Danielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.
In this week's post, Danielle finds the perfect brunch to satisfy her cravings abroad.
Two words. Western breakfast. Or on Sundays – Western brunch. I have never missed a specific type of meal this much in my life. Usually cravings for something occur every other week but I think my breakfast craving happened every other day… so it almost felt like a need. The breakfast here in China consists of bread, congee, or corn. Do not get me wrong I like having congee or bread in the morning just not every single day. I even went to the grocery store to find granola bars for a substitute in the mornings. The granola bars I ended up purchasing were made of rice crisps and a few pieces of almonds. It was decent but it was not the quality that I am use to. I have recently found the same brand of granola bars that I eat back home in an imported section of the store. Imported foods are priced significantly higher than other domestic products. Once the prices are converted to US Dollars, the prices are the same as back home. Having these granola bars holds me over for a little while. Going back to that craving of Western breakfast – I was not the only one in my friend group who felt the same way. We did a little bit of research and found a top-rated restaurant that would fill our needs.
Mr. Pancake. It is probably one of my favorite restaurants here. I do not know why it took me a few weeks to figure out but Mr. Pancake is a chain – just for future reference. The first time, my friends and I took the metro an hour away just to eat at this place. One day we were on the bus headed to the mall and to the left we pass a Mr. Pancake. The mall was a fifteen-minute ride away from campus. I do not regret making the trip the first time; I just cannot believe how dumb I was. On the plus side it is so close that I have an excuse to go.
Opening the menu the first time was so overwhelming because I wanted everything. Everything looked amazing. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you cannot go wrong. It had everything from pancakes to omelets to burgers to ribs to milkshakes. Walking into the restaurant I felt like I was transported back home. The dishes and aromas were welcoming and homey. On each page I wanted at least two items. Every time I saw a dish I wanted but knew I would not order that day, I told myself that I would get it the next time. That day I ordered the Truffle Eggs Benedict. I give it 5-stars. It was honestly the best breakfast I have ever had. The pancakes were fluffy, the eggs ran perfectly, and the hash browns melted in my mouth. Everything was perfect – it was filling so I was stuffed with a quarter left but I made myself eat every bite.
After going, we showed our friends the millions of pictures we took pre-eating and they all wanted to go. Obviously I would not pass up not going. We ended up going again with a couple that had not gone prior. There are a few that still have not had the chance to go yet, so we are planning another trip soon.
Even in a foreign country a person cannot help but miss a dish from home. I know being in a different place gives reason to try new food and you definitely should take advantage of new foods but it is okay to indulge in comfort foods.
Until next time,
Danielle's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned!