CITYLIFE / Eating Out

Taste of America
By Ashley Meehan (City Weekend)
Updated: 2006-06-22 11:42

With the United States' Independence Day right around the corner, it's time to explore some of Shanghai's quintessentially American fare.

Firstly, the hot dog. Believe it or not, DQ Treatworks (known to Americans as Dairy Queen) knows how to cook up one of the best hot dogs (RMB 7) in Shanghai, and they're even better with chili on top. After that, the buffalo wings. For you uninitiated non-Americans, these are not appendages from genetically modified cows but rather spicy battered chicken wings. There's no better place to find them in Shanghai than at Hooters, the home of waitresses clad in orange hot pants (similar in color to aforementioned wings). If that isn't greasy enough for you, head to New York Pizza, where slices dripping in cheese imported straight from the Big Apple itself are almost as good as what you'd find in your neighborhood Brooklyn pizzeria.

Another American eatery is Fisherman's Wharf, which specializes in American-style seafood such as boneless tilapia and sword fish steaks. Their biggest draw, however, is the Boston Clam Chowder, which comes in a bona fide freshly baked bread bowl (RMB 38 and they offer regular discounts.) As you spoon your way to the bottom, be sure to scoop out filling pieces of chowder-soaked bread. If you're after biscuits and corned beef breakfast hash, The City Diner pumps out some mean super-sized American breakfasts.

But perhaps the biggest American secret in Shanghai is Cafe du Monde, a temple to New Orleans hidden away on a tiny pedestrian street in Gubei district. Their beignets, a puffy fried dough pastry sprinkled with confectionary sugar (RMB 12 for 3) make for an authentic Louisiana-style snack, while the meatball or sausage po' boys sandwiches (RMB 45) and seafood gumbo (RMB 25-35) hark back to New Orleans' French Quarter. The owner, from Louisiana himself, imports spices, coffee and pecans direct from Louisiana. He even bakes his own French bread for the po' boys.

This July, take time out to sample Shanghai's American cuisine, and say a short prayer for the folks of New Orleans who still struggle to find their feet this Independence Day.

Fisherman's Wharf
Location: 3H Ciro's Plaza, No.388 Nanjing Xilu
Tel: 021-63345798

City Diner
Location: No.146 Tongrenlu
Tel: 021-62893699