So Many Choices! Or: Places To Eat

The food on-campus is generally very reliable (that is, cheap and delicious). And convenient. Let’s not forget that. I figure I’d compile a list of places I’ve been to, and recommend. Here goes:

  • Restaurant cafeteria! (Name: 红茶馆. Location: hard to describe. You’ll sweep past these plastic octopus-y bendy blinds that hang in the doorway like strands of beads and head upstairs, above another cafeteria. This is on the same alley-street as the wrap stall and the corner bakery. Right next to the soymilk stand. Not a cafeteria, not really. Tons of families eat here. It’s the closest sit-down place to my classes, so on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday evenings I eat here. I think my roommate and I are well-known here for being able to put away an entire big 豆奶 and 2-4 dishes between the two of us. Puh-lease. We are champion eaters. Eggplant here is DELICIOUS. Other good stuff like lotus root, but there’s a lot of sneaky spice in most dishes.)
  • 中心面馆 (best 水饺, 红油炒手ever to be had; merged with:
  • 川大面 (new owner, noodles different; convenient! Almost across the street from the dorm, to the left of Sweet Box)
  • 望江小吃店 to the right right outside of Little North Gate (good 水饺, friendly-if-gruff owner who makes sure you damn well mix your dumplings into the sauce)
  • Wrap stand (I’ve seen two stands, but I go to the one next to the bakery I frequent for breakfast. It is close to the communal shower building. Take 学府西路 one and a half blocks and hitch a left onto a no-name alley-street at the white-tiled communal shower building. If you’ve hit the street of ping pong tables then you’ve gone a block too far.)
  • Strawberry juice stand (I’m a regular here~ corner store on the way to 小北门 via 文华大道. Left at 张澜路, which will be a T-intersection, and follow the curve right. It will be on the right, with a sports field on the left.)
  • 粽子 “Zongzi Lady” (down 学府西路, where the West Overseas Dorm is located. She is the “corner” store on this block, and has a loud, distinctive voice. Her 包子run out quickly in the morning, but there’s always boiled eggs and zongzi left. Good breakfast-to-go.)
  • Hot Rice Bowl Place aka 农家锅巴饭馆 (YUM. Y-U-M. I come here way too often. Outside Little North Gate so technically off-campus, but very close. 5 minutes by bike from West Overseas Dorm. Follow the middle school students in white-and-blue track suits. It’s hearty, farmer’s food here, folks. Rice is served in a hot black plate, and over time the rice gets deliciously crispy. Toppings whatever you order. I get the eggplant/greenbeans or tomato-and-rice. Potato/twice-cooked pork is delicious, too. I get 豆奶 here too often. Sometimes they don’t bring me any, and I suspect it’s because they’re cutting me off.)
  • KBBQ or 本味~ (down the alley from 农家锅巴饭馆, literally right next door. Helpful to sit inside, where they have these dangling-from-the-ceiling things that vacuum up meat-smoke. Bibimbap’s legit here.)
  • Foreign Teachers’ Building restaurant (directly across from the dorm, on the corner. Very specific meal times. English menu. 白菜 is good, as is the 番茄炒蛋. Free rice.)

Also recommended, but not exactly on-campus:

  • There is a fast, cheap option outside of West Gate. Exit West Gate and immediately cross the bridge on your right. You have two “staircases” to choose from when you’ve crossed–exit down the right ramp. It deposits you in front of the restaurant in question. I tend to get the stewed pork and rice, a healthy portion to be sure, which comes with an egg. Soup is free. I’m fond of their beansprout version. You pay when you order, at the register, and grab your tray when it’s ready. Fast and delicious, if you want to make the trek.
  • Peter’s Tex Mex (Expensive. You can easily rack upwards of 100 yuan if you’re not careful. The shakes are delicious. Peanut butter chocolate, anyone? I dig the chicken burger. The fries look like the ones I had as a kid (the frozen kind), but the desserts are orgasmic, according to friends. The Mexican food is alright. I have high standards, being from a place pretty darn close to Mexico and all. Burgers, sandwiches, meat dishes. Pasta. Also, Peter isn’t American. Apparently he’s a Chinese man who trained under a woman from Texas. Do with that what you will.)
  • Casa Mia (To the right of Peter’s. Also more expensive. Pasta is pretty good. I enjoyed my chocolate-coffee shake. They were out of potato skins–nuuuuuuu–and their garlic bread is more like garlic toast. But. Pasta is pasta.)
  • Grandma’s Kitchen (Get your Western food fill here. There are two locations: one out of South Gate on Kehua Road, and one near the U.S. consulate also known as the Sunflower Cafe. We’re going there for Thanksgiving.)
  • Chinese Street Sandwich stand (Specific, I know. 肉夹馍 is a hamburger, but it’s not that, not really, not at all. It is a round of bread, a little larger than my hand, cleaved halfway-through with, uh, a cleaver. The bread is flat, a slight crunch on the outside and fluffy-steaming-delicious on the inside. The hunks of dripping, delicious pork stuff is hacked into tiny, bite-sized pieces, and green peppers are added to the party. The combination is scooped into the cavity in the bread, and presented in a small paper bag. Go out of South Gate. Walk straight on the left sidewalk. You’ll walk past a Coco’s. Keep going a little further. It is a tiny space, where the stand fits in. You’ll walk past it, probably. The stand, last time I checked, had a green background. The main attraction appears to be a sort of savory crepe. But I only have eyes for this sandwich.)
  • South gate (just go out, turn left, and explore. I’ve gotten a lot of good meals out of this gate, no matter what people say.)
  • Cakey Butta (bakery, restaurant, bar extraordinaire! Go for the baked goods. Their cheesecakes are divine. I’m a particular fan of the pumpkin cheesecake–tis the season, and all. I’ve had their pumpkin, original, strawberry, peanut butter, white chocolate cranberry, caramel apple…and they’re all desirable. The closest 路口 Intersection:成都紫荆东路,新光路. It is a small entrance across the street on 紫荆东路 proper from the Michelin Man. GO.)
  • Carrefour (Market with All Things Western aka Food Import Heaven. It is, incidentally, also near Cakey Butta, on 新光路. Pricey, but always worth it. I spent no more but no less than 150 yuan both times I went. I bought things like granola bars, seaweed snacks, apple juice, chocolate, Cool Ranch Doritos, Sour Cream & Onion Pringles, an avocado, and pears in bulk. You’ll need to take a taxi here.)
  • The Bookworm (玉洁东街 and 人民南路, which is parallel to 科华路. A Bank of China will be on the corner. Come here for the books and the coffee and not the food.)
  • Maan Coffee (漫咖啡. 将台西路, off of the main road 芳园西路. The entrance is around a corner, so it’s slightly hidden. This is a cool place. I dig the ice cream and waffles. Also, the frappuccinos. Some things are seasonal, but the chairs are comfy and they give you a teddy bear to act as your table number.)
  • Myeongdong Korean Restaurant (玉林南路15玉林生活广场. This place has the best fried chicken I have ever eaten. The best. Hands down. It is a tiny, tiny restaurant, but the owners and employees are Korean and ever so friendly. One of the young women speaks very good English, and they all speak Chinese. She helped us figure out how to translate menu items on the checklist. You will need to go inside the plaza and circle around until you find it. It’s on the ground level. I hear this place delivers locally for free, which. UGH. Had I known…)

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