Archive for the ‘ boston ’ Category

Poor People Food

One week back home and I’ve probably been to Chinatown at least four times so far, actually physically getting off at the “Chinatown” T stop, which I find awkward in its stereotype confirmation.

It’s not that I only came back from China to eat Chinese food–I’ve got friends and family too, hey, plus the whole fact that most of my dinners have been at yuppie seafood or Italian restaurants with cloth napkins–but the food here, whether Chinese or whatever is just better. Skill plays a part in food quality, yes, but the quality of ingredients, even for the simplest foods (or maybe especially for the simplest foods) is so important.

Take, for example, the hot dog bread. A Chinatown staple, the hot dog bread involves nothing more than a hot dog (cheapest, most miscellaneous American food ever) baked within a soft white roll that has been lightly glazed with egg yolk. Saves you the trouble of pairing “meat” and bread yourself and somehow the balance between the fluffy roll and sodium-filled dog are fulfilling enough to preempt additional condiments. The version in the mainland combines sub-par steamed bread with weird-ass Chinese sausage (nonono), which  combines source materials that take a far more liberal interpretation of ‘meat product’ than USDA regulations will ever allow. The result is a shitty product. The American version, even if poor people food by every definition, is still the matching of an American beef sausage with white bread made of real eggs, butter and pure white flour. The hot dog is satisfying, just intriguingly salty enough, and the bread explains why we threw whole grain breads under the truck for this nutrient-less stuff in the first place.

Also, I bought a banh mi for $3.25. I didn’t even shop around, so is that $3.25 ($0.74 less than a tall Pumpkin Latte at Starbucks) overpriced? I DON’T KNOW. Could I get that combination of badass baguette (which is just ‘ok’ in Boston), picked veg, pate and cold cuts (also poor people food done better here) in China? NO. Especially not at that price.

It’s true that not everything is better here (if we really count feet-voting, I am based abroad…) but oh my god, the food sure is.





o H-mart


while waiting for the bathroom in the COOP, Hahvahd

ahhhhhhhhhhh Red Velvet Cupcake

Cupcake from SWEET, working in Tealuxe in Hahvahd

HONK festival in Davis Sq

or, one of the guys just waiting forever to use the bathroom, anyhow

being judged by an artsy Mongolian face

Study HARDER child!