'Beijing' on Serious Eats

Video: Rooftop Farms in China

I'm a big fan of rooftop films and have made a point of sharing them in videos in order to share what rooftop amazingness is possible. It may be old hat in America, but in China, where food scares and the dangers of pesticides and pollution are only beginning to show their true colors, the new farming movement is just blossoming. More

Beijing: Nathan's Famous

In the US Nathan's Famous is known for hotdogs, but in Beijing they offer a much-needed addition to the lacking burger scene. Here's the lowdown for anyone who finds themselves in the PRC, craving a burger, but unable to bear the price of high-end bars or the debasement of dining at McDonald's abroad. More

More on the Hutong Pizzeria in Beijing

Last week we posted about the Hutong Pizza pizzeria in Beijing: Photograph by jeanmichelchuiche on Flickr That prompted reader Etcetera24 to share her photos with us. Here's what it looks like on the inside: Photographs above and below right from kitkatcathy on Flickr Etcetera24 says: "That place makes a great pizza. Don't let the appearance in the photo fool you. There's an entire (albeit tiny) restaurant tucked away there. The entrance is at the end of an alley. As seen in my pictures here." But is that really the name of the place? Do the Chinese characters translate into something... More

Hutong Pizza in Beijing

Photograph by jeanmichelchuiche on Flickr Before and during the Olympic bacchanalia in Beijing, much was made of the fact that the government there had torn down blocks of hutongs. Those remaining are being snatched up by wealthy Chinese or foreigners, all who think it's cool to live in these traditional courtyard residences. From what I've read, it's not uncommon for restaurants and shops to be located in hutongs, and here, I just spotted this cool photo of a pizzeria situated in one. It's from jeanmichelchuiche's Beijing 北京 Hutong 胡同 on Flickr.... More

Olympic Volleyball Player Kerri Walsh Eats a Banana, Wins Gold

This video funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service's Small Step program features Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor (filmed before they won yesterday) plugging healthy food. Along with the cast of the animated Christian show 3-2-1 Penguins!, the women promote their idea of a "balanced" diet—one drastically different from that of fellow American athlete Michael Phelps. Says Kerri Walsh: My favorite snack is a banana because it gives me all the energy I need to before a big match. A banana? No three sandwiches of fried eggs, grits, French toast, and chocolate chip pancakes? Phelps would scoff. Then he would eat a banana as if it were the Runts candy version. Watch the... More

Bagels in Beijing: 26 Varieties, Poppy Not Included

Photograph from roboppy on Flickr According to Jennifer 8. Lee, the best bagels in Beijing (known as "beigu" or precious wheat) are at Mr. Shanen's Bagels, a shop opened by Lejen Chen, a woman in her late forties who grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Ms. Chen makes 26 kinds including ham and cheddar, which are neither traditional nor kosher. No word on whether she makes decidedly non-kosher varieties like Peking Duck or twice-cooked pork bagels, which both sound good to me. One bagel not in Beijing: poppy seed, because of the association with opium. Some other delicious tidbits from the story: When you google bagel in China, it's defined as a doughnut-shaped Jewish bread. Chinese workers in Beijing... More

Punctuation-Heavy Olympics Cake

Do parentheses and quotes somehow cancel each other out? Seems a bit superfluous for this cake baker to go through all that punctuation trouble. Couldn't the extra icing have gone to a better cause? Like a few quote, unquote rings? (What the cake order form was probably requesting in the first place.) [via amanda0730]... More

Jeffrey Steingarten's Beijing Restaurant Guide

As the Beijing Olympics enter their first full week, we thought we'd let you know that our friend Jeffrey Steingarten, writing in Vogue magazine, gives a list of his 18 favorite Beijing restaurants. He also wants you to know that when noted Chinese food expert Fuchsia Dunlop went to the Chinese capital on a recent trip, she took one of his recommendations, went to a restaurant even she had never been to, and said it was one of the best restaurant meals she had ever had in the city. That restaurant is: Tiandi Yijia Chang Pu He Garden, 140 Nanchizi Street On the eastern side of the Forbidden City Dongcheng district 天地一家:东城区南池子大街140号 +86-10-8511-5556 or 8511-5557 If you want the guide,... More

China Standardizes Menu for Olympics: No More 'Government Abused Chicken'

In preparation for the impending Olympics, the Beijing municipal government has released a 170-page book of standardized menu translations that eschews the strange literal translations of over 2,000 Chinese dishes and instead features names that make a little more sense. No longer will you order "pock-marked old lady's tofu" and "government-abused chicken" (that's mapo tofu and kung pao chicken, respectively). The less-than-palatable translation "husband and wife's lung slice" will now more helpfully be tagged as "beef and ox tripe in chili sauce." Translating the names of certain Chinese dishes into English can be tricky—unlike Western dishes, which are usually named after their ingredients and cooking methods, Chinese dishes are more often named for their appearance rather than composition. Props to... More

Get Over It: There's a Penis Restaurant in China

Haute genitalia is what you'll find at Beijing's Guo-li-Zhuang restaurant, including schlongs of water buffaloes, deer dick juice (sour as lemon, apparently), and yak's "goods." Our ears (and maybe other things) perk up, but after so much international coverage, aren't we over it yet? The BBC and the Telegraph both covered it in 2006, and earlier this week, there it was again in the Times of London travel section. Whoop-dee-doo, they serve groins on platters! More

Now Serving Millions of Ducks in Beijing

Quanjude Restaurant, a chain in Beijing, claims to sell more more than 2 million ducks a year, hung and roasted in wood-burning ovens. "Our server handed me a red-and-gold card stating that our main course would be the 115,273,748th roast duck sold by the company since it was established in 1864, the third year of Tongzhi, Qing Dynasty. The preposterous precision was a taste of the showmanship of the place, on many a tourist itinerary."... More

Where To Eat Peking Duck in Beijing

"Peking duck is one of the most perfect dishes. That crisp, lacquered skin, rich and moist inside, wrapped in freshly made pancakes with sweet fermented paste, cucumber, and white Chinese leek. But it's hard to find a rendition that satisfies." Fuchsia Dunlop says a good duck is hard to find, but shares a recommendation for visitors to Beijing. Do you have a favorite place for Peking duck where you live? Tell us about it!... More

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