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I Finally Try Soup Dumplings

Ladies and gentlemen, I hang my head in shame. I don’t know how long Dim Sum Garden has been around, but I know I’ve passed the place dozens of times without giving it a second thought. And can you blame me? It’s literally in an underpass and next to the scary chinatown bus station. It’s not exactly what I consider location, location, location. As far as locations go, it’s positively unsavory. And the place itself also is partially to blame. It’s completely uninviting and has tons of neon signs. And they have pictures of their supposed dishes on the walls at the counter, you know, like the ones you see at your neighborhood shady chinese takeout joint. But I finally saw the light and am now a believer. I found out that this place had soup dumplings, so I had to go and try it. Damn, we went gaga over these. I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without ever having had a soup dumpling. There’s meat and stuffing inside, but there’s also some soupy liquid too, and that’s the beauty of it. You’re supposed to put a little hole in it with your teeth so the inside can cool off a bit. Then you’re supposed to sip the soup from it a little at a time. Oh who cares what you’re supposed to do. You’ll figure out how to eat it, and you won’t want to stop.
There are a few options of sauce that come on every table. The one that is crudely labeled as “Dumpling Sauce”, that’s the one to go for. I think I could drink this plain if I had to. But it’s absolutely divine with any of the dumplings. It’s sweet and savory. The other one tasted like it had turned. And there’s also some hot chili oil if you like things a bit spicier.
The scallion pancakes. These are pretty good, but they are a little bit greasy.
The shrimp dumplings. So simple, so pretty, so delicious. And these are  probably somewhat healthy too.
These are the pan fried pork and chive dumplings. You know, because sometimes, steamed is simply not enough. You want a bit of the extra grease and the crunchy char of a pan fry. These little puppies were good too.
But one of our favorite dishes of the night was the beef brisket noodles. There are thick egg noodles and a healthy helping of baby bok choy. And then there’s a heap of beef brisket. Ooh yeah baby. And everything was drenched in a chinese five spice laden sauce. I’m not the biggest chinese five spice fan, but it totally worked here. It worked so well that I wanted to eat all of this but on top of the dumplings, my belly just was not having it. But I did enjoy the little leftovers the next day. I heard that Dim Sum Garden had good noodles too, and darn it, I heard right. In fact, they have good everything. So please, pretty please, don’t let the sketchy location or the uninviting flourescent lighting ambiance deter you. Go! And eat! And enjoy! And be amused by the strangely androgynous server. You’ll be scratching your head too!
Dim Sum Garden on Urbanspoon

Sampan Happy Hour

I had just gone to Sampan for a regular meal, but after finding out about their happy hour, I decided to go check that out as well. There are a number of small plates for $2 and drink specials too. What’s to lose with $2 appetizers?
One of the cocktail specials… fruity… tasty… We got some seats at the kitchen bar, so you could watch all the action.
Up top we have the scallop with haricot vert, mustard, and almond. Delicious, and well cooked. Bottom is the chicken and shrimp spring roll. They serve it with mustard, but I really wish they just gave me duck sauce. I’m terrible that way. The roll it self was really good though.
The chicken dumplings with soy, sesame, scallions, and radish. Meh.
The chicken satay. This was bland. It was beyond bland. The peanut sauce was fine, but the chicken tasted like nothing. And the chicken had crunchy bits in it. I did not enjoy that. What was it, knuckle or something? Please skip this.
The korean bbq rib, which I got before, and liked before. I still like it! It’s still great!
The lamb chop! I’m not even into lamb, but this was my favorite dish of the night. For real! It’s got a little panko breadcrumb action going on with ginger and yakitori sauce.
The kobe beef hot dog! So yeah, I paid $2 for a hot dog. But the hot dog was made with kobe beef! But it still tasted just like a regular beef hot dog. It was a good dog though, don’t get me wrong. They serve it with mustard but I wish they would have just given me some ketchup. I know ketchup on a hot dog is for weenies, but that’s what I prefer! They broil these little dogs so the outside of them bursts when you bite into em and the rolls also have a bit of crunch. I would get this again! As far as happy hour deals go, this is a pretty darn good one! Get it while it lasts!
Sampan on Urbanspoon

Lunch At Sang Kee Wynnewood

P wanted to get together and have lunch and suggested Tiffin. Since I had just gone there the weekend before, I had to kindly request another choice. So he suggested “that asian place next to whole foods”. That meant Sang Kee. I was in! It was pretty late for lunch so there weren’t very many people there. Outdoor seating was set up too. They asked us inside or out, and I almost laughed in their faces. It was a terribly hot and humid day. Inside, please! ┬áSo P got the Roasted Pork and Roasted Duck and Vegetable On White Rice. Yes, they get extremely creative with the names of their dishes here! It’s a giant plate heaped with rice, a bunch of greens, a crapload of roasted pork, and a sh!tton of roasted duck.

I usually always get the noodle bowls here, but it was just too darn hot for any kind of hot steaming bowl. So I opted still for noodles, but not the hot soupy kind. So I got the chow fun with the roasted pork. I love the roasted pork there, so I was happy to chow down on a whole bunch of that. And a wide flat rice noodle is probably my favorite noodle. I’m a big fan of this place, you all know that. I would be happy to eat lunch here all the time! The only annoying thing is that they don’t have a separate lunch menu. So there aren’t any lunch deals. But their prices are fairly reasonable anyhow (at least for dinner), so it’s not that big of an issue.

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