This article needs a lot of work, and I don't have time to edit it further right now, so a lot of the things I wrote are placeholders until I look up some addresses and get some more names. But at least there's an article about Chinatown now! Please do whatever you can to help create an excellent guide to Chinatown. Thank you.
If we're going to include Little Italy, such as it is (there isn't much remaining of it), in this article, we need to decide what its boundaries are. Should this article include NoLiTa, as well? It might make sense to add NoLiTa here and subtract it from the Lower East Side article.
Let's talk about them here. I'm familiar with these restaurants. Some of the categories are wrong, and many of the restaurants are placed in the wrong category. There are no "splurge" restaurants in Chinatown at all. One could make an argument for Oriental Garden, Nyonya, and possibly Dim Sum Go Go as "moderate," but DSGG is not expensive at lunchtime, though more than some other places.
Noodletown, Skyway, and the Shanghainese places are cheap, not close to mid-range. Cantoon Garden is under or around $20/person for stupendous banquets. That's not expensive enough to qualify as mid-range.
Please discuss. Ikan Kekek 05:00, 3 August 2009 (EDT)
$20 sounds like a lot to me - but of course, what qualifies as "budget" is going to depend on your own personal experience. I used $10 as the dividing point between budget and mid-range and $20 as the dividing point between mid-range and splurge, based on other examples like this. But if you think they're in the wrong categories, feel free to move them - you obviously have more experience with these places, so I trust your judgment. Just keep us budget travelers in mind when doing so. ;) PerryPlanetTalk 17:05, 3 August 2009 (EDT)
In New York, "Splurge" is - conservatively - over $60/person (I'd say over $75/person if not over $100/person). Up to $5/person is super cheap, $5-15 is quite inexpensive, $15-25 is (moderately, if you like) inexpensive, $25-60 (especially if you include alcohol) is moderate; $60-100 is moderately expensive; over $100 is expensive; over $200/person is very expensive (all prices inclusive of tax and ~20% tip). New York is, quite simply, an expensive city, though not close to devoid of good values in food, including at the low end. Chinatown is a neighborhood that is full of super cheap to low-end moderate restaurants only. I don't think it should have its own set of price categories that is entirely dissimilar to what we would reasonably use for the rest of Manhattan. Instead, we can add a "super cheap" category to the already low-end places - but then we run into the issue that you can easily have a dinner of noodle soup at a place like Great NY Noodletown for around $5 or you could choose to get more expensive dishes and pay around $20, so I'd continue to argue for merely "Inexpensive" and "Moderate" categories for Chinatown, with an approximate price or price range included in each entry, as much as possible. Ikan Kekek 04:57, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
(We don't include alcohol in these prices—choice of wine/drink would introduce too great a range in price.) --PeterTalk 16:41, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
(OK, I get that. In Chinatown, that's really moot, but in places like Italian, French, and New American restaurants, it would make sense to include some remarks about the wine list within entries, even though I see the point in not including wine in the price range for the restaurant.) Ikan Kekek 18:46, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
Instead of creating new categories (I'd like to work with the Wiki template we already have), I actually would like to see a different set of price categories for Chinatown different from the rest of Manhattan. This is exactly what that little box is for - we could even lower the amounts dividing the budget, mid-range, and splurge categories, like maybe $5 between budget and mid-range and $15 between mid-range and splurge, to define that "super cheap" category. Since $20 is splurging for Chinatown, I think it makes perfect sense. PerryPlanetTalk 12:37, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
$20 is not splurging for Manhattan's Chinatown. $20-25 is a reasonable price for a large dinner that includes some relatively more expensive items like lobster, king crab, yellow chives, or pea shoots. And as I said, there are plenty of restaurants like Great NY Noodletown, where it's easy to get a full meal of a dish on rice or a noodle soup for about $5 or a larger meal for closer to $20, so putting overly low price limits on restaurants will lead to misleading results.
If people really want to know in detail what the menus at every place look like, all they have to do is go to menupages.com or menupix.com, but inserting price ranges into each entry is going to be a lot more accurate and less misleading than deciding to call a place like Great NY Noodletown "moderate," because you can choose to spend more than $7 or so including tip for your dinner - if you want to. Ikan Kekek 18:37, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
I'm confused. You yourself wrote "$25 is about the most you are likely to pay" on this guide. So how is $20-$25 not splurging for Chinatown? We're not creating price categories for all of Manhattan here, we're just looking at Chinatown. On your other point, there is no "one size fits all" price category; there will be plenty of restaurants that have some dishes in one category and some in another - the idea is to figure out which category the majority of those dishes fall under and place the listing accordingly. PerryPlanetTalk 00:53, 12 August 2009 (EDT)
Because you can pay $5 or $25 in the same restaurant, so I consider what you propose to be overcategorization at low price categories, though perhaps you'll convince me with further discussion. I also distinguish between cheap noodle soups and amazing multi-course banquets for around $20/person, which is really cheap FOR A GREAT BANQUET (e.g., Cantoon Garden), as opposed to a meal "on rice," noodle soup, or plate of Soy Sauce Chicken. And I maintain that really isn't a splurge (though see my further discussion at the end). A splurge would be to special-order deluxe live seafood at Oriental Garden and top out at, who knows? $60? More? But that's off-menu.
If you want to judge based on the majority of the menu, Great NY Noodletown should be "Budget," in any case, because regardless of the actual count of dishes at different price points, an average meal there would probably be under $10/person (I believe a noodle soup plus a side of steamed Chinese vegetables with oyster sauce might amount to $11 or so with tip), although it's very possible to pay $20, if you so choose.
If you really want to make banquet restaurants "Moderate" because it's impossible to get any kind of multi-course banquet in New York for less than $10/person, I won't oppose you on that. It IS food of a different category than $5 for 4 dumplings, et al., so I can see the rationale for categorizing it differently. Ikan Kekek 03:11, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I just consider your breakdown of the prices overcategorization since 1) we already have a nice, simple 3 rank system on Wikitravel and 2) we're dealing with a place where $0-$25 (rather than say, $0-$100) is the range you're likely to pay. "Splurge" isn't a set amount - what "Splurge" entails will vary from place to place. Like you said, someone may choose to pay $20 at a "budget" place like NY Noodletown, but that goes into the price range in the listing - by placing the listing in budget, what we're saying is "if you're on a small budget, you can get a good, cheap meal here."
But I think we're complicating things by getting into banquets, because banquets are usually meant to be a lot of food for a lower price than to order a lot of dishes. So maybe a $20 banquet could go into "mid-range" or even "budget" (even if $20 is counted as splurge territory), if the amount of food you're getting for the price is proportional to the amount of food you would get for the price of a mid-range or budget restaurant. PerryPlanetTalk 18:50, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I'm confused: Are you thinking of "banquet" as meaning "buffet"? It doesn't. A banquet is a bunch of dishes, made to order and shared by a sufficiently large group of people. You will eat a great deal more for a $20/person budget at a place like Cantoon Garden than you would for $7 at Great NY Noodletown, and it'll be more elaborate and give you a much greater variety of tastes, so there is indeed a value element, but you have the option of ordering a banquet set from the Chinese-language menu, a set of dishes ordered individually from the bilingual menu, or some combination, and all of those would be banquets shared by the table(s). Anyway, now that I see you're more concerned with a preponderance of lower-priced items than the fact that one can easily choose to pay closer to $20, I'm having much less trouble with your reasoning. I still think, though, that the only real "splurge" restaurant in Chinatown that's on the list so far is Oriental Garden, for dinner (not dim sum). I also think we should make "budget" up to at least $10, not $5. This is New York, where sales tax is almost 9% and tips are about 20%. (Or are we not including tips in figuring costs?) Ikan Kekek 03:45, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
Oh sorry, I am confusing banquet and buffet. *wacks head against table* Okay, let's clear this up: what should the dividing lines be between budget, mid-range, and splurge? You're suggesting $10 between budget and mid-range, which sounds fine to me, so what qualifies as "splurge" in Chinatown? PerryPlanetTalk 12:00, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
I think I'd say $25 or higher. In other words, compared to a cheap meal of noodle soup or something on rice (which is cheap), a banquet specialist that's around $20/person is moderate, but Oriental Garden (probably closer to $30; I haven't been there in a few years) is splurgy, and perhaps Nyonya is, though their price ceiling is much lower than Oriental Garden's. I'd tend to think that a place like Wing Shoon (I haven't checked whether they have an entry yet - I'll make up more entries at some point) wouldn't belong in a "splurge" category because a single person can easily have an inexpensive meal (or two) of their very good soy sauce chicken or get it for takeout, and based on my experience with their menu, I believe their banquets usually aren't particularly expensive. Is this making sense? Ikan Kekek 23:55, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
Sounds fine to me. Do you want to rearrange the listings accordingly? PerryPlanetTalk 11:04, 15 August 2009 (EDT)
Sure. I'll start moving things around and add more entries some time later. Ikan Kekek 02:22, 19 August 2009 (EDT)