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Dim Sum In Douglaston

March 28, 2016

Never drive to Flushing on a Saturday around noon. Oh, the humanity.

This past weekend, I made a poorly planned trip down to the city. As usual, we were there for a mere few hours. So once again the number of people who I did not get to see makes me want to hide my head in shame. I feel like there has to be a way to visit with more people on those rare occasions when I make it down to Manhattan.

But obviously, we did more than just Manhattan. A trip to my grandmother was in order, and she lives on Long Island, just past Queens. And it’s awfully tempting to try and make a pitstop in Flushing. But we just didn’t have the time.

We gave it the old college try, but we couldn’t find parking to save our lives, and even if we did the dim sum parlor would have been far too packed to make it out on schedule. Seriously, after seeing Flushing on a Saturday afternoon, I don’t want to hear anyone in Albany say we have a parking problem. You. Have. No. Idea.

Fortunately, there’s more dim sum in Queens than just Flushing. Have you ever heard of Douglaston?

Well, that’s where we ended up. A perfectly adequate place called Northern Manor Restaurant. Thank you Yelp for helping us find the way to a place that was closer to my grandmother’s home in Great Neck, which is what brought us down to the city in the first place.

Believe it or not, I didn’t make this trip for the food.

So, I’m not going to bore you with the details of the dim sum carts filled with steamed dumplings, or the rice porridge trolley that was ladeling out bowls of hot comfort, or the dim sum ladies who like overzealous Jewish mothers kept pushing people to eat a little bit more.

Man, I miss the full dim sum experience.

However, I am compelled to share a small moment of parental pride. Because while I may occasionally express frustration that my son has turned his back on pizza, and that food in general holds very little interest for him, there are a few bright spots on his culinary horizon.

First, let me set the scene. To get served more quickly, we agreed to be seated at a giant table with another party. I’ve grown accustomed to this since my days dining solo in San Francisco’s great dim sum parlors.

But this weekend, while we were at the table, we saw the waitress deliver a plate of zha leung. Those are the deep fried Chinese donuts wrapped in a rice noodle. Not only are they fantastic, but they are one of Young Master Fussy’s favorite dim sum treats.

So naturally, we made a bunch of hand motions to the waitress, trying to communicate that we’d like to order one of those too. The family sitting across from us looked amused. They explained to us that it was a very good dish, and offered up a taste of the one that just arrived. It was very kind.

That’s when I got to boast, that not only have we had it before, but that it’s one of my son’s favorite dishes.

Ours arrived in five minutes, and it was fantastic. No, it’s not on my diet, thankyouverymuch. But they cut those fried donut bits up into small pieces. I allowed myself one or two, but really let the boy eat the bulk of it.

It’s so great to watch your loved ones enjoying good food. And it’s good to remember that the kid who will refuse to eat a hamburger if it’s sullied with American cheese, will eat as many baskets of siu mai as you will put in front of him.

I suppose my job as a parent is to expose the kids to a variety of foods, and let them figure out for themselves what they like. The number of good choices they’ll make can only increase as you expand their culinary universe.

Ooh. That gives me an idea. Maybe it’s time to give Ethiopian food another shot.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 28, 2016 10:15 am

    I have been scheming to make a food trip to Flushing ever since I read this article http://bigstory.ap.org/article/2d1750ca23c145878e92bf8de4c1ad1b/take-deep-dive-culinary-side-queens-nyc . The key is to leave the car at home and take the 7 train once you get to Manhattan.

    If you don’t think you can do it all in one day (and I don’t see how you could) there are several nearby hotels.

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