Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eat Buddha's Belly

Here's why you should take your children to Chinatown at the next possible opportunity:

You don't get more child-friendly dining than chowing down at large, noisy banquet halls where your child's shrieks and whining is drowned out by the din and where no one has to wait for food to arrive, since its constantly being pushed by on carts. They may not be into the tripe but everyone likes pork buns and sticky rice. Also, chopsticks ar ebetter than a coloring book to keep kids entertained while you scarf down shumai.

When I was a kid, my parents also bought me fish cookies for dessert in Chinatown. When I told my kids about these confections, their response was "EEEEWW! I don't want a cookie made of fish!" But when I clarified it was a regualr old cookie in the shape of a fish, they changed thier tune.. Problem is, you can't find these cookies anywhere anymore. Except for this place:

Its on Mott Street, I think. I've been there a half dozen times in the last few years but as soon as i leave the store, I get amnesia about where it is. Which is why I took the picture 00 for next time. You can actually choose from several varieties of cookie shapes, including dragon, lion, rooster and Buddha. The Buddha has a large belly and nipples on his exposed, and ample, breasts. For Primo, its a no-brainer: "Look, I'm eating his nipples!"


Yes, mostly they are dead fish -- which certainly hold their own appeal, for my daughter at least -- but the big draw are the bins of live fish, like these ugly mofos that Seconda tried to pet. You can also find massive, mutant-looking snails and even LIVE EELS. And if live eels don't get you excited, then I really don't know what you're doing at this blog


As if the bonanza of marine life on the sidewalk isn't enough, when you head to the Delancey Street subway station, you will surrounded by supersized,stunning mosaics of rainbow fish. They are, I think, my favorite subway mosaics in the whole subway system. They also make for very nice photo ops (if you have kids that stay still for more than half a second).

So what the hell are you waiting for? Get thee to Chinatown!