Last time, Now With Tomato focused on JC's search for the biggest cheeseburger in Louisville. THIS time, Stacey searches HER hometown for authentic Dim Sum.
A straightforward name that says it all. You can completely miss this fabulous nook at 752 Jackson street in San Francisco, with the blending-in of Chinese mini-markets, bazaars, and the crowds of busy people rushing up and down the street. The busy scenes muffle the high pitched tones of an old man's "Erhu", or Chinese fiddle, as he sits on the corner playing early 1900's classics. Somehow, it "becomes" China.
The small, faded pink awning lends no help in finding this culinary gem, but it's well worth the hunt. Visually, a window with "Food to Go", a door and a small bakery-type shop is unimpressive, but the scent of steamed seafood and a hint of spring rolls will lure you in. It's a modest place, one counter, one table (usually taken up by bamboo steamers), and it somewhat reminded me of the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld--in a good way. While a tiny, old Chinese woman hand-made the delicate dumplings in the background, a younger, I suspect English-speaking woman took the orders. A very simple process--order your delicious dim sum, and ye shall receive.
These culinary treats are fresh and delicate,with an array of choices, from pork, to vegetarian, to my favorite--the prawn. These bite-sized nibbles usually serve as a morning to mid afternoon treat amongst the Chinese community. Originating with the Cantonese, like "tea time" for the British, dim sum became a custom at Chinese tea houses as a simple snack. It took centuries for this simple delicacy to fully develop, but now, I'd have to say I'd much rather have a prawn dumpling than a bowl of cornflakes. No fuss, no muss, just bite-sized goodness. At Delicious Dim Sum, you can have four or five choices handed to you in a clear plastic to-go box, with a can of soda, for a mere $3.50. YES, THREE-FITTY. I defy you to find a cheaper or more delicious brunch in the Bay area.
Certainly, you can go to a restaurant anywhere in Chinatown, sit down and have a "tourist meal", and at the end of the meal get handed the Americanized fortune cookie and a hefty check while the natives smirk, but there is something about eating where the locals eat that puts a smile on my face. Delicious Dim sum features freshness and flavor, and though almost a street vendor feel, it's truly a diamond in the rough. Take an afternoon stroll, explore your inner adventurer, and experience the streets, history, and culinary melting pot that made San Francisco what it is today. Delicious Dim Sum is a satisfying and affordable way-station on your journey through an historic area of the City by the Bay.