40 minutes in Chinatown
We only had enough coins for 40 minutes in the parking meter.
My husband and I searched quickly, for a place to enjoy at least a tiny adventure feast. We found this old sign hanging above the door to Eastern Bakery. It is Chinatown's oldest sweet shop, open since 1924.
Fun, Cluttered Place
This tiny shop was cluttered with paper lanterns and overflowing shelves.
There were signs inviting us to read the Chinese newspapers (not to take them) and signs proudly announcing President Clinton's visit to the bakery...back in 1997.
There was quite a selection of mooncakes. We had a sweet lotus mooncake, just like Clinton is eating in the photograph. Our mooncake weighed a lot more than a Big Mac. Clinton has probably given up eating mooncakes along with Big Macs.
These sounded intriguing with sticky rice, Chinese sausage, salted duck egg and peanuts. Plus it was wrapped up in such a fun package of bamboo leaves!
Our Treat Feast
We had just enough time for a little tamale and mooncake. We sat in the back of the store and watched the lines of locals and tourists ordering, while we dug into our treats.
What's this expression?
Usually I would delete a photo like this, but the expression actually says a lot. The tamale was downright confusing. We both tried to be positive as we sampled a food we have never experienced. It was a lot of work getting through the dense pocket of sticky rice. The little morsels of egg and sausage and nuts were hard to distinguish. It may take a couple more tries to become big fans.
Orlando, was the good natured fellow who served us our tamale and mooncake. He eagerly shared a little history of the shop. Evidently Eastern Bakery is the only bakery in the States that has a machine for making the mooncakes from scratch. Hmm? Not sure about that. We did however take his advice and ordered the lotus mooncake filled with a dense lotus-seed paste. If only the shop had been less busy on Saturday afternoon, we could have asked a lot more questions. Is that you in the photo with Clinton? How did you get your name? Can we see the machine that makes the mooncakes?
Next time, maybe?
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.