Chinatown Philly, Part 2

28 Feb

After our crazy journey to get to Philly over the weekend, there was no way I was leaving the city without raiding Chinatown. Plus I had a white friend with me who had missed dim sum the day before. She needed to be initiated.

Must-find Chinese delights: Wu Gok, the taro root dumplings that I raved about in my last post.


Next on the list: Bubble Tea, also known as Pearl or Tapioca Tea, boba tea, “the drink with the fat straw,” and a variety of other names.

These delicious drinks come in a ton of different flavors including papaya, coconut, honeydew, taro, coffee, thai tea, lychee, or mango.

Some are the same consistency as any iced drink. Some are blended into a thick smoothie.

But the element that makes Bubble Tea what it is are the dark Tapioca balls waiting for you at the bottom of the cup.

Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava that is used throughout the world as a thickening agent.

Once they are cooked, the pearls are the consistency of gummy bears and fairly tasteless but slightly sweet (due to the syrup added to them). You either love ’em or hate ’em. I call them the candy surprises at the bottom. Want to make bubble tea yourself? Here’s a simple recipe.

Next, we were drawn in by the sight and smell of roast duck and chicken. The little restaurants hang the whole, cooked fowl in the window where they tantalize you with their perfectly roasted, dark brown presence.

My friend Staci said, “Oooohhh! Can we take some duck home?” So in we went to buy half a duck and half a chicken. Here’s the duck after they chopped it for us:


Staci had a morsel in her mouth before I could even get the car turned on!!!!


We all raved that it was the most tender, moist meat we had ever tasted, and we couldn’t keep our mouths off of it! I kid you not: Bones are strewn all along the interstate from Philadephia to Evansville.

There’s only one thing to do: Add roast duck to your food bucket list and hunt some down. Now.


One Response to “Chinatown Philly, Part 2”

  1. Eileen黃愛玲 April 17, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Ohh, I miss bubble tea from it’s birthplace, Taiwan. A classic Taiwanese snack. 😀 Everything looks great. 🙂

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