In the morning, it was the apple’s turn to be picked from the fruit bowl in my hotel room. Then I was off to the Temple of Heaven. It was another bitter cold morning in Beijing. So I was thrilled when I stopped into a gift shop at the Temple of Heaven and saw these hot filled steamed buns (bao) for sale. I got one, and it really hit the spot.
I had lunch at a snack bar at the Temple of Heaven. Normally I wouldn’t include a picture of a cup of hot chocolate. But the picture just came out so perfect with “coffee time” behind it. Of course it would have been even more perfect if it had been a cup of coffee. But coffee never passes my lips.
I got an order of dumplings for lunch. For some reason, it took about a half hour for them to get to me. The staff apologized, but I have no idea what took so long. Part of the delay must have been due to overcooking. Each one fell apart as I picked it up with my chopsticks. Pretty disappointing.
At Wangfujing Snack Street, I got a order of dumplings from a street vendor. They looked absolutely delicious, don’t you agree? The bottoms were hot. The tops were ice cold thanks to the Beijing deep freeze. I didn’t finish them. Between these dumplings and the overcooked dumplings I had for lunch (not to mention the bao I had in the morning, pretty close to a dumpling), I was dumplinged out. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have any more dumplings for the rest of my trip.
I had originally planned to have dinner at a Sichuan restaurant located at the Beijing arts district. Because I skipped the arts district, I decided to have dinner at the hotel. Well, it finally happened. I had the deeply satisfying Chinese meal I had been hoping for. And it only took a week into my trip. Probably because I was staying at the DoubleTree, it was the most Americanized Chinese food you could hope for. And I had another cutest, sweetest waitress. When I ordered the Sichuan food, she asked me if it was okay if it was spicy. How sweet! (I mean, I should hope my Sichuan food would be spicy.) She also asked me if I had any special dietary requirements. I wasn’t expecting that in China.
I got hot & sour soup to start. It looked and tasted like hot & sour soup you could get back in Brookline. So good!
For the main dish, I got wok-fried sliced pork Sichuan style. It looked like it could have been scooped off of the line at Panda Express. And that made me very happy. So good!
I don’t know why I didn’t jot down what dessert was. But it was a yummy mango roll-up thing. So good!
With dessert, I had a pot of green tea. It was swimming with little tea leaves, and there was no strainer in sight. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be that way. I didn’t have too much of it. But I didn’t mind. At last, a delicious Chinese dinner! (So now you know. If you want a good dinner in Beijing, go to the DoubleTree!)
[Disclaimer: Many people have heard me state that I don’t eat red meat. However, I do eat red meat when I travel overseas. This is for two reasons. One, I don’t want to unnecessarily restrict myself when it comes to trying local dishes. Two, sometime it’s hard to get something that doesn’t contain beef or pork when eating overseas. In addition to the pork I had for my main course at dinner, the dumplings I had throughout the day, as well as the steamed bun and the hot & sour soup, all likely had pork in them.]