March 1, 2010

Pork Bun Crawl

In front of Fay Da Bakery

Amazing Vegetarian "Faux" Pork Bun

Baked Pork Bun from Mei Li Wah Bakery

Breaking Bread

Everybody loves Pork Buns!

On Sunday I ventured down to Chinatown to partake in the February Pork Bun Crawl, organized by NYC Food Crawl. It was a ton of fun! I got to enjoy a variety of pork buns (a.k.a. Cha Siu Bao) from five different venues. For the record, my foursquare-addicted group and I went to all crawl six locations, but the first location sold out of pork buns before we even got there. Lame. Fortunately, I found my favorite joint (find out after the jump) among the five and was able to bring home a few (ahem... five) for B to eat (ahem again... for me too). Beyond the bun, M and I also made some new foursquare-food-friends and scored the "Overshare" badge. Couldn't have asked for a better afternoon.

Of the five places that I tried, I enjoyed Mei Li Wah Bakery's Baked Pork Bun the best. Each bun costs a mere 80 cents and they arrive to you all nice in toasty. The outside of the bun was gossy and buttery. The bread was mildly sweet, which compliments the salty and savory Cha Siu pork inside. Most of the pork was cut up into cubes, which made each bite feel slightly more satisfying than, say, the shredded kind. I didn't get a chance to try the steamed pork buns from Mei Li Wah, so comment to let me know how that was!

If you would like to go on your own pork bun crawl in Chinatown, here are the six venues that were mapped out. Another good thing about this crawl was that all of the locations were extremely close to each other, making the adventure easier to endure in this weather.

Golden Fung Wong Bakery
41 Mott St btw Bayard & Pell
They ran out of their pork buns so either they're really good or that store has supply/demand management issues... 

Vegetarian Dim Sum House
24 Pell St btw Mott & Bowery
Their "faux" pork bun was quite tasty. It's an excellent vegetarian alternative. I couldn't taste that it wasn't pork at first! 

Mei Li Wah Bakery
64 Bayard St btw Elizabeth & Mott
Superb baked pork buns. A must try.

Lung Moon Bakery
81 Mulberry St btw Bayard & Canal
Steamed pork buns have shredded and sliced pork. The flavor is a bit more subdued, but size of bun is quite big. 

Fay Da Bakery
83 Mott St at Canal
My favorite place to go for bubble tea and breads/cakes. We didn't get to try their steamed pork buns (they were still "steaming"). The baked ones weren't hot and felt like they've been sitting there for awhile. 

Tai Pan Bakery
194 Canal St btw Mott & Mulberry
There's a separate sitting area in this bakery, which is nice if you want to enjoy your treats immediately. The pork buns were large, meaty, and hot.

More pics can be found here.


NYC Food Crawl said...

Thanks so much for attending the February Pork Bun Crawl! Would you mind if I post some of your photos on our NYC Food Crawl blog? They look fantastic and delicious. Just let me know how you'd like to be credited: nycfoodcrawl@gmail.com

Hope your team had a great time!

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