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Sunday’s Theme: Will Pedal for Dim Sum!

My bike has been cooped up in the corner of my room all year. That is no place for a bike. I’ve only ever rode down the East River Parkway until just past the South Street Seaport then I get nervous and turn around.

Yesterday morning, I left without a definite plan. I ended up going 10 miles, according to my Garmin, by the time I was done. I even went cross-town for the first time, and rode with the NYC traffic. My brakes work every well, by the way. Thank God! There were two close calls where I needed them. But I survived!!

This ride reminded just how beautiful the city is and how much of it I never get to. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures. I was too nervous and excited for pictures. I just kept pedaling and didn’t stop until I got home. I rode through the Seaport just as they were setting up for the market. Then, I headed to Battery Park right at the tip of the island. The view of the Statue of Liberty was awesome and it was the perfect time of day. As much as I wanted to stop and lay on the grass lawn for a while, dim sum was calling my name, and my stomach was definitely responding.I was starved!I would have skipped showering just to be able to eat sooner, but I was dripping sweat. Already, it was hot and humid.

Dim sum falls under the brunch category. Brunch is my absolute favorite meal and my favorite part of the weekend. Whether we go out or make it ourselves. If you ever do dim sum in Chinatown, I recommend getting there earlier. Bryan and I arrived at Oriental Garden around noon. Between 11 and 12 is right before it gets ridiculously busy. Next door is Jing Fong, the big dim sum place, it already had a huge line. Oriental Garden is smaller, not as hectic, the staff is nicer, and in my opinion the food is much better. We split all our favorites. Started with steamed shrimp in rice noodle, bok choy, and turnip cake. I love the turnip cake.

We also ended up getting steamed pork bun and Bryan got chive dumplings. Everything usually comes with 3 pieces. Bryan takes 2 and I take 1. This keeps portion controls in check and still allows me to try everything.

After eating, we just wandered around exploring. We really haven’t been down to Chinatown in at least 6 months. I always for get how awesome it is.  Food is beyond great, the atmosphere is always crazy, and the groceries are so damn cheap! I know produce shopping in Chinatown sounds sketchy. So, I did some research.  The vendors, that means shops and street stands, all get their produce from Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx. This produce wholesaler happens to be the largest distributor in the world. It is also where a lot of the grocery stores and restaurants get their wholesale produce.

So it is safe to buy produce in Chinatown. Let your wallets rejoice! And they are not importing non-FDA approved food or growing it in their backyards or anything. It is actually really fresh and ready to eat ripe. That is how they are able to sell so cheap. Ripe right now produce is cheaper. Supermarkets want less than ripe food, so they have time to sell it. The locals in Chinatown are shopping habits like Europeans. They buy daily and they buy fresh. They want it ripe now because it is better eaten fresh, than stored for days. On that note, if you are looking to only organic products, then Chinatown is not the place for you. But if you are looking for something comparable to anything grocery store – and probably better quality, for a better price then definitely check it out. There are several chain grocery stores in the city that always have crappy produce, and I have never had anything bad from Chinatown.

If it was not evident by that speech, I love Chinatown! Here is what we walked away with:

  • 1 pound bok choy – $1.19
  • 1 eggplant – $0.99
  • Package of Firm tofu – $1.09
  • 1 lb of cherries $3 (these were sweet and delicious! And the purchase I am most proud of
  • ½ lb of fresh cooked shrimp – $3
  • Bryan for 2 lobsters for $10

And no day out is complete without ice cream. Before heading back we had to hit up The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I highly recommend the taro or the black sesame. Sounds weird but they are both surprisingly delicious. No words really. Some of my favorite ice cream. Both flavors actually remind me a little of cookies and cream.

What is the most exotic ice cream flavor you have had?