Sisterly Love – A Sweet Night

My sister came into town last night. She has off today, so we are headed up to Providence to visit Brown (she is a senior in high school). We’re taking the Peter Pan bus (just $29.95 RT from NYC to Providence). I miss Julia! She was my maid of honor. She is also a vegetarian (going on 10 years probably – she hasn’t eaten meat since she was about 7).

I still love looking at my wedding photos. (Tarantino Photo -> Featured Events -> Maggie & Robert. If you want the password to my gallery just email me.)

Last night when she arrived it was pouring rain. We decided to have a simple dinner at the Whole Foods hot/cold bar and we followed it up with The Lite Choice. Always a favorite. When we got home we enjoyed some digestive tea (from Coco!) sweetened with NuNaturals stevia (Julia loved it – she will probably be buying it herself).

We got girly and painted our nails. I got a new Essie color: silver. I almost always paint my nails a dark shimmery brown/red so this was a big change.

There were grapes.

And we watched an episode of Taboo, a show on National Geographic about weird things in different cultures (on Netflix streaming).

And then Julia conked out. She’s been working like crazy – the (amazingly smart) girl is taking 5 AP classes, she works at an organic farm, she volunteers, she’s in clubs, and she has a very busy social life.

Do you have siblings? What do you do together?

Review: Joe’s Shanghai In Chinatown (New York)

My coworkers think this post should be called The Salad Girl Exposed”.

Disclaimer: all photos in this post are from Yelp.

Today’s lunch (Saturday) was at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown. Bobby and I met up with my 2 coworkers, their significant others, and a few other friends (11 of us total) for a huge meal. Joe’s is pretty famous; it has a great reputation and I was really psyched to try it. It did not disappoint. Joe’s is a pretty standard Chinese restaurant (not Dim Sum) and it’s very cheap (but rather expensive for Chinatown).

We let G do the ordering for the table and he did a great job. We started off with Joe’s soup dumplings. There are 8 in one order ($6.65 for crab/pork; $4.65 for pork) and I’m pretty sure that G got 12 orders of them (6×8 of crab/pork; 6×8 of pork). There were only 4 dumplings left by the end of the meal and Bobby and I got to take them home.

These were amazing. Apparently soup dumplings are something of an art form in China, and Joe is a celebrity. The dumpling contains a savory broth and meat in the middle. You bite a small piece of the wonton-ish dumpling part off, slurp out the soup broth, and then eat the dumpling. They are served atop steamed napa cabbage, which I happily ate as well.

We also got a soup – I think it was the Hong Kong Style Hot & Sour Soup ($6.35). It came with shrimp, some meat (chicken or pork?), mushrooms, tofu, egg, and maybe more. The broth was your standard hot and sour broth.

This was really delicious as well. Lots of variety in the flavors and ingredients, very fresh and hot – it was perfect for a miserable weather day like today. (For those of you not in this area – today it was raining/snowing all day and absolutely freezing. I am so glad to be inside my overheated apartment right now.)

Those were just the appetizers. We also got 2 orders of shrimp fried rice ($8.95)… (it was okay; I’m not really a rice person).

A bunch of scallion pancakes ($2.35 each) (freaking amazing – I could not get enough)…

A tofu dish called Bean Curd Home Style ($8.95), which was pretty good for being tofu. I liked the veggies best. I couldn’t find a picture.

Another (unpictured) dish was the String Beans Szechuan Style (With Pork) ($8.95). These were sauteed string beans with little pieces of pork – kind of like chorizo. They were pretty good, but very salty.

We also got Clams In Black Bean Sauce ($13.35), which were really good as well. I love clams!

And for dessert we got a fried red bean pancake that I can’t find on the menu. It looked pretty much like this… (picture source).

I had like 5 pieces of it. I think red bean is my most favorite dessert thing ever.

After lunch we walked over to a boba tea shop called Ten Ren but on the way we stopped to get Chinese dried fruits and candies. More on that later. Bobby got a Hot Taro Milk ($3.00) drink with jelly in it and shared it with me. Today was a perfect day for a hot drink. It is so cold outside.

The milk was purple!

I’m sitting on my couch now eating some grapes from Chinatown ($1.80 per pound for sketchy grapes totally beats Whole Foods’ $3.99 per pound organic grapes).

Question of the day is… what’s your favorite Chinese food dish?