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Breakfast, 7 am Qingdao
We found this place that looked similar to the food I had in X’ian.  It was just opening and it looked decent enough and more importantly there were photos of the food.. The photos were located high up so, there was a lot of pointing and charades going on.   i wasn’t confident of what were were getting but, it worked out.
a tomato and meat broth. There was a really nice, sesame oil back note. There was silky ribbons of egg and some homemade noodles in it.
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Qingdao is right on the water.. it is known for it’s seafood.  I mean, it’s known to me and people that are interested in food, for it’s seafood.. For a historian, or for a traveler, i am sure it’s known for lots of other things. For me, I know about the Tsingtao Beer, i know that it has some connection to Germany but, really, i know about the seafood.   There is a spectacular selection in the city and I am a seafood guy.. Big fan of Qingdao cuisine.

I love celery.. This dish was cold celery with sesame oil and these little shrimp.  really awesome. the quality of all the seafood in Qingdao is pretty awesome..

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My day had started in Newark NJ at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on December 10th, it was now 8 pm on November 11th in Beijing China.  After a 17 hour trip, i arrived at a hotel near the airport, in some industrial complex,  I would be catching a flight to Qingdao China, just 8 hours from then.  No time to unpack, no time to really take the 2 hour taxi ride the center of the city,  the best I could do was grab a shower,  grab some food and hopefully catch a few hours sleep before my early flight.

With a little effort, i learned there were two restaurants a few hundred yards away from the hotel.  We walked up and noticed one restaurant had two people sitting in it, the other had 20 people sitting in it.   In this instance, we decided to follow the crowd.

While traveling through China and in terms of eating, there a few things that are a saving grace.

1)Restaurant Menu’s with Photos:  While, English and Photos would obviously ideal, sometimes English could mean a tourist trap. Though, it is not always the case.. I have encounter English menus with photos in the most unlikely of places.  Places that have never seen an American.  But, if you have a menu book with photos or there are photos on the wall, a bit of pointing, a bit of charades, can get you a really nice meal.

2)Fish Tanks:  Fish tanks are just like a picture menu.  In restaurants in Shanghai, or Guangzhou or Qingdao, or many coastal cities, restaurants often have large fish tanks.  Here this allows you to walk around and point at the various fish you would like to eat. There are normally live scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp, fish, frogs, snails, starfish and lots of other things.. You walk around and just point at things.. A little more charades and just see what they bring you.. Most of the time, it works out.

3)BBQ Places: Chinese BBQ Places are restaurants that have lots of sticks with skewered food on. Chicken wings, lamb parts, fish, vegetables and depending on the place, there could be all sorts of seafood as well.   Here you can just point and more charades and again, hope it all works out,  it usually always does.

4)Look around at other people’s tables:  This can be applied at every scenario listed above.  Some of the better things i have tried came from just wanting to eat something at someone’s table.  As a rule of thumb, if it looks like you want to eat it, chances are, you will want to eat it.  Many a time, i have taken a waiter on a quick walk to someone’s table where I would subtly or not so subtly point at a dish and ask for it.  The table of eaters, usually get a big kick of it.

Anyway, i digress.   Here we are, first night in Beijing, tired, hungry, things worked out.

Here is a chicken dish.. it was served on a dish with a burning fire underneath.. the dish was sizzling.  it was chicken, on the bone in a brown sauce with green peppers, hot peppers and a bottom layer of onion. the sauce was had a rich onion flavor, the bottom layer of onion cooked and kept the chicken from burning.  it was a really lovely dish.

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Cold dark noodles in a spicy and garlicky vinegar sauce

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We ordered some sticks.  There was lamb, lamb kidneys and chicken wings.

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A plate of dumplings

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they were interesting as they were filled with egg, mushroom and scallions. really nice.

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We also had a plate of greens and a few beers. a smashing start.. Dinner was 172 rmb. Or, like 20 bucks with a few beers.

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Bone marrow roasted with this sour cherry jelly sauce

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Here is this weekends menu.

 

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Menu & Location Information

July 28th, 2012

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Date:              Saturday, July 28th, 2012

 Menu

 

Ceviche

Bluefish, Crunchy Paprika Ceci, Cream, Horseradish, Lime

 

Gazpacho 

Watermelon and Champagne, Mint, Serrano, Feta Cream

 

Salad

Grilled Peaches, Heirloom Tomatoes, Burrata, Corn, Thai Basil

 

Gnocchi

Potato & Parsnip, Lobster Knuckles, Crispy Shallots, Leek & Corn Jus

 

Meat

Thai Charred Flank, Pureed Fava Beans, House Pickled Cherry Peppers

 

 Cleanser

Grapefruit & Lemon Verbena Granita

 

Cheese

Roquefort Terrine, Fig Preserves, Marcona Almonds, Toast

 

Cake

Pavlova, Summer Fruits, Lavender Cream

Love this video. Someone put together this beautiful song by using Mr Roger Clips.

 

What do they say, victory has many fathers but, failure is a bastard. A friendless bastard.

Well, we all know Clifton Chenier as the King of the Zydeco. If you do not have that album, you need to go out and get youself some. Cause that album is awesome. It’s Zydeco music and that just puts me in a good place. But this blues song from him is one of my favorite songs ever.  I just love it.

Sorry I have been absent, I was in China for the last two weeks and they have placed WordPress along with Facebook and Youtube as websites they have banned. Oh well. Got back Saturday around 1 am.  Trying to get back on schedule.

I am home with my third cold in 2 weeks. Going to New Orleans this Friday!!! I am super psyched. I will post some of my China trip in the next few days.

Daniel