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Restaurants & Bars 3

Bay Area jian bing? And: Everyday Beijing's jian bing.

David Farris | Jan 2, 201110:48 PM

Does anyone know any place in the Bay Area that serves jian bing (possibly aka jian bing guozi or dan bing) besides Everyday Beijing in San Mateo? This question results from learning that it was served at Cafe Go Go from a three-year-old post from Gary Soup, and then discovering--happily, before showing up!--that it closed a few months ago.

In my despair, I went to Everyday Beijing for lunch today. Their "jian bing guozi" is good, but not the breakfast I still crave from a summer in Shanghai. The best in Shanghai had a wonderful flaky crust; at EB, the crepe is soft. Last time I had assumed that they weren't fresh, but on my second go I suspect that it's due to a difference in composition--whereas the crispy ones had an egg cracked on a partly hardened crepe, whereas the ones I had today were probably mixed in to the batter at an early stage, resulting in a soft eggy crepe. (And I don't see why anyone would want their crepes soft and eggy rather than thin and crispy.) The pickled vegetables were nearly overwhelming--they were actually too spicy for my Cantonese dining companion. The crepe etc. here surround a yo tiao/cruller/Chinese donut; again, pretty good, but I much prefer the variant I encountered in Shanghai that substituted a sheet of crispy tofu instead. The combined crunch of the crepe/crispy tofu was one of the most satisfying things about that dish; this is a bit soggy in comparison.

N.B. I have little idea whether EB's dish is a perfectly authentic version of some other part of China's jian bing guozi which I don't happen to like as much as the jian bing with which I'm familiar (a Shanghainese friend thought the 'guozi' might have something to do with a Tianjin variant of jian bing). Also,while I'd love to eat the jian bing of my dreams in northern California, I'd be thrilled to find something resembling with EB's JBG in SF or the East Bay; any tips on anything vaguely similar would be most welcome. Thanks!

Everyday Beijing
637 South B Street, San Mateo, CA

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