Monday, March 12, 2012

Dim Sum Sunday.

Take me down to Chinatown
My Dad introduced me to one of the best NYC culinary adventures a foodie could hope for:  dim sum. At least once a month my family heads to Chinatown for a feast of dumplings, bok choy, pork buns, stuffed eggplant... (getting hungry yet!?) Chinatown is an amazing cultural experience in itself (Dr. H and I love wandering among the "locals" buying produce, fresh seafood and turtles (yup, they're from Chinatown) along Canal Street) but it's the dim sum that keeps us coming back time and time again. 
Oriental Garden: Elizabeth btw Canal and Bayard
Show up before noon or the wait can be up to an hour!
While I'm sure there are a ton of awesome dim sum spots in Manhattan's chinatown, we are Oriental Gardens people. Discovered by Dad, we never stray to the bigger/fancier looking dim sum joint next door. 
This is the scene around 10:30am; by noon it's jam packed. That
silver cart makes its way through the room.
Start off with some fresh brewed green leaf tea while you wait
for the cart to arrive.
Waiters circulate the dining room with small plates (vegetables, soups, spring rolls) and you can order any of the (extremely) well reviewed szechuan chinese dishes. The silver cart works the room with a variety of dumplings and other dim sum traditional dishes. Though we may pass on the chicken's feet (yup) nearly everything that cart brings us is a delicious decision.
Shu mai comes 4 per basket. If you ever go with me,
we'll be grabbing more than one basket from the cart.
Everything about dim sum is smiley.
For each dish or basket they put on your table, you get a stamp (or dollar amount for larger dishes) and I can't think of a better value in NYC than dim sum. We eat our faces off (is there any other way at brunch?!) and it's usually around $15 per person. Though it's definitely not for everyone, if you're an adventurous eater looking for a break from french toast and omelets, go for a Dim Sum Sunday. 

Wishing my Dad, my adventure inspiration and forever tour guide a very Happy Birthday:)

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