable, thick and chewy, nicely salted with cabbage and carrots…though I felt somewhat disgusted when I saw the pool of oil swimming at the bottom…If you like your noodles spicy, make sure to ask for hot sauce, which the cart guy will liberally squirt over the noodles before smashing your box shut.

The noodles left us happy but feeling like our tummies harboured a vat of grease. So we headed up to Orange Tea House on Mott Street for a warm cup of nai cha.

Mmmm, check out the bakery options! It takes a strong will to resist the siren calls of cheap and delicious Asian pastries…

…but we had our heads on straight and objectives in mind that day! $.70 buys a cup of black tea with a splash of milk and just enough sugar to taste. We parked out okoles on the counter seats and watched the fall Manhattan day pass by, via Chinatown.

Orange Tea House
79 Mott St.
NY, NY 10013
(212) 732-7178

  • anonymous
    November 10, 2007

    taxes nano-ized your paycheck? Welcome to the club.

  • SicklyBug & Cassaendra
    November 10, 2007

    (gah – I wanted to edit my comment but ended up having to delete it so I didn’t look like a dork posting twice!)Hi Kathy,The food in that cart looks soooo good! What a great price for the noodles. Chinatown looks like a fun place! *envy* Mei fun is my pick when it’s for myself, because I like the firm texture of the noodles. My next fav. is ho fun. :) My husband likes lo mein, so that’s what we end up getting most of the time.I used to LOVE peas until I had an incident in Okinawa visiting with family. One of my relatives owns a mochi shop and brought TONS of mochi with sweetened pea filling. It was so good that I ate 4-5 in one sitting. The lady (I don’t rem how she is related to me!) made the mochi 5x bigger than the normal and filled it just enough so they wouldn’t burst. It was better than an, and it was so fresh and soft! Can you imagine hamburger-sized mochi filled with mashed sweetened peas? And eating 4-5 of them? Well, a few hours later, I began squirming on the tatami as the pressure of digesting peas started to kick in. I was a Poot-o-Matic 5000 waiting to explode, but couldn’t leave out of courtesy to the guests who kept filing in to see us! Oh, the discomfort! :)- Cassaendra

  • chubbily
    November 10, 2007

    Food can taste better when it’s cheaper. Well ok, maybe it’s because one is more forgiving when one doesn’t pay haute cuisine prices. But I am very familiar with the food described in this blog entry. Cheap AND tasty. Cheap … it has a flavour!Oh, and I like this blog. The writing style kind of gives me a warm and cozy feeling. And a hungry one. And … now I must go to Chinatown and eats me some cheap’n’tasty!Cheers!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    November 10, 2007

    Hey Ron!haha, yet another introduction to the real world! :)Hey Cassaendra!LOL! Thanks for that wonderful story on the mochi & peas – I am still laughing!! =) I cannot even begin to imagine mochi THAT BIG!!! Ooo, we’re totally the same when it comes to funn, I am super duper in love with ho funn (just ate it again today!) and looove mein fun too…come to think of it, there’s no funn that I don’t like, lol! Hope you’re having a great weekend! :)Hey Chubbily!Hehe, glad you like the blog – that makes me so happy to hear! :) I looooove cheap food AND Chinatown, I always feel very satisfied with all my meals there! *Cheers to cheap, good and hearty!*

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