An Obama Slammer, a large Kro’s Nest pizza and victory is ours.
((c) Obama for America)
Some notes on places visited over the past month or two…
Everyone talks about the huge pizzas at Kro’s Nest, but also impressive is the service. The staff is consistently efficient and good-humored, the drinks and pizza tend to arrive on time, and the bill, change and doggie bags come without delay.
Kro’s Nest is one of my default venues when I am a) hungry, b) meeting a group, c) looking for somewhere informal, and d) seeking to keep control expenses. With plenty of seating, a laid-back atmosphere, and the modestly named “medium” pizza starting at RMB 80, the place works on all counts. The Kro’s Nest Special, a hearty but not overly heavy meat and vegetable combination, has grown on me, and I can slap the other pie’s half with the Greek Mama, Philly Special, or, if with big eaters, Mighty Meat.
Also you never know who you’ll meet Kro’s Nest. One my last visit, I sat beside the Beijing for Obama fundraising group and suggested that they, a la the Alabama Slammer, come up with a shooter – the Obama Slammer or Barack Attack - and charge RMB 25 per shot as a fund-raiser. Sell 250 of these and you have a thousand bucks. For those willing to pay for a double shot, up the nomenclature to the Whamma Bamma Thank You Obama Slamma. People, I’m giving out this advice for free! (Remember me when the ambassadorships to safe and sun-soaked Caribbean countries are handed out.)
About the only downside to Kro’s, besides it destroying many a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, is the mafan hike down that dimly dirt path behind the place.
(Note: Kro’s Nest is closed during the Chinese New Year festival and on every Monday.)
Bellagio is a restaurant that maximizes its potential. The staff is not particularly friendly, the seating arrangements are nothing special, and the Taiwanese food doesn’t take me back to the island, but the place is usually hopping. The situation is no doubt helped by the place’s prominence, by business from nearby clubs, and by a good rep for late-night eats.
p3wong and I found the gongbao jiding pretty good, while the Taiwanese oyster pancake and string beans were OK. Where the place does well is desserts, particularly those shaved ice creations, if that’s your dish.
By the way, if you have not been to Hsin Yeh, the “other” Taiwanese restaurant on that same Gongti West strip, give it a try. It comes off as more formal, but the food is good value and among the most authentic Taiwanese fare I’ve found in the city.