Culture on the Cheap
Shanghai Lee: R.I.P.
I saw the above notice in the window of Shanghai Lee last week as I was running errands. I’ll be upfront: I never ate at this restaurant. My husband and I talked about doing so once. While standing right in front of Shanghai Lee, no less. The deal breaker was when we saw three men wrangle an enormous barrel of MSG out of the back of a truck and into the basement of this establishment.
Will this become a second Chinese Musician restaurant? I honestly don’t know. I will say the Chinese Musician is the only Chinese restaurant I will patronize in Greenpoint. Their soups are pretty tasty and if the they use MSG, they are a lot more low key about it.
In (semi) related news Ton Kao II, the latest Thai restaurant to grace the Garden Spot, has learned a very valuable lesson about operating a business here.
You do NOT put out a sandwich board advertising free beer in a neighborhood renowned for the copious consumption of alcoholic beverages. The above sign dates from October 7, 2007. In the last seven days I have watched it evolve. Their 2.0 version read: “Free beer with dinner purchase.” This too, proved to be flawed, as I learned last Saturday, October 13. This is when I heard one of their many* barkers handing out menus exclaim:
You get ONE free beer with dinner purchase!
As for the signage, they 86ed the free beer ad copy all together.
I tried one of their soups last week: lemon grass. It was a tad too salty for my taste. Come to think of it, a beer would have washed it down very nicely.
*I cannot walk to Greenpoint Avenue without being assailed by three different people shilling their menus. Very annoying.