We stayed in a hotel about 2 blocks from the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan. On Saturday morning, early, we decided to walk to Chinatown. Judy and I have decided that there is no better way to get to know a city than to walk it. Like in San Francisco, Chinatown is next door to the financial district, but the distance is greater in New York. It was cold, and we marveled at the amazing number of policemen that scour the New York streets, particularly as we walked past the Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall and the Federal courthouse. New York's Chinatown is bigger and better than LA's and San Francisco's. We walked up and down a number of streets in Chinatown and then were drawn into the Mulberry Meat Market by its distinctive array of meats and foods visible through the storefront windows.
We were the only non-Chinese in the place and everywhere we heard the distinctive and undecipherable sounds of spoken Chinese. I waited at a counter for what seemed like 10 minutes while three or four clerks ignored me and waited on other Chinese customers. I suspect they were as leery of me and my English as I was of their Chinese. I was about ready to leave, but I finally got one male clerk's attention. I pointed at some pork balls with a slice of fish on top and indicated I wanted one. The man responded "too salty," then ignored me and went on to something else. Very frustrated, I asked a woman clerk next to him if she could give us one of the pork balls. She also said, "very salty." I said, "that's okay, I still want one."
No question that we were not their typical customer. They weren't sure what to make of us. We finally got our pork ball, then I pointed to some pork chops and asked for two,
then asked about a chicken patty and got one,
and asked for two chicken wings (so I thought) in a honey glaze.
The clerk was shaking her head. What were these people doing asking for small amounts of different types of food? Judy picked up a small bag of rolled bean paste goodies.
We walked a couple of short blocks to a small park, very similar to a park in San Francisco, where the Chinese men were huddled in groups talking and playing games. We sat at a table and started our unusual breakfast. This is one of my very favorite types of meals, a smattering of fun and unusual and very tasty items. The pork ball with fish on top was salty, but not that salty, but of course I love salt.
I loved it. Judy thought it was okay. The pork chop, which I thought the clerk had said was salt and pepper pork, was actually pork with more of a sweet glaze, cooked perfectly, still very tender. The chicken patty was very moist, much like a pork patty and was juicy and full of taste.
Judy bit into one of the chicken wings and then determined that it was duck, not chicken, and she was right. The bean paste goodies exuded banana, but I still liked them. I could eat this meal once a week, but I would weigh 500 pounds if I did. I do love Chinatowns, whether in Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York.