I finished off my trip to Beijing with a free day and decided to take a taxi to the walking street and the silk market. The door man at the hotel flagged down a taxi for me and told him where to take me, as I was getting in he handed me a card with the popular destinations in English and Chinese with the hotel information as well.
The taxi took me to the walking street where I hoped to find some good shopping and eating adventures but I was somewhat disappointed on both accounts. While there was lots and lots of shopping it was all big malls and department stores so nothing a tourist would find interesting (I later found there are 2 walking streets and I went to the wrong one). So since shopping was a bust I decided to look for some food. I past several street vendors selling various types of meet on a stick, but not knowing the are or the food I decided to play it safe and look for a restaurant. After about an hour of walking up the street the only restaurant I saw was a Pizza Hut, and since I did not want to eat pizza I decided to keep searching. After about another 30 minutes of searching I found my self standing in front of the Pizza Hut once again so decided why not, it is always nice to have a little taste of home when on the road.
As soon as I walked in the door I know the experience was going to be much different from Pizza Hut at home… my first clue being the nice young lady who greeted me at the door, led me upstairs, and handed me off to the host for seating. After sitting for a few minutes my waiter (who spoke some English) brought me the menu which was in both Chinese and English and full of pictures. As I flipped through the menu I decided this was defiantly not the Pizza Hut of my youth or my home as they had everything from lobster and shrimp to steak and chicken in the menu. In fact of the 10-15 pages of menu only 3 were dedicated to pizza.
But I decided I am in Pizza Hut, I want pizza so I ordered a small supreme pizza which was fairly close to a supreme pizza at an American Pizza Hut but with the addition of pineapple and the subtraction of sausage. The waiter asked me several times if I was sure a small was enough and I said it was as I was not very hungry. About 15 minutes later my pizza comes out (and it was small at about 5 inches diameter) and I dug into an American favorite from Italy.
I guess you could say I was eating Italian inspired American food in China making this a truly international feast fit for a lazy tourist…