May 21 - May 22
So this is gonna be a different kind of post. I'm not gonna talk about what I did the past two days because nothing exciting happened and I don't want to bore you. So instead, I'm gonna talk about the American food here in Shanghai and how it has changed since my first visit to Shanghai in 2011.
Today, I had to give a presentation of my experiences so far in Shanghai and mine was quite different than everybody else's simply because this is my third time to Shanghai. During my presentation, I discussed the modernization and westernization of China, specifically Shanghai, and American food was one of my examples.
When I was here in 2011, I had a very hard time finding food that I liked to eat. Because of this, I ate very little except for rice and the chewy bars that I brought from America. When I was with my host family, I was apparently eating so little that they insisted upon getting me McDonald's, Pizza Hut, or KFC every night because they knew that I would eat it. Back then, these were the only American food places that I knew of.
But now, every corner and every block has a place where you can get American food. Just around campus, there is a place called Sugar where they serve popcorn chicken and french fries. I have been to Sugar twice now and it has yet to disappoint me. Except for the fact that they don't use Heinz ketchup, but that's just the Pittsburgh ketchup snob in me. A little way down the road from Sugar is a dive bar / western restaurant called James. Not James's. Just James. We've been to James a few times in this past week and their food is pretty good. They also have popcorn chicken (personally, I think that theirs is better than Sugar), french fries, burgers, among some other American bar food. One of the other guys and I went to a pizza place down the street from the main gate called Pizza Cut. It's a small little restaurant where you can buy pizza by the slice as well as whole pizzas. I had their "Diavolo" pizza (pepperoni) and their Hawaiian pizza when we went and they were both very tasty. Pizza Cut may become my new go-to place when I'm tight on time and need a quick bit of food.
We've also seen the typical McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut. However, something that was new to me this time around was the Outback Steakhouse that we saw and a Tex Mex place called Salubre. We've eaten at Salubre twice and I have concluded that the cheese quesadilla is just the fix for any Mexican craving. We've decided that we want to try the Outback before we leave. I never would have thought that Outback would be that worldly to have a restaurant in Shanghai.
It really amazes me how much has changed in the past four years in regards to the Westernization and modernization of Shanghai. When I was here in 2011, there may have been more American food places than I was exposed to but I would not know since I wasn't able to explore the surrounding areas like I am now.
The past two trips I've lost about two pounds per week because of the amount of food that I was eating as well as how much walking one does in Shanghai. However, on this trip with all of these yummy American style places I may actually gain weight this trip.
Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I'll try to take some pictures of the American places and post any good ones that I get.