When I go for meetings in Berkeley, I take the BART up from SFO, and stay in Oakland. This time, with the luxury of daylight, I walked out of the hotel and discovered that I was on the edge of Chinatown.
Unlike most urban Chinatowns, the streets in Oakland are quite wide. There didn’t seem to be much traffic on this, as compared to the main street one block over (i.e. Broadway).
I found one shop that specializes in something we don’t see in Toronto: fresh cheung fun (steamed rice noodles, stuffed with BBQ pork or beef) and zhong (rice dumplings). We get cheung fun at dim sum in the restaurants, but zhong traditionally is something that was made for autumn festivals by grandmothers. (We have to settle for nor mai gai as “sticky rice” when we go out for dim sum). The convenience of just picking these up, ready made, and having them for breakfast the next morning is enough to make this hotel in Oakland a destination.
The more I travel, the more I appreciate good Chinese food. Of course, my standards go up when I’m near an active Chinese community, as is normal in the Bay Area.