Jing Fong

Joining our 4 train on the way to Chinatown was a man playing Whitney at top volume through his cell phone.  And not an iPhone, a Blackberry, or even generic featurephone. Like straight up a random cell phone.  No headphones, no preaching to accompany it – just straight up holding his cell phone to his ear blasting the theme fromThe Bodyguard while we all pretended not to notice.  Had he been obviously of the ‘mo variety, I might have let this kind of thing go.  You know, maybe he’s like returning from a fruitful night of hooking it.  But he wasn’t.  He seemed otherwise very normal.  In fact, he was slightly scary in his city “realness.”

There’s nowhere to hide.

Don’t make me close one more door.

I don’t want to hurt anymore.

Stay in my arms if you dare.

Something something soprano screaming up and down the scales!

I have nothing.  Nothing.  Nothiiinnng…if I don’t have youuuu.

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We got to Jing Fong and were greeted of course by a giant line and a snarky waitressina.  The ‘tude would continue into the meal, we would soon discover.  Although the wait was surprisingly merciful, the snippiness was in no short supply.  As our 7 person party was crammed into what was arguably a good table, I was literally yelled at by the first cart woman to arrive in 4.2 seconds.  She must have thought I was towering over her in an effort to be more forceful in my ordering, when in fact I was merely still taking my coat off and finding a place to hide the T1i (the camera).

OK, so yes, I also took this time to order some shrimp dumplings, but you don’t give up an opportunity when it presents itself!

“Sit down. Sit down,” she kept barking.  I’m not going to harp on that any further, because honestly if you show up at the largest dim sum house in Chinatown at rush hour, you’re lucky to get a seat at all.  As I alluded to, we were actually located very close to an active cart thoroughfare and the hot-plate section.  Cha-ching.  Oops, as that racist?

Other than the snails pictured here, which were presented with cloyingly mint-flavored toothpicks (to dig out the meat), no dishes were all the interesting.  I’ve never had non-dumpling scallops at dim sum, and this dish (as seen in the background of this image) isn’t likely to change that anytime soon.  They tasted of raw garlic and literally nothing else.

Oh, someone did order this oddball “chicken” dish (foreground of the scallops dish), which seemed to contain no chicken I know of.  Gizzard, maybe?  So hard to tell, and I don’t want to know.  Do you?  I’m guessing no.

At one point a cart lady forcefully tapped on my shoulder from behind and shouted, “seafood?”  Was I supposed to clarify, or was she offering?  “Yes, this is seafood.”

J actually pre-gamed before we met up with our friends, which in his world means Lucky Charms and Juicy-Juice loading in case he’s not full at dim sum.  This meant that he didn’t eat much, which left more for me.

Note to groups: if you’re going to order snails, do it earlier, because they take a minimum of 25 minutes to eat.  And by eating I mean picking at them with mint toothpicks.  I don’t mind snails at all.  In fact, having lived in Burgundy for a few months, I’ve had plenty of that gastropod.  These just weren’t very well cleaned.  I tasted grit over and over again.  Plus, the people who aren’t really into the snails were waiting for the others to finish, since they’ve already eaten the other [non-snail] dishes and have nothing left.

On the way home J and I stopped by some place on Elizabeth & Bayard with lots of gigantic seafood in the window.  I had him hold his hand up to the lobster claw to give the viewer a sense of scale.  They’s was huge.


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