Run by a Chinese-American native of Brooklyn, New York, Mrs. Shanen’s offers cream cheese bagels in a variety of flavors, including jalapeno cheddar, sesame, and cinnamon raisin. Their mostly organic food menu also includes toasted muffins, smoked salmon, soups, salads, sandwiches, artisan pizza, burgers, falafel, and pasta. Loaves of bread can be purchased for home; their Challah bread is in high demand and should be ordered beforehand for pick up on Fridays. Produce and other organic products from the owner’s other venue, Green Cow Farm, are also available.
This month’s food critic, Annika Norberg, 7, studies at Springboard International Bilingual School (SIBS). She was accompanied by her mom, Sara, and months old little brother, David. Sara and Nathan Norberg moved to Beijing from Alaska four years ago. Annika is their only daughter in a family of five kids, and Sara joked that she truly is the princess of the family.
Their kids have fairly adventurous palettes and are mostly open to trying different cuisines, but comfort food for them is typical American food, such as grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and pizza.
Although Annika’s favorite dish is pizza, Mrs. Shanen’s menu has plenty of American comfort food so Annika had a hard time deciding what to order. In the end she went with macaroni and cheese (RMB 40), a hot ham and cheese sandwich (RMB 50), waffles (RMB 45), a sunny side up platter with a side of home fries and bacon (RMB 65), and lemonade ice tea (RMB 35). Sara ordered a plain pizza (RMB 20 per slice) to share and a cup of coffee (RMB 20).
While we waited for our food, we chatted with Denise, the friendly face of Mrs. Shanen’s, who took our orders and relayed it to the kitchen. She is known by all regulars, and mothers everyone like only a grandmother would.
Annika devoured the mac and cheese before Sara could get a chance to taste it. She paused for a giant gulp of the lemonade ice tea, which she told me was “lemony and refreshing.” She described the mac and cheese as “cheesy, gooey, and melted in the mouth.” When I enquired if the sandwich was good too, I got an enthusiastic nod before another bite. When the waffles arrived with the sunny side up egg, Sara commented on how appetizing it looked, reiterating that both Annika and Sara loved the presentation of all the dishes. Sara also added the pizza was really very good, with the right amount of cheese, sauce, and basil.
Annika gave Mrs. Shanen’s a five star rating and promised to bring dad and her other three brothers next time.
Family-friendly Facts: Small and cosy, with no free WiFi distractions. Limited outside seating is available on a beautiful day, and a nice play area for little children. Best to come prepared to pay cash as their card machine often doesn’t connect.
Sun-Thu 7.30am-8pm, Fri-Sat 7.30am-8.30pm. 5 Kaifa Jie, Xibaixinzhuang (next to Capital Paradise), Shunyi District. (8046 4301)顺义区西白辛庄开发街5号 (紧邻名都园)
This article originally appeared on page 20-21 of the August 2016 Issue of beijingkids magazine. Click here for your free online copy. To find out how you can obtain a hard copy, contact email@example.com.
Photos by Dave’s Studio