Contributed by: lisa_gay
This adorable hutong jianbing stand offers up hygienic renditions of Beijing street snacks, albeit at a relatively high price. Jianguo’er may lack the decades of congealed grease that covers the walls of your favorite backalley jianbing stall, but that Philistine friend who refuses to eat street food can at least try an approximate variation here.
The shop offers the baocui jianbing (RMB10) found all over Beijing, but we recommend trying the Tianjin-style version, which comes stuffed with youtiao (basically, a deep-fried stick of dough). It’s not as greasy as you might think. The youtiao remains light and chewy, never becoming overly soggy. Two eggs are cracked over the sizzling batter, making it extra fluffy, with the usual scallion and cilantro accoutrements scattered on top. A meal combo (RMB22) featuring your choice of jianbing, a cup of homemade soymilk and two sides is available, but this isn’t actually a great deal—the veggie sides are puny.
Roulong, a basic steamed bun, is a bargain at RMB5 apiece. The savory meat filling contains large chunks of carrot and onion, and has a rather rustic, homemade taste. There’s also a sesame pancake (RMB12) on the menu. It’s wonderfully fragrant, though the flavor is actually quite bland. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with the soymilk (RMB8), made from a multi-colored variety of beans and sesame seeds.
Jianguo’er has a window where you can pick up a quick snack, but there are also a few tables crammed inside the stall. While the books, cheery décor and free Wi-Fi might indicate a comfy hutong hideaway, the small size makes dine-in a rather uncomfortable proposition.
Our rating: ★★★✩✩
What: Jianguo’er Shitang
Find it: 118 Jiu Gulou Dajie, 旧鼓楼大街118号
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