If you have the chance to go back to your chow city, the one you know best, if you could plan a weekend of low to moderate ethnic meals what would it involve? (It needs to be able to fit into real time and stomach constraints.)
I no longer live in NY but today I was fantasizing about an 11 am-ish dim sum at Oriental Garden in chinatown manhattan (good shrimp-only rolls (the fried ones to be eaten with mayo), scallop dumplings, and pea shoots, among other things). This followed by a ride to brighton beach, this is a june fantasy, where we work up an appetite at the aquarium and/or on the beach. I get a side of wild mushrooms, varenecki, and pickled vegetables at Cafe Gina (and hopefully my SO something equally good, he doesn't always let me choose for both of us :). Later that night, after the subway ride back, and anything non-chowish we choose to do, we head up to Wu Liang Ye on 48th st for "sichuan noodles," aka the ultimate version of sesame noodles, and kung pao chicken or ma po tofu, none of these tasting remotely like anything the non-sichuanese chinese restaurants try to pawn off for these things.
On Sunday, no eating until we get to Sabor Tropical in Astoria for lunch, where we order shrimp strognanoff and the steak picanha which is thin steak with garlic that arrives on a hot cast iron pan.
I think this would be perfect, and though not giving me much time for buying food, satisfy all cravings I have living where I am now. If i had to fit in one food shopping expedition to bring home, it would be zabar's on sunday after the brazilian restaurant for kippered salmon, nova, whitefish salad, and their gefilte fish.