The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

hack, wheeze, and too many bakeries

*cough hack cough*

[comments lung failure]

A few days ago I went into "wheezy asthmatic Robyn" mode after hacking on...something. My own bodily fluids, most likely. Unlike other times that my lungs decide to poot out, this time was different; it felt like my lungs were sucked dry. Usually my asthma acts up because of copious amounts of that lovely sludge called mucus (I know it's good at normal levels, but I have above normal levels) but my lungs turned into a brick in my chest and it wasn't so comfortable, in case you were wondering. So I discovered something that feels worse than normal asthma: dry, brick-like asthma!

Obviously, I need to do something about my health. Then again, if this is my "only" problem (nearly suffocating every day, HAHA) then maybe it's not so bad. I don't think my asthma is that bad compared to some other people I know (and compared to when I was elementary school when I had to skip gym class all the time...not that I cried about it). I don't need prescription medication (Primatene Mist works fine) and from past experience, my asthma is worse in the summer. Exactly a year ago I was getting asthmatic at this same, IN ENGLAND. I thought it was just ENGLAND but I guess it has something to do with the weather also? Or the debris of reproduction spurted forth from vegetation (stop spurting!)? My asthma and mucus were much worse in England; my friend and I filled her wastebasket to the brim with used tissues. Not a pretty sight. Thank god we were both sickly or being wheezy and full of mucus wouldn't have been as funny as it was at the time.

Oh well. Asthma. Maybe it'll go away once the weather gets less summery. Or perhaps I should move to a place where the weather is always around 70 degrees.

On Wednesday I went Brooklyn fooding with Diana! It's usually me leading us around for food in Manhattan but LOOK HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED! BWAA...HAHA! I had never been to the Chinatown in Brooklyn so that was our first stop. While it shouldn't have been surprising, there are a buttload (I don't know why I've come to understand "buttload" as being the same as "a very large amount") of bakeries in the 10 block strip of Chinatown that we walked. I counted 12 and two of bakeries had two locations. I guess they wouldn't do that if it weren't profitable, but who can't walk a few more blocks down the street to get to their preferred bakery? WHY NOT OPEN A BAKERY NEAR ME? We NJ-ers could use some of that.

whoa, it's a bakery!

Dragon Bay Bakery Inc. (you can't leave off the INC) seemed to have the most variety out of all the bakeries. Not that I went into all the bakeries. They had a lot of puddings and mousse in addition to baked goods. I didn't try anything but I wouldn't have minded taking a bite out of their taro cake.

taro cake
taro cake

I hadn't eaten anything yet by that time and since the sun was melting all my organs (even the ones the doctors said wouldn't melt), I stopped into the ice cream shop for taro ice cream.

taro ice cream
taro ice cream

While I don't usually like super-melty ice cream, it tastily melted (I bet you don't tastily melt) into a frothy taro milk shake as I walked outside into the sun's wrathful doom rays. The ice cream wasn't as taro-ful as I would've liked (I keep comparing taro ice cream to the kind I had in Taiwan, although I could be remembering it wrong) but I enjoyed it. And it was only $1.85 so I couldn't really complain.

Diana and I went to Hong Kong Supermarket to gaze upon strange cookies and sweets. What do I mean by strange? Penty of Engrish, for one thing.

Custard Cake
Custard Cake
Daliyuan Pie
Daliyuan Pie

There are many more. So many more.

After Chinatown we roamed around Bay Ridge, stopping at Jean Danet Bakery. So far I had eaten ice cream as a lunch. What's next? BROCCOLI...I mean, CAKE! No brocs. Not that I dislike broccoli, but I think it makes me gassy.


I'd try to describe this cake except I'm not sure what the flavor was. That's probably not a good sign but as you may have figured out by now, I'm in no way qualified to review food. "This thing was tasty. This other thing was also tasty. This was sugary, thus I liked it." The cake had some almonds (I'm not even sure about THAT) on top and the butter cream was...tan colors. I didn't think the cake or the cream was overly sweet but Diana couldn't handle much of it. I GASP AT SUCH A THOUGHT. Then again, I can eat honey straight out of a jar. As you can see, the cake was kinda ginormous, leading to this horror:

I didn't finish
I didn't finish

I don't always finish my food but I grew accusomed to doing so over the past year. The cake was definitely too big but eating ice cream beforehand probably didn't help much. The cake was okay; not something I'd want again, but I like literally ANY cake, figuring it's basically made of flour, sugar, eggs, and fat. Diana's tart was yummier:

strawberry tart
strawberry tart

I don't know why I underestimate the power of THE FRUIT TART. You can't go wrong with a sweet crust + vanilla custard + fruit! Unsurprisingly, Diana also thought this was too sweet. Methinks that she needs some of my "sugar tolerance" powers. ...I'm going to get diabetes, aren't I?

After walking from Bay Ridge to Diana's home in Bensonhurst (it didn't take too long but the sun and heat made it feel like a pilgrimage in search of air conditioning) and passing out for a bit/wiping up excess sweat, we ate dinner at a nearby Japanese restaurant.

eel poking out
eel poking out

Diana got a dragon roll, which was a lot more ginormous than i thought it would be. I should've assumed with a name like "dragon roll" it'd be hefty (unlike the "naked mole rat roll" which nobody knows about because no one orders it). It's eel sushi wrapped in avocado, a good combination. Of course, carb (rice) wrapped in fats (eel and avocado) has to taste good. I wasn't very hungry (trust me, I was disappointed to realize this) so I got a gyu-don, aka thinly sliced beef over rice:

gyu don
gyu don

Beef was a little dry but I could've put sauce on it. Oops. I ate very slowly in Robyn-speed and didn't finish, although I did poke at it longingly with my chopsticks. I think the heat and walking around decreased my appetite; maybe this isn't supposed to happen but I usually lose my appetite if I'm tired from exercising.

For a day of fooding, I couldn't bring myself to ...stuff myself! Maybe Diana had sone influence on me since I usually eat a lot more than she does. But this could be good, as I am trying to eat less and without having to do much, I find that my appetite is weaker these days and my thirst mechanism is in high gear. Or maybe something is terribly wrong with me and I'm DYING.

Link time!

  • Street eats: I noticed in Chinatown and Bay Ridge that there were fruit stands seeminly on every corner. And the fruit looked good! Fruit is my favorite food (during persimmon seasons I'd regularly lug a case of persimmons from Chinatown; thank god I lived so close by) and I wish my town had fruit stands everywhere. However, we just have trees and SUVs. Damn.
  • NYC Wants to Clamp Down on Yummy, Fatty Foods: A surprisingly health-conscious initiative. I don't usually choose produce with hydrogenated oils but a lot of people don't care or don't know what's wrong with them, so maybe this could help those people? Barbara also talks about the fat ban, focusing on lard. LARD. It's a lovely word. I agree with Barbara that lard isn't as bad as most people think it is; I'd much rather use lard than Crisco. The word Crisco makes me utter a Sideshow Bob-like "uuuuuuuugh" while lard is...a funny word that I like to use excessively. Another fat with a bad reputation is coconut oil (on a random note, I know my room is hot because a vial of coconut oil in my room is liquid yet in the kitchen it's solid). In my nutrition class were were told to not use coconut oil because it's saturated, thus likely to turn us into fat slugs [saturated fat controversy]. You know who eats a lot of coconut oil? A lot of people in southeast Asia who aren't fat! I'm not saying they eat buckets of it and that everyone is svelte, but coconut oil is not the root of all evil. Obviously, there are other factors at work. I wonder if/when America can become a fitter nation.
  • The green one is watermelon: Or sodium-light.
  • 10 Signs You're Blogging Too Much: Surprisingly, I don't have many of the symptoms on David's list. #5 is the one I most resemble, except my life was like that before I became obsessed with food (through music obsessions). #10 is pretty truthful too. ;)
  • The Amateur Gourmet eats at La Bernadin: One of the last remarks caught my eye: "Look, this is your test as a New York foodie. If you can look at all of the above and resist it, still, you're just a bitter, angry person." Uhoh. Whenever I read reviews and see photos from upscale restaurants, my only thought is how I'd probably never eat at them because all I want is dessert and it wouldn't be worth the money to "waste" the other good food on me. Seriously. I wish I could enjoy savory foods as much, but "Hamachi Tartare Topped with Wasabi Tobiko" is so much lower on the desire-ability scale than "Dark Chocolate, Cashew and Caramel Tart And Other Tasty Things". And that's why I'd go to a place like Lady M without giving it a second thought. ...I'm also cheap (I'm likely to spend a large amount of money on a concert ticket but not a meal for some reason). Don't get me wrong--I'd love to dine a place like Le Bernadin if someone else picked up the bill. ;)


Allen Wong / August 12, 2005 3:50 PM

You know, I don't really care too much about fat unless it's just totally ridiculous. What's a little lard here and there? Instead of blaming fat, why not - you know, move around more. I do have a thing against trans fats, because turning oil into something solid is just creepy. And to think it magarine is naturally GREY!

Sorry to hear about your asthma, and since my sister had bouts of asthma when she was younger, I know how inconvenient it is. My sister used that crazy machine that made a vapor out of medicine-liquid.

But you know, now that your appetite has decreased, how about eating regular meals? You know - light meals throughout the day. Try that out? :) Diabetes really isn't a concern if you just limit yourself a bit. You don't want to live on artifical sweeteners!

I am eternally greatful to fruit stands.


Amy / August 12, 2005 9:01 PM

Dude, I just live like a few blocks away from Brooklyn Chinatown. The Dragon Bakery is where we buy all our baked products. The think the above cake may be chestnut.

suze / August 13, 2005 2:28 AM

wow the dragon roll looks uh appertising lol all it needs is 2 black sesame seeds for eyes and something for ears...

virgilx / August 13, 2005 11:40 AM

i don't go often, but i like brooklyn chinatown.

did you mention what and where is the ice cream shop? i'm always curious about good ice cream places.

mrsmogul / August 13, 2005 3:39 PM

oh Yummm!! NY CHinese food is the best! I am definitely going to the bakeries again when I go back home. I am so hungry right now..and I just ate dinner!

Allen Wong / August 14, 2005 2:29 AM

Virgilx, I think the ice cream shop on 53rd street and 8th Ave. If it's not, it's within a block or two.

It's pretty darn good ice cream, but whether it's worth the trip depends on you. :)


Lori / August 14, 2005 9:55 AM

Ooh, another taro lover. I love taro, although here in Manila it's called "ube" (oo-beh). We also have an ube cake which looks a lot like the one in your photo.

Coconut oil gets too much flak from people in the US. It's terribly healthy and a lot of Filipinos are just beginning to reap its health benefits. Among its many uses are: salad dressing, body oil (mmm, smells so good), and 1 tablespoon a day will "clean you up inside" -- if you get my drift. :P

BTW Rob, I don't think you're dying. And don't complain about the heat in NY or NJ. If you want real heat, you should come to the Philippines.

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