Don't get me wrong, I love Chinese food. This year has been a wonderful culinary adventure. However, my readers may have noticed that lately, I have been trying to find sources of good Western food to sustain my need for something different. A few weeks ago, I had the best pizza I have ever tasted outside the continental US. It had a thin crust, and a delicious amount of cheese that was oily enough to require napkins to sop up the excess. It was almost like being in New York. And the quality was a huge surprise, because I found my pizza at an oasis within the desert of culinary experience known as Shanghai Hongqiao airport.
One of the many reasons Chinese air travel sucks is that the food is uniformly bad in the airports. There isn't even a random McDonald's or food court to take away the monotony of rice and noodle places that all have different names but identical menus. In Shanghai, though, a branch of the Italian Bricco Cafe chain was recently opened by an American. At least, I assume he was American because the guy was wearing a Yankees hat and was speaking to his Italian partner in English.
God bless globalization. Now if only Beijing Capital Airport could add a Starbucks.