Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
At the mouth of the Dagu Road bar street lies a cluster of food carts, waiting like grizzly bears at a salmon run for drunken expat hordes to stagger their way in search of delicious insurance against tomorrow’s hangover. The leader of the pack is Ms. Ji, who serves pork mo sandwiches (肉夹馍, ròu jīa mó), a specialty from her hometown of Xi’an entailing stewed pork belly, green pepper, lettuce, and chili flakes inside mo bread (think Naan but smaller and fluffier). We think she serves the best in town.
Ms. Ji’s cart is easy to miss. Instead of the typical setup with shawarma pirouetting under a heat lamp, her stand entails several innocuous pots atop a trolley. It was only after she brandished a pillowy disc of bread from beneath a pot lid that we realized what she was slinging. After you order, Ms. Ji browns this disc on a makeshift gas skillet, and fills it with lettuce, chilies (if you want them), chopped green pepper and fatty pork belly that’s been stewed in a pot until meltingly-tender. We vastly prefer this to the shawarma arrangement, which we find has the effect of ‘spin-drying’ the moisture out of the meat.
One sandwich runs you only 6RMB, and if you order a second one, Ms. Ji might just give it to you for free. This rare attitude coupled with her delicious wares are what bring a ceaseless stream of clientele to her cart until late. We’ve even seen motorcycles and cars pull right up to her cart and conduct the transaction without getting off/out. It’s like a McDonald’s drive thru, but with much better burgers.
Ms. Ji’s Fang Xin Rou Jia Mo – At the mouth of Dagu Road, near Shimen Road. Usually the second cart on the left (大沽路, 近石门路). Hours: 6:30pm-12am (or until supplies run out). Closest metro stop: West Nanjing Road, line 2.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Dong Po Pork @ Dianshi Zhai Small Feast
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
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