Monday, April 12, 2010
NYC Food - Jing Fong/Doughnut Plant
This is my final posting on food eaten while on our NYC trip. After the decadence of Luger's and the sheer ginormity of Per Se, you can imagine that Saturday night was mostly anticlimactic. Mrs. Hackknife and I were supposed to visit the Burger Bar in the Parker-Meridian Hotel; however, a 20-minute line and a bit of nausea at the thought of eating more beef forced us to reconsider. We ended up simply having a cold drink in the hotel bar while watching a cadre of freakishly-tall guys wander around in the lobby (it turns out that the Houston Rockets were staying there before playing the Knicks on Sunday). Later, we did manage to find the intestinal fortitude to gulp down a bit of sushi before heading to our Broadway play, and I myself had even recovered to the point where by 11 pm, I was ready to seek out a kabob cart before settling for a New York-style pizza slice.
Sunday arrived and it was time to head home. Before departure, Adam met up with us for one more meal - dim sum at a cavernous restaurant called Jing Fong in Chinatown. I had been to Jing Fong once before on New Year's Day in 1999 and it was pretty much the same as I remembered (which was easy since you have to take an escalator to get up to the dining room on the 2nd floor). We sat at a communal table with a group of 3 people that were already well into their nosh; luckily, they were able to give us some recommendations based on their choices. Around came the ladies pushing the large carts of bowls/baskets and we started sampling away: steamed pork buns, fish balls, shrimp rolls, bbq chicken feet, other dumplings of an indeterminate nature, and several other things that I never identified. All in all, it was tasty, but a little overwhelming as Sunday is their busiest day and they were packed to the gills.
After leaving Jing Fong, Adam suggested one last stop on our way out of town. Off we went dragging our luggage down the chaotic streets of Chinatown, passing market after Asian market of curious-looking foodstuffs (I made a mental note to spend some time down here on our next trip just wandering around this neighborhood taking it all in), eventually reaching a newcomer mainstay in the Lower East Side, a gourmet doughnut shop called Doughnut Plant. It's about the size of a small dry cleaners, but what they lack in space they make up for in quality and originality (imagine if you will doughnut flavors such as tres leches, sunflower, and Valrhona Chocolate). Now, I wouldn't exactly call myself a doughnut connoisseur (again, Mrs. Hackknife wins that title), but the coconut cream/glazed beauty that I had was nothing short of amazing (I also had a bit of the chocolate-on-chocolate "Blackout" variety that was fantastic). Given the crowd there, they've already built up a loyal following and I can see why. I fully expect to be seeing more press about these guys in the future.