Eating out

For the most part, we are eating as local as possible. I’d be fine avoiding all western food until we returned, but the rest of my crew needs a little taste of familiar every now and then.

We eat out a lot. This is a HUGE change from life at home, where we rarely eat anywhere but home. It turns out that we actually are saving money by eating at local restaurants than cooking at home. We do eat breakfast in our apartment and lunch at New Day, but dinner is different most nights.

I don’t miss cooking. I miss chocolate chips cookies and baking, but cooking – not so much.

When it comes to cooking in our apartment, I pretty much just make breakfast! Our fridge is smaller than the one I had in my college dorm room. Funny how back home I thought we needed a bigger fridge. It is about a 3 mile round trip walk for us to get groceries and then up 6 flights of stairs…so when we shop we only get what we can carry. So much different from home.

6.11eatingout-1One of my favorite things to do is get on a bus and pick a random stop to find somewhere to eat. So far this has worked perfectly….so much good food! We typically can eat as a family for $7 (total).
6.11eatingout-56.11eatingout-66.11eatingout-86.11eatingout-36.11eatingout-10My kids take advantage of drinking all their water when we are walking or on the bus, so when we sit down they are out and get to have a pop – also so different from home.ย Better sugary pop than contaminated water!6.11eatingout-116.11eatingout-13I met up with my friend Meredith for a little exploring and coffee at Central Perk. It was in the most random location – 6th floor of an office building. Reruns of Friends play on a tv and the entire shop is decorated like the show.ย 6.11eatingout-156.11eatingout-16Fried grasshoppers and donkey burgers. We went with a group of teenagers and the peer pressure to try them was strong. The Campbell guys all partook. The girls didn’t want to try it and I thought it was best to demonstrate how to stand up to peer pressure, so I didn’t eat one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I do want to mention, most of our Chinese friends here have not tried these…just in case someone was thinking grasshoppers are a standard dinner dish).6.11eatingout-17The donkey burgers were good. Just a little fyi – don’t use Google Visual Translator at a restaurant with donkey meat – donkey is not translated as “donkey”. I’m still laughing at parts of that menu translated in English!6.11eatingout-186.11eatingout-19

The top of the food list is: Dumplings. Fried Rice. Cilantro/Cucumber Salad. Sweet & Sour pork. Duck Tacos. Noodles. Soup. Kung Pao Chicken. And Churros with Ice Cream.

We’ve pushed the kids to try new things, but also let them order their favorites regularly. Last time we were in China, Corbett and Hudson found a favorite fried rice restaurant in Guangzhou. They still talk about how good it was. When you ask them about their first trip to China – it is the first thing they bring up. Next week we will be back in Guangzhou and we’re hoping we can find it again! Food is a big deal ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Nicolet - food is indeed a big deal. It absolutely my favorite about holidays, going to a local market and finding lovely foods. Can’t wait till its summerholidays! Enjoy your weeks there.

  • Steffany - The food sounds DELICIOUS! with the exception of grasshoppers. Just don’t think I could do it, I’m with the girls on that one! ๐Ÿ™‚ And thanks for clarifying that the locals don’t eat them either, I always wonder these things.
    As I read your posts – walking an average of six miles per day, smaller fridge, only able to buy what you can carry groceries, eating out everyday – what do you think will change about your lives once you return? 10 or 11 weeks is a long time. They say it takes 20 days to make something a habit…maybe walking more will find it’s ways into your days? Will you walk to that chick-fil-A next time you go? ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love your families adventure, their courage, and your love. It shines through your photos and posts. Thanks so much for sharing this amazing adventure ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jessica - I am loving these glimpses into your time in China. What an amazing experience!

  • Donzel - This is the blog post I was both dreading and looking forward to! I love to eat and try new foods, and since I’m in a cooking slump this post is pure torture. BUT, it’s so great that your family is trying new foods and being adventurous! My husband and I still remember the tiny fried fish we had in Greece – it was such fun to eat everything except the tail!

  • Caroline - What an incredible opportunity this is for your kids! I love that you’re there for long enough that they truly get to immerse themselves in another culture. My sister and I are headed to China in November for two weeks and will be in Beijing for 5 days, so I’ve loved following along on this journey! We’ve travelled pretty extensively in Europe but have never been to Asia. Needless to say, we are super excited! Do you have any tips for choosing more authentic restaurants and places to eat? We typically try to get away from the city center to find where the locals go but I’m not sure how feasible that will be in a city the size of Beijing! We love little hole in the wall type places, especially those with no pictures that cater towards tourists. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  • susie - Looks yummy! wish I could eat out like that too! I spend so much time around food in the summer.

  • Bianca - I love reading your posts from Beijing! We are heading there in January and would love some recommendations of good places to eat!

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