Today I went over to Jeff's to drop off the few things I just couldn't bear to throw away from our refrigerator that somehow survived the multi-week slow death (i.e. organic butter, chili-garlic sauce, wheat germ, minced ginger, etc.).
As both of our brunch plans had fallen through, I finally got my personal Chinatown tour. Yes, he knows all about Chinatown in spite of not actually being of Asian descent. We visited a bakery and supermarket, saw his jerky shop, stared a yummy looking ice cream with unique flavors, and discussed ordering so fresh it is killed in front of you fish from the stores.
Before all of that, we went for Dim Sum at Jing Fong. Upon entering you are corralled downstairs waiting for your parties' number to be called (kind of like bingo). Then you go upstairs to a massive room with red, gold, and black decor, I swear it is the size of a whole block, filled with tables unfortunately covered with poly-silk Pepto Bismol pink tablecloths and napkins.
The dim sum is displayed on a buffet or brought around on carts, you pick what you want to try, and they mark your card for each selection. The card becomes your bill. The carts have "safe" choices i.e. identifiable foods like fried or steamed dumplings with shrimp, pork, or beef, fried tofu, rice noodles, sesame rolls, and a delicious almond flavored tofu dish that resembles jello.
They also have mystery foods that turn out to be things like tripe, intestinal lining whose texture I can't get over to enjoy, and chicken feet, which I tried with much hesitation. Yes, the girl who complains about her pork having unidentifiable chewy parts tried chicken feet. The preparation Jeff picked out was reminiscent of buffalo chicken wings in texture and presentation. They really weren't so bad, except the mental hurdle involved. Don't know that I will pick them out without encouragement, but I would try them again prepared this way.
Jing Fong also has great tea that goes with your meal. I enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to my next trip. Deb and I are going to try for a group on April 6th, so we can try more things for less money. If you want to go let me know. :)
Location: 20 Elizabeth Street, 2nd Floor (between Canal and Bayard Streets)
Hours: 9:30 am to 10:30 pm Daily with Dim Sum served between 10:00 and 3:30 (it really ends closer to 2:00 pm)
Cost: $$ (for brunch)