Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

Despite the relatively negative post title, this is actually about a success! Many of you may have heard me rant and rave about a seemingly mythical restaurant with perhaps the greatest General Tso's Chicken this world has ever known.

Some of you may have even wandered the streets of Chinatown dodging fireworks and throngs of asians and tourists alike during Chinese New Year's celebrations searching for the restaurant for hours with no luck. You know who you are.

It all started in the summer of 2005 with a trip to New Jersey to visit a friend at Princeton (we'll call him "Princeton," makes sense, right?) and some family spread around the "Garden State" (refer to last post where it refers to the potentially misleading titles of "monster island" and "Hell's Kitchen").

My friend and I decided to take the train into Manhattan and by chance came upon a restaurant that happened to have some of the most amazing General Tso's Chicken I'd ever had. Over time I forgot the name and location of the place, but I never forgot the chicken. Never.

I was back in Manhattan recently (to secure the apartment that ended up falling through) and I was with Princeton again. We set out to find the place, and were not going to accept failure as an option.

We were like police dogs hunting for a body in the woods, and after probably a couple of hours, we could sense we were closing in on the right part of Chinatown. Then... success! There it was, like it had been waiting for us there for years.

We had found the place and had our victory General Tso's! and believe me, it was good...

(Side note... the jelly fish was not good... at all. Yes, I realize that is one of those things most people can figure out without having to order it. Even the waiter told us we were dumb.)

The restaurant is called O.K. 218 Restaurant (real easy name to remember years down the road, right?) and it is near the corner of Elizabeth Street and Grand Street in Chinatown. If you visit me and you like General Tso's, then you know where one stop will be while you're in town.

After all that, it is going to be funny if I find some better General Tso's once I move to the city. I'll be working right near Chinatown and I'll probably end up eating in Chinatown often, so I'll keep you all up to date.

Apartment update:

The Hell's Kitchen apartment looks like it was indeed a scam. Also, for those wondering that's Hell's Kitchen the neighborhood and not the reality show about the crazy chefs, since some people were a bit confused today at lunch.

I'm still very much considering the Staten Island apartment... I just need to gauge how the ferries are.

I do have a solid lead on a possible two-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights, which could be interesting. That's the way-way-way Upper West Side for those wondering. It's still on the island of Manhattan, but is actually like west of the Bronx. I could use the money I'd save to buy some ticket packages for the new Yankee Stadium (which I'd live relatively near) and consistently root for the away teams. Sounds like a way not to get shot, right?

There are also several other random potentials to consider. Apartment hunting is so very exciting.

In honor of the topic of this post, here's a related Overheard in New York post:

"Asian guy #1: Yeah, but I've only been to Chinatown like...once or twice.
Asian guy #2: Still, it's like Muslims. You only have to go to Mecca once, but you still went."

P.S. I wonder how much the apartments with the red trim windows above O.K. 218 go for?


Kristen said...

I am honored that you sort of mentioned me in your post today... although embarrassed for the reasons. You can tell I don't get out much. Haha! :)

Jen said...

You know what's awesome about blogs? You can write an entire blog about Chinese food and it's totally acceptable.

WJK said...

Why oh why do you tempt me and my love for puns with such phrases as "I just need to gauge how the ferries are." ?

Anonymous said...

Really..."Hell's Kitchen the cooking show?" Not "Hell's Kitchen, where Daredevil is from?"?! Dorks.