Checked out nyc's Taste of Chinatown last weekend. Since the weather was gorgeous, everyone and their mom was out. We got down at noon on the dot and already Mott & Canal were crawling at a slow pace. Definitely plan to arrive early. Another good tip is to check out the menus and participating restaurants online at the official website. We noticed that in most cases there seemed to be extra food items offered that were not listed on the posted menu (not that this was a bad thing), but the tables were crowded enough where you couldn't just browse around very easily just to see who had what. Quite a few places were serving momofuku ssam style open face buns with roast duck, and noodle dishes, etc.
We hit up the Peking Duck House right away and even at NOON there was about a 30 minute wait. Definitely worth it, the crispy skinned duck pieces wrapped in a tortilla with whole scallion was the best food we had all day ($2/piece). Be careful, there was a second, shorter line, but this was just to purchase duck bones for stock.
The desserts were mostly the favorites - egg custards from Egg Custard King and delicious mango rice balls (like mochi rolled in coconut with chopped mango and something similar to ricotta on the inside) from Fay Da. My friend really liked Fay Da's coconut tart, which was a tart shell packed with shredded coconut.
At Amazing 66 we tried the beef and pumpkin - a take on their famous short ribs and pumpkin. The flavor and pumpkin were good, leaning towards Indian, but the meat was a bit tough and still quite fatty.
Tried the banana sticky rice at Bangkok grocery which had sat so long it was a hard glutinous mess, still tasted pretty good though. Should have gotten the Curry Chicken which smelled great.
Fong Inn Too offered huge portions of Taro and Turnip cakes which were great, you just had to go into the actual store to get them. So good.
Possibly the tastiest scallion pancake ever was a part of Moon House Restaurant's combo plate - also the best thing on it. It came with 2 fried sweet bready things and a fried wonton. Since we were pretty full at this point, it was great that right down the street, Nice One Bakery was giving out free samples of their cookies and mooncakes, so we just got a nice taste and didn't have to buy.
All in all, Taste is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and taste a few things you may not normally order. Overall the food wasn't amazing, but still a fun experience. All I can say is get there early, and get the duck!
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