I had dim sum for the first time today. I would totally recommend it, just not right after the Chinese New Year. Yea, that holiday fell on Wednesday last week, then on Friday when I was out with friends they suggested we do dim sum today without really thinking about how the holiday might effect things.
Apparently the restaurant- China Garden in Arlington- is pretty popular for their dim sum anyway, but it’s just crazy right after the Chinese New Year. My friend Dungeon Master, after realizing we’d chosen to try this at an inopportune time, suggested in email that we try to get there at 11:30am right when they open. We were cool with that, so we headed out intending to get off the metro a few minutes before the appointed time and then walk over to the place and meet everybody. Well, we stepped out on the street and things seemed a little different from what the map had shown so I called Tony to see if he could give us a little guidance. That turned out to be completely pointless though because as I was talking to him I was walking in the direction I thought we needed to go and I saw the sign for the restaurant. That call did illuminate Tony’s whereabouts for us though, which came in useful later.
When The Keeper and I entered the office building this restaurant is in, we looked up toward the escalator and our jaws dropped. There was a HUGE line. Thankfully, we found that Dungeon Master and his wife and gotten there early enough that they had got our name down and been told that when the rest of the group showed up we could be seated. So now we just had to wait for Tony.
So we wait.
And we wait.
We tried to figure out if we needed to call him or not by sort of comparing notes. When I had called him upon exiting the metro it was about 11:30 on the dot and he’d said he was at the Van Dorn station. Since I thought he had been catching the train at a station before that, I figured he had been on the train and not waiting for a train. So, I was figuring that meant he should be getting off the train about 20-25 minutes after I talked to him and then about a 5 minute walk to get to us. Turns out, I was mostly right. He’d been catching the train at Van Dorn, but it had just pulled up and he was boarding as I spoke to him. Somehow he still didn’t end up getting to us until I think 5 or 10 minutes after noon. It was all good though.
We got in and got seated at a table that was a little too small, but it wasn’t too bad because they were PACKED and that’s saying something considering how big their dining room is. Then the carts with food started trickling over to us. There were various dumplings, buns, and noodles. We saw bowls of shrimp that would have looked tasty if they didn’t still have eyes… I love shrimp, but something about their eyes just creep me out. There were these weird wedge shaped, jelly lookin white things that I have never seen before and I have no idea what they were. There were little custard tart things. All kinds of stuff. And I liked almost everything I tried. My only real complaint is that a lot of what made it’s way over to us seemed to be kinda spicy. Otherwise, awesome. I think The Keeper and I may have to go back and we’ll have to keep it in mind for when friends and family visit.