Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday and Dim Sum.....

My paternal grandparents (Northern Italians) are spinning in their graves as I write this. No huge family get together on Palm Sunday??

As a very young child Palm Sunday was very much a celebrated and special holiday as it was my paternal grandmothers name day. Her name you ask? Palmera, I am sure that went over well on the Italian playgrounds. Did they have playgrounds back then? Not even sure if the woman graduated High School, this is what happens when you are only 1st generation American. The old country is a big secret...Sometimes I wonder what kind of criminals my ancestors may have been that we NEVER talk about why they left home. To this very day even though I do not celebrate the Easter holidays as I did when I was a child it is still a very important day for me.

So what better way to celebrate than with my oldest and dearest friend whom, like myself, loves assorted cuisine and pretty much will eat anything put in front of her that looks tasty. Hence the reason we have been friends for 40+ years. We can always agree on food!

You may ask where does a NYC single girl go for the best Dim Sum in the 5 borough's??? Why Flushing Queens of course!!! You can go to Chinatown in Manhattan but for me the #7 to Main St Flushing is the place to go for Dim Sum and the general feeling that you landed in Hong Kong without needing a passport.

I do have to say we were definitely the minorities in this particular Dim Sum parlor/restaurant. If you are looking for authentic cuisine best that you find a place that you don't understand the language and you can point to the food you want via carts pushed past your table by very obliging Chinese women that speaking only a few words of English. Like beef, pork, vegitable (spelled as pronounced) than the rest is in Chinese. Now my Chinese sucks other than saying thank you in Cantonese and Mandarin that is far as I get. I knew all those trips to HK and China would be useful for something!! I have to say my friend, formerly married to a Chinese American does understand a few more words than I do but still not enough to get us the "Chinese treatment" in the restaurant. As there were only 2 of us in our party we wait to be seated with other small parties to share a banquet table. All of these large Dim Sum restaurants both in the US and in China are set up the same, with huge round tables that seat about 8-10 people as in China and most cultures it is all about food and sharing food. So we shared a table with 3 Chinese Americans that got their plates changed at least once during the time we were there. Than the next people that came to our table when they left were a couple, Chinese/American woman and Caucasian man. They only did one round of Dim Sum, about 6 dishes and got their plates changed for fresh ones (need to keep those sauce puddles under control), versus our 10 dishes + a soda and a pot a jasmine tea not one plate change. The injustice of it all!! If this were Hong Kong our plates would have been changed 3 times. We aren't total guipo's (female foreigners in Chinese)we are proficient with our use of chopsticks. In fact we are better with them than a lot of the Chinese sitting around us. Needless to say we did not get our dishes changed out once. We were almost invisible to the management. The serving ladies however were a joy and did their best to help us choose our tasty tidbits, all those lovely dumplings, turnip cakes, hacked pork ribs (the ones you have to suck the bones clean, Chinese broccoli, pork bun...yummy!

I recommend that EVERYONE experience Dim Sum at least once in their lives. I am actually surprised that this has not caught on with middle America?! It is buffet that comes to the table, can't beat that, you don't even have to leave your seat as that may in fact burn some calories and we wouldn't want that to happen. Who wants anything that looks like exercise to get in the way of consuming copious amounts of food?! I do have to say the more people you get to go with the more plates you can order and the more fun you will have. But I have to say this was a wonderful Palm Sunday brunch of catching up with each others lives, food, live entertainment and remembering my grandmother who would be happy that I had a hearty meal and was enjoying with a good friend. Who said eating out has to be boring, Dim Sum is like a well orchestrated dance that just looks like chaos to those of us on the outside.

and for $38 for 2 people eating out in NYC, we are making this out new monthly "date" place.

Hmmm alas no interesting dates in the past week...oh lets face it folks I have not had a date interesting or just dull since February. I figure spring is around the corner "when all men's fancies turn to love or sex" so I am waiting for the good weather before I take the plunge back into the world wide dating web.

Stay tuned this week (I promise) for an update on what a single girl with no income at the moment does with her time....

40 Single in the City