2005_04_food_hongkongsupermarket.JPGGothamist loves travel - but hates travelling. Who actually enjoys shuttling to the airport, long flights, the interminable wait for your luggage when you finally arrive at your destination? Let's not even discuss the whole packing process!

And, so when we really need a travel fix, without the hassle, Gothamist finds itself availing itself of the various international enclaves throughout the five boroughs - Koreatown, the remaining UES outposts of Yorkville, Manhattan's Chinatown, Flushing's Chinatown, Brighton Beach, Little Italy, the Irish pubs of Woodside, the Italian markets of Arthur Avenue, Jackson Heights, etc. But, one of our faves seems to be a bit under the radar screen - Sunset Park's Chinatown. Chock-a-block with Asian restaurants and markets, Sunset Park's Chinatown isn't exactly glam - but does provide a mean ethnic foodie fix, if that's what your after. (Isn't it? That's what we're after!)

Two suggestions, if you're thinking of exploring Brooklyn's Asian outpost: Hit Jade Plaza and start your morning off right with an array of jewel-like dim sum dumplings. (They actually open their doors at 8:00am.)

Then, if you'd like to continue the Chinese culinary adventure, just cross the street to visit Hong Kong Supermarket. It makes Trader Joe's look like it's for wusses. We're talking live frogs for sale. The place is bigger than most neighborhood Gristede's and is jam-packed with exotic Asian foodstuffs such as bins of dried fish, a dizzying selection of teas, Chinese candies, sodas and much, much, much more. (We're particularly taken with the enormous selection of frozen raw shrimp. You do realize that the majority of fishmongers sell defrosted suckers anyway, don't you?)

So, next time you feel like travelling to an exotic locale with great gourmet delights, grab your Metrocard and leave your passport at home.

Other ethnic foodie suggestions across the city? Please feel free to share.

Jade Plaza
6022 Eighth Ave. (at 60th)
Brooklyn, NY 11220
718-492-6888

Hong Kong Supermarket
6013 8th Ave. (at 60th)
Brooklyn, NY 11220
718-438-2288