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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

101 Places to See Before You're 12 - A "Little" Country and An Ethnic Restaurant

A "Little" Country and An Ethnic Restaurant
We're doubling up 101 Places with this post because it's fitting.
After touring the Intrepid, we made our way over to Chinatown to explore that "little" neighborhood and to have Thomas's birthday dinner at an ethnic restaurant of his choice.

Chinatown and Little Italy are next door neighbors in Manhattan.  Little Italy, though, has changed a lot and is not nearly as authentic as it was.  In fact, our guide book suggested we skip it entirely, which we ended up doing.  Chinatown, though, was the real deal.

On the outskirts was this pretty little park that we stopped at first.

I have to say, Chinatown was not my favorite part of Manhattan. 
I felt a little conspicuous taking too many photos.  This is a good photo though looking up the main avenue.

Lots of outdoor shops and kiosks.
Look at those dragon fruits!

The boys have eaten in lots of ethnic restaurants.   David and I prefer ethnic restaurants to chains. I'd much prefer to go out for Indian, Japanese, or Thai vs. Applebee's.  But I have never documented one of our visits.    Thomas wanted to claim this one as our 101 Places.  I had marked a number of recommended restaurants in Chinatown on our map.  He chose Noodletown.

The food was really good.  One thing we noticed in New York - everywhere we went the portions were huge.  We always ended up getting too much food.  But we shared and got to try 4 different dishes everywhere we went.

From the Book:
A "Little" Country
North America is often called a melting pot - everyone who comes here brings flavor of his or her own culture to the mix.  Sample one of these fascinating flavors when you visit a place where immigrants keep their cultural traditions alive.  Walk down the bustling streets of a Chinatown, and you'll hear people speaking in dozens of dialects and see storefronts filled with intriguing items.  Eat a steamy hot bowl of pho at a restaurant in a Little Saigon.  Check out the Indian hip-hop CDs and beautiful sari fabrics in the stores of a Little India.  Listen to the Muslim call to prayers in a Middle Eastern neighborhood.  There are so many amazing experiences to be had in a "little city" near you - no passport required.

An Ethnic Restaurant
Are you the kind of kid that thinks french fries are a foreign food and eating pizza counts as having an Italian meal?  Take your tastebuds on a trip to a faraway land of fascinating flavors.  Try sushi (Japanese), dim sum (Chinese), or baba ghanoush (Middle Eastern).  Don't be daunted by unfamiliar names - think of yourself as a brave explorer and your meal as a culinary expedition.  If you're already into adventurous cuisine, try going a little further afield.  There's Ethiopian food - you use spongy bread called injera to scoop up your food instead of using a fork or spoon.  Or bulgogi - Korean barbeque.  It's cooked right at your table, which has a kind of grill in the center.  At an ethnic restaurant, you'll learn about different cultures, not just food.  You may not love everything you try, but you just might develop a taste for something other than pizza.


Cassie said...

Great pictures!! =D

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I need a copy of the book, LOL! I am enjoying visiting NYC vicariously through you and your family, Bonnie!

Paula said...

That Dragon Fruit is crazy looking.

I am amazed at how much you packed into this trip!