Erica Hall

Chino Grande
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Sorry Ponyboy, our new favorite not-so-secret spot to hang out with friends to eat, drink + perform some late night karaoke is Williamsburg's Chino Grande. The dark green interiors feel lush, inviting you to stay a couple of hours, pop some tapas and down some drinks. One of our favorite features? A traditional Chinese herbal tonic menu concocted by none other than our favorite TCM expert Zoey Gong. Before heading over, meet General Manager and Partner Erica Hall -- we'll do you the honor of this introduction ;) -- then stop by after work and stay for a while. Like their Instagram bio says: everyone there is a star.
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Full name, age, where are you from?

Erica Hall, 31, Seattle, WA.

Was food a big part of your upbringing?

When I think of food and my upbringing I really just think of my Mama, who is my mom’s mom. She was a really great cook, and she kinda was always cooking. She had a kitchen step stool/chair combo thing, and she’d just be on it in the kitchen cooking for my family. She used to grow tomatoes, which are one of my favorite things to eat. So I’d walk around asking, “Can I pick this one?” When they were ripe, she’d let me, and she’d slice it up for me with a bit of salt. The only time anyone would really help was when she’d make chitlins; she’d make my Papa clean them, but I think she liked it that way.

What are your earliest memories of dining out?

My parents allege we used to go out, but I don’t recall.

I remember I got expelled in high school and my Papa took me to a hella nice dinner on the waterfront in Seattle, and my mom was mad, but his reasoning was, “Keep doing what you’re doing, and you won’t be able to do this sorta thing…” I guess it worked, cause I be doing that sorta thing.

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If you could give a piece of advice to someone who wanted to pursue your career, what would it be?

Everything is going to happen when it happens, so don’t rush; take your time—physically too, don’t be moving around hella fast; be intentional and consistent. That way, the people around you know what to expect from you and know that whatever it is you’re doing has a purpose. And never be afraid to admit you don’t know or you messed up—you’ll save yourself a lot of time because then the people around you won’t be stressed when they don’t know/mess up. I could go on, but really that’s it.

And be yourself, I think bye with the days of fake “people face” type service  I’m just going to be me, and hopefully, you like it.

What do you think working in this industry has taught you?

How to take advice and use what serves me and let go of what doesn't. Lots of people have a lot of opinions so figuring out what to listen to/adopt/adapt and when to just smile and nod .

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What's your favorite dish/drink on the menu?

Swordfish skewers, and then wine….  the Aborigen Arre Niño rose.

What is your favorite place to go out and eat at and what are you ordering?

Right now I’ve been hitting The Fly for the chicken sandwich; it’s the best chicken sandwich around.

You’re on a desert island, what are the 5 kitchen items you need to run your business?

If I’m on a desert island, the only business I have is minding my own. For survival though I’d want: my dog Buddy, a pot, a fire starter, a machete or a hatchet depending on the island, and some paracord.

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