junk food: pizza, popcorn, burgers

Somehow I always get around to posting about food. Given my job in the art industry, one would expect me to post non-stop about art, artists, art exhibitions, and the like, but … you know what? Since I spend so much of my time at work around art (and especially around bad soul-sucking art and pretentiously snobby art people), I prefer to find comfort in food (like the good ol’ American I am) and especially in good ol’ American junk food, id est, pizza, popcorn, and burgers.

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1. Margherita, Marco Polo, and Meatlover’s Pizzas from Una’s Pizza

I love pizza. I always knew that the type of pizza I grew up with wasn’t ‘real’ Italian, but I never realized how ‘fake’ the pizza I know and love really is until I came to Shanghai. Kinda random, right? Regardless, there are plenty of places to get fake-style pizza in Shanghai, and Una’s is one of them. To be completely honest, I don’t actually like Una’s Pizza. Their thin-crust style is decent yet sub-par and their toppings leave much to be desired, but the taste is alright and the price is acceptable. I much prefer Pizza Street, but their website ordering system is down so I’ve been exploring my options, and while Domino’s Pizza is okay-ing-ly chewy, it’s nowhere near as good as in the States.

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2. Act II Microwavable Butter Popcorn

28 RMB for three bags of popcorn? That equates to about $1.50 per bag of popcorn and normally my cheap self would be completely against such an obvious laowai-gouging price, but you know what? Heck, yes! I didn’t realize until I saw that box of popcorn on the shelf of that small little stall on Changde Road that it has been years since I last consumed buttery popped corn goodness. I even used to own a popcorn machine back in New York that saved me a ton of money. But alas, microwaves in China do not have a standard Popcorn button so most of my popcorn turned out a bit burnt. Eh, whatevs. Popcorn (even burnt) is still a pretty satisfying snack while working.

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3. Burger King Steakhouse Burger

I’m generally a creature of habit. If I’m at Burger King, I get a Whopper. If I’m hungry, I’ll add a side of large fries. It really is that simple. But for some reason, after a long day at work at which I got off around 9 PM, I decided to throw caution to the wind and order a Steakhouse Burger. No idea why. Unfortunately, the picture on the menu never lives up to expectations. The expected fried onions were barely detectable and the meat was kinda weird and the bun was kinda weird and the sauce was kinda weird. It was just … off. And 38 RMB compared to the normal Whopper’s 21? I should’ve stuck with my usual. But oh well, I was adventurous (if only a little bit).

And you know what? The longer I stay in China, the more American I feel and the more I miss the States. As in, only in seeing the differences do I realize how completely American I really am – in the way I talk, the way I act, the things that I like, the things that I value. Sometimes even simple things like my preferences for food really put things into perspective. I’ve been in Shanghai for almost two years now and as much as I like and appreciate Shanghai for its potential and as much as I’ve grown personally and professionally since moving here, there really is no place like home. And I really do miss the food.

why i like wednesdays: pizza street

Ah Pizza Street, how I adore you! Wednesday is quickly establishing itself as pizza night for me. They do a special deal, two pies for 110 RMB (including delivery) and the pizza’s actually pretty good! Apparently there’s a physical location, but I’ve only ever ordered online. Because when I think pizza, I think delivery and pajamas.

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Pizza Street
pizza-street.com
477 Aomen Road, Block 4, Shop 103
Putuo District, Shanghai
+86 21 6233 5969

papa john’s in china

I eat when I am stressed. It tends to be unhealthy. And it tends to be a lot. So since I’m studying for finals I decided to order some pizza. I have a bucket list for my stay in Shanghai, and one of items was to try Papa John’s in China. I’ve already tried Pizza Hut (which was weird – seafood pizza, anyone?) but I heard that Papa John’s was reasonably decent, id est similar to what a normal pizza should be.

The verdict: Eh. Better (and more normal) than Pizza Hut in China, but not as good as some of the small pizza shops I’ve found in Shanghai like Pizza Street or New York Pizza. That being said, it was still okay, just not as good as it is in the States even though it cost about the same as it would in the States, thereby being fairly expensive. Oh well.

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day of recovery

I have been sick for the past few days, but today, Sunday, I can finally take some time to rest. I woke up about an hour ago and I feel all-over achy (not to mention the sneezing and coughing). Oh, and I have a giant two-inch bruise on my arm from carrying groceries. Yucks. Times like these I really wish I had something stronger than Tylenol at home.

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My lunch today reflects my current state. Orange juice for the Vitamin C … does that even help? Then leftover pizza and a cupcake for a pick-me-up. As a whole, it looks pretty discordant, but I’m sick, so blah.

Things to do: homework, laundry, cleaning, check mail, organize finances, and sleep. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m only going to be doing the last item. And I’ll probably have to skip work tomorrow, which would be the FIRST time I haven’t come in to work. Darn.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]