Dine Quixote goes to New York for dim sum

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

Unfolding a crumpled, yellow menu from Lexington (N.C.) Barbecue No. 1 made me yearn for the perfect balance of pulled pork, sauce, coleslaw and squishy bun that I happened upon last year as I Volvo’d south with Sherri Panza and Weegee the barbecue hound. It also reminded me that I haven’t written this column in too long. 

Alas, I’ve had to try to avoid such feasts after a stint early this year at UPMC Shadyside (which has great chicken-salad sandwiches, by the way). Doctor-ordered dietary changes left me wondering if Dine Quixote ever again would take to the road for more than egg-white omelets, leafy green salads and tofu.

I got a delicious opportunity this summer when, for a Father’s Day present, my son offered me a dim-sum brunch in the Flushing, Queens, Chinatown at the end of the No. 7 subway line. All I and my wife would need to do would be to drive to New York.

Did we?

Of course. 

This would be real dim sum -- not the little checklist menus we have in Pittsburgh, but endless piles of plates and bowls on carts wheeled through a dining room and continuously replenished from a kitchen. Years and years ago I took my family to such brunches in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. My musician-turned-corporate-security-honcho son became an aficionado, especially after he moved to New York, where he’s known to queasy-stomached friends for finishing bowls of chicken feet and then picking up a few roast pork buns on his way home. 

We received the real deal that Saturday morning, eating with hundreds of Chinese families in the Asian Jewels Seafood Restaurant. I guess you could point a finger in Queens and hit a good Asian restaurant because this was our son's first time at this one, having decided to eschew his former favorite when it received a health-inspection "C." Asian Jewels has an "A." 

We started with a creamy congee streaked with strands of tender pork. We moved on to pork buns, of which there turned out to be three varieties -- roast, steamed and a crispy sweet one topped with sesame.

And we kept going: Rice crepes with shrimp, fried taro with pork, stir-fried Chinese broccoli slick with oil and savory with garlic, buns stuffed with red beans, lotus root, shumai (also dumplings), lo mein, har gow (more dumplings), egg-custard tarts and coconut-and-bean paste gelatin squares.

Of course we had red-cooked chicken feet.

Add it all up and we had 27 dishes.

It cost us about $86 dollars.

We left looking at the fish in tanks, plotting a future visit for evening dinner, and hoping that someone brings a place like this to Pittsburgh.

When he's not looking for road food, Larry Roberts works as a staff photographer: lroberts@post-gazette.com.

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here