Eudora Station is one of the latest restaurant discoveries for us. Although it is located right smack-dab in the middle of the tourist area of Hangzhou, we didn’t discover it until Sunday, June 10, nearly five months after our arrival. I guess that is an indication that we do not hang out much in the tourist places. Nevertheless, Eurdora Station was fun to discover. It has a nice combination of western (as in U.S.) menu selections (hamburgers, pizza, Caesar salads, steaks) blended nicely with Chinese appetizers and dishes, as well Thai and other Asian cuisine. It very much resembles a sports bar, with high tables and stools. One side of the restaurant opens to an outdoor seating area, as can be seen behind Char and me in the photo above. It’s a bit pricy, and you can expect to pay as much for lunch here as you do in any sports bar in the states–easily from $35 to $50. Still, it is a way to keep a toe dipped in the pool of home cuisine, a pleasant reminder of things far away.
The neat part about traveling to places far away is that you meet people from places far away. While we were in Eudora Station, I wanted someone to take our picture, so I motioned to the first person I saw. He happened to be a German from Munich, and he was more than willing to take our picture. However, we then engaged in a conversation, which ensued for the next half hour or so. I continue to marvel at how easy it is, sometimes, to get to know people with the smallest of efforts.
Hangzhou is quite full of restaurants that cater to western tastes, and we know but a few of them. One of our favorites is Ellen’s, a restaurant right out of the bohemian 60s and located in an off-the-beaten-path area of Hangzhou. Here are some photos.
The french fries are pretty good. So are the hamburgers, but a place called Myth Cafe has better hamburgers. I have yet to try the burgers at Eudora Station. Ellen’s does make a very tasty Caesar salad, although it is quite unlike the typical Caesar salad served in the states. Ellen ‘s Chicken Curry pizza is outstanding!
As you can see, there is nothing formal about Ellen’s inside. It is quite like a college bar, and when you spend some time reading the graffiti on the walls, you get the idea. One interesting note about the menu: in the drink section, you can order a glass of whiskey, or a whole bottle, if you prefer. Wooden tables and benches with cushions seat patrons. We have never been here past 6 p.m., which is when I suspect the place fills up and starts hopping. Because we are old, we come for lunch around noon when the place is practically empty.
Of course, graffiti walls provide a lot of entertainment at first. Comments range from expressions of love for China to expressions of love for another boy or girl. Given the nature of the crowd that does this, one can also find off-color comments and drawings as well. A number of the staff there know us by sight and are quite friendly when we come in. We see some Chinese at Ellen’s, but mostly westerner’s. We even encountered a young man from New Ulm, our Minnesota home town, believe it or not.