Tag: Chinatown

Just Green Bo

Thursday, April 17th, 2008 | All Things, Eats

We set out this afternoon to investigate the mystery of Nice Green Bo to find the restaurant virtually unchanged from when it went by the name of New Green Bo.

The reason for the update then? After a decade in business, the owner changed the “New” to “Nice” to pay tribute to all the “nice customers” the place has hosted over the years. And in fact, it seems that the printed menus, emblazoned simply with “Green Bo Restaurant“, will be usable through any adjective changes to come.

The Department of Health is already conducting its inspections under the new official name, granting Nice Green Bo a low pass on April 4, 2008: 24 violation points, just under the 27-point threshold. Well, a pass is a pass, right?

We had the vegetables with Shanghai-style rice cakes, or nian gao — stir-fried cross sections of chewy, white, glutinous rice flour logs. Not to be confused with the Cantonese-style nin go, which is a sweet, steamed (and occasionally pan-fried), sticky, glutinous rice pudding, often served during Lunar New Year to usher in future success: “nin” for “year” and “go” for “high”.

Elsewhere on Bayard Street: Farewell, Mei Lai Wah Coffee House. My favorite roast pork bun place was eulogized by Eric Asimov of The Times after it closed for good last month.

Or did it? Stay tuned…

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The ladies from Lyons

Friday, March 21st, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Friends, Music

There are few things SYB enjoys more than assisting tourists: hardly a week goes by without his proactively offering directions to bewildered-looking foreigners. German speakers, in particular, will capture his attention… as will fetching French women, as was the case with RM’s guests, whom we met at his St. Patrick’s Day soirée in Sunnyside. MB and JA were in town for just over a week, and fortunate I think to have such attentive and enthusiastic boosters for New York City at their disposal.

I crossed paths with the touring trio on Sixth Avenue, as they were heading into the MoMA to take advantage of Target Free Friday Nights when museum admission is complimentary from 4–8PM. All other times, it’s a rather steep $20, which explains this insane queue for entry.

Target Friday @ MoMA

So despite the fact that my MoMA membership card would earn me line-jumping privileges, I knew that every single one of these people would make it inside the museum eventually, and I didn’t particularly want to be there when they did. Not when I could check out the acclaimedDesign and the Elastic Mind” exhibit any other time… through May 12, anyway.

I met up with SYB, MB and JA a couple of hours later at Amazing 66, where we gave our visitors an authentic taste of Chinatown. Tonight’s menu overlapped much of the Mardi Gras meal -– with the short rib-stuffed pumpkin and steamed whole flounder the unqualified hits of the night — but in the excitement of feasting, I neglected to order the “Salad Walnut Prawns” — sorry, HYB! Afterwards, the nine of us made the obligatory post-dinner visit to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory around the corner.

After the couples took their leave, it was up to the B brothers and me to plan out the rest of our evening. The night was still young, but, as it turned out, so were our guests; JA was a couple weeks shy of her 21st birthday, which strictly limited our options. Three native New Yorkers, and not one of us could immediately think of a place to spend a Friday night that did not involve drinking, or that at least required guests to be of drinking age. Embarrassing, actually – and a testament to how very long it had been since any of us had to take such matters into consideration.

I remembered what fun we’d had at J’s birthday celebration in December, and suggested Fat Cat Billiards on Christopher, both for its live music and its low-key vibe. Under 21 welcome! The $3 cover got us into the basement saloon, stocked with pool and ping pong tables, shufflepuck and foosball (“baby-foot” in France, I learned), chess and board games galore. The women, though, seemed most entranced by the live performances, and the well-over-21 among us were more than happy to settle into the worn couches for the next couple of hours to catch the sets by The Gospel Queens of Brooklyn and one very talented jazz octet.

Fat Cat Jazz

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Nice is the new New

Monday, March 17th, 2008 | All Things, Eats

How to keep track of these ever-morphing Chinatown restaurant names? New York Noodletown on Bowery begat Great N.Y. Noodletown, Big Wong on Mott begat New Big Wong which begat Big Wong King… all while management and menus seemed to remain staunchly constant. And now…

On Bayard Street, I noticed a new sign being tacked up over this restaurant, which for years has been dishing up delicious dumplings (both soup and fried varieties) under the name “New Green Bo“:

Nice Green Bo

Curious indeed.

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