Is there anything better than a foodie friend? There are few things in life more gratifying than having someone you can count on match your order of eel soup with a request for pig blood.
I've been traveling a lot, as you might have noticed from the pathetic lack of posts. Last weekend, I was in Philadelphia for a reunion with my college roommates. I picked up one of the girls--perhaps my most reliable foodie friend--at the Chinatown bus, with the plan to grab some Chinese for lunch on Friday. Another benefit of foodie friends: She'd done research about the best place to lunch in this strange Chinatown.
We hit Sang Kee, a small place with a cartoon duck on the placard and a scenic view of the freeway. The Hong-Kong Style roasted duck, of course, was excellent. I love crispy skin on duck, but the flavorful, chewy skin on this duck made a convert of me. We branched out to less cartoon-friendly dishes as well--pig's blood with ginger and scallions and barbequed eel noodle soup. I found the taste and texture of the pig's blood was surprisingly non-gelatinous, more like a dense liver pate. The noodles in the eel soup were springy, with excellent bite. The eel was sweet and flaky, just like the barbequed eel in sushi.
I'd built up the joys of juicy buns to my companion, but Sang Kee's were a letdown, chewy and greasy. After lunch we walked down the street and picked up a glass of kumquat juice and a sesame ball--gelatinous rice dough filled with red bean paste and rolled in sesame seeds--at a corner bakery.
More Philly food soon: Best BBQ and Ginger Carrot Cucumber juice from the Amish Market