Guys as you know I am not a food person. I often joke if there was a way to stay healthy and not eat I would likely be that way… in fact I am the worst to travel with because I rarely budget in food breaks. hahaha. People who travel me are often like “Yo Jen, can we please eat?”
I am also one that doesn’t venture out and eat anything other than fruits and veggies when I travel.
Except in Chengdu.
Guys the freaking food in Chengdu is by far the best food I have ever had. In fact, I am still trying to master Dan Dan noodles. I have dreams about those noodles ya’ll. The best I had were in a random restaurant in Leshan. Check out my insta for all the food photos I can share this week! This is just a small sampling of the food in Chengdu… every corner has 6 restaurants all offering amazing food that will make your food dreams come true. I was really worried it would be over the top hot but I was truly able to handle it! So delicious and I can’t wait to get back!
Chop Sticks… the bane of my existence.
I really do not understand how people are able to eat so easily with these little sticks of death. I hate them, I loathe them… or they hate me, I am really not sure which.
Either way, you would think I would have practiced prior to my arrival in Beijing. Ha! as if.
The first night we went out to eat I guess I just expected a fork to be at the table, or I would be able to communicate I needed a fork. Truth is I thought eating in China would be easy, I mean they are used to dumb people like me unable to use chop sticks right?
I realized that first night I would either have to learn how to use chop sticks, or treat China as a week long fast.
I struggled. Noodles would slid off the stick, my fingers would get twisted… every one around me was able to maneuver those things so easily. It was absolutely horrible.
Finally one day we were at a small but very busy noodle shop. I ordered some type of noodles. I still do not have a clue what I ate that day… and tried to use chop sticks again… and the noodles just slid right off the chop sticks.
and I through a tantrum that would have made any two year old proud. I was fed up, but right after I threw this tantrum I looked up and saw this elderly Chinese man who had been clearly watching the whole thing… laughing his ass off at me. At first I was mad. How dare he make fun of the poor American girl that is starving.
Then I realized how ridiculous I had been, so I picked up those sticks took a deep breath and ate my noodles.
and never looked back.
PS I still suck with chop sticks.
One of the most shameful things about me is I really don’t like eating. In other words, I am one of the pickiest eaters you will every meet.
Food is great and don’t get me wrong I love dessert but I am incredibly picky when it comes to food.
So based on this knowledge, I knew China was going to be a challenge. (sadly every where I travel is a challenge)
I didn’t eat much in China, well that was until I discovered Mr. Shi’s. We had googled places to eat prior to arriving and Mr. Shi’s came up on a lot of lists. Internet wasn’t really easy for us to obtain in China, but we managed to get on the internet once to perform the search.
Imagine our surprise when we learned that Mr. Shi’s was literally around the corner from the hotel.
We decided to give it a try and by this point I was so hungry I was willing to give anything a try.
We walked to the destination, with a very rough map. It was a small hole in the wall right smack dab in the middle of the hutong. We went inside and I have to admit the smell of fried dumplings was a welcomed smell.
I ordered pork and chive dumplings and anxiously awaited my food.
When it arrived… I took a bite and oh. my. god. it was DELICIOUS.
So needless to say, I ate there every day and did not have another hungry day in Beijing again.
It is absolutely no secret I am not a foodie type of gal. I eat to survive but I am not one that will google “Best places to eat in Chicago.” I do not like eating weird meats and animal products in general, so when it comes to food when I travel I just focus on what I am going to do vs where I am going to eat. That being said, when I go to festivals I really try to venture out of my comfort zone and try something different.
(side note, I annoy everyone I love because I never know where I want to eat, nor do I care)
I do however love eating anything vegetarian or vegan. I love fruits & veggies. I love plant based foods because to me they taste best and often after eating them, I feel my best. So when I went to the DFW Dragonboat festival imagine my surprise when I discovered sugarcane juice.
In short, it wasn’t nearly as sweet as I anticipated, but at the same time, it was quite refreshing. I also love that it was not a dairy based drink but fresh pressed juice.
It was a ton of fun watching them make it. They literally pressed the sugar cane & squeeze the juice out. It was highly entertaining (at least to me but I am easily entertained). I thought cane was really hard but this machine made it into mush. I am pretty sure I giggled, but again I am easily entertained.
the end result??? Cold, refreshing, yumminess.
I highly suspect sugar cane juice will taste way better in Asia, and that is a theory I can’t wait to try out. Have you had sugarcane juice?