Day 232: Egghead

On the inside looking out

On the inside looking out

Egghead Bagel is one of our favorite little restaurants in Shanghai; located on the tree lined street of Shanxi Bei Lu, in the Jing’An District it is a slice of NYC- actually two slices of the “doughy, fresh-baked bread we all love” that defines, for me, New York City. The bagels here are better than any I’ve ever eaten in Seattle, or Boise, or Peoria. Small and cozy, it seats perhaps two dozen inside and, on a nice day, another half-dozen outside. I must admit that my experience with the menu is limited because whenever I go I’m drawn to the excellent omelets and other all-day-breakfast fare and the fresh-squeezed juices.

Day Seventy: Fresh Fruit

Fresh Oranges

Fresh Oranges

Residents from the adjacent ‘New Village” housing complex buy oranges off the back of a truck on Pucheng Lu, in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai. Farmers from surrounding areas will drive to the city with their crops and sell off the truck until everything is gone, and then return home. This is the first crop of oranges that I’ve seen this year. The idea of buying local is tempered by the fact that pesticides are poorly regulated and often used generously and the soil that many of the crops are grown in has a fairly high chance of being contaminated with anything from heavy metals to improperly disposed of chemicals. We have taken to ordering much of our produce from a western, organic grocer with certified growers.

Day Sixty-eight: Expat Central

"Green & Safe" and organic  produce and grocery store in the FFC area of Shanghai

“Green & Safe” and organic produce and grocery store in the FFC area of Shanghai

After five months as an expat I find myself adjusting to life in Shanghai, but there are still areas of daily living that don’t come intuitively, that require that I think about them just a bit more than I would if I was back in the USA, chief among them is food safety. Is it fresh? Were chemicals/pesticides used on it? Was the water used to grow it clean? Most times I just assume the best and trust that all will be well, but there is always a nagging doubt. Today, after church, we walked through the Former French Concession and happened upon this place, an organic grocery store & restaurant combo. The owners were smart to capitalize on the well-founded concerns of expats over food safety and call their place “The Green Kitchen” with the tag line “green & safe.” Judging by the customer volume while we were there, they are on to something; expats in all sizes, shapes and languages, as well as aspirational, young Chinese people kept the tables full and the wait staff busy. It looks like we’ve found a new Sunday brunch spot.