It is no secret that we miss eating Asian food. For a long time we had been hearing that Prato, (NW of Florence) has a large Chinese community which is connected with the textile trade. We made plans to meet our friends, Terri and Ray, who moved to outside of Lucca in May ‘10 for lunch in Prato and to explore the Chinese community. On Wednesday, July 6 we met them there.
It was not easy to pick a restaurant. No one would speak to us either in Italian or English. Finally we just picked one and were the only lunch time guests. (Can’t give you the name since the card is in Chinese but it is located at Via Pistoiese 144 in Prato) It is one floor above ground with lots of windows and light, lots of very nicely set tables and able to accommodate lots of people. It was very hot that day so we started with cold water and cold Chinese beer. We were all so excited to get cold Chinese beer.
We were all ohhhing and awwing over the menu. So delighted to see names of many dishes that we have enjoyed before but have not had in a long time. After we ordered our sixth dish, the young woman waiting on us said that was enough and walked away. A suggestion that perhaps we should pace ourselves.
Here are Teri and Ray. A frenzy of eating followed so not many food pics.
For me, this was the best dish of the day, spicy eggplant. We also had hot and sour soup (just okay, I have had better here in Italy) shrimp fried rice (very good) sweet and sour chicken (okay) another meaty dish (now forgotten) sizzling shrimp (I did not taste but others said it was outstanding) and stir fried Chinese vegetables, along with 4 beers and watermelon it was 15 Euros each. We think she made a mistake on the bill because that was a lot of food for that price. And pretty good too. We will definitely return.
After lunch we checked out 2 small Chinese groceries. The cashier in one of the groceries had lived in the US and chatted with us in English. She told us that it was a Chinese community, no Thai or Vietnamese which probably explains why the groceries carried were almost exclusively, Chinese ingredients. No Thai or Vietnamese ingredients. And we forgot to ask if any places served Dim Sum. Oh, we really miss that too.
Meeting and greeting arriving guests forced us to leave before we really wanted to. It is always fun to be with Teri and Ray. And there were so many more shops that we needed to explore. We will definitely have to plan another trip there soon.