Monday, June 18, 2012

Dim Sum Jessica

The kids and I went on a spur of the moment trip to the city and knocked out 4 items on my list.

3. Take the kids to SF on the ferry and:
4. Go to the Fortune Cookie Factory.
5. Go on the cable cars.
6. Eat dim sum.

We caught the 9:15am ferry from Larkspur.  There is some outside seating, which is the windiest, wettest seats in the if that's the kind of experience you're looking for...sit outside.  Otherwise, sit inside with all the other commuters who will be trying to work and unsuccessfully ignore your children who are bouncing around excitedly.

We caught the cable cars which travels all the way up California Street to Van Ness.  Our destination was Chinatown and we did pass right by it on the cable cars...but it's expensive to ride the cable cars, so we stayed on it all the way to the end and walked back to Chinatown.  It's kind of a hilly walk, but there's always something fun to look at so it went quick.

Chinatown.  What can I say? I like the way Tripadvisor describes it: 

Yes, it's crowded; no, it's not spic-and-span. But it is a living, breathing, exceptionally ethnic neighborhood that flourishes cheek-to-jowl amid the high-rises of downtown.  This is NOT Disneyland. 

It is full of exotic sights, smells and sounds.  And that can be taken in a good way...or bad.  Let's just say we need to take the kids on more culturally diverse experiences.

The Chinatown plan was this: I had found the top 4 Yelp rated dim sum bakeries and we were going to go on a Dim Sum Dig to find the best dumplings.  That was the plan.  

We started out at the #1 top rated bakery: Good Mong Bakery on Stockton.  There was a line out the door, that's always a good sign - and no one spoke English, that's a good sign too - but it also presented problems because although I pointed to what I wanted, she asked me questions in Chinese and since I didn't know what she said I responded "Yes" to everything and that's how I ended up with a random bag of dim sum.  

When I'd finished buying up the stuff and got back on the sidewalk was when we realized there wasn't really a place to sit.  Chinatown doesn't have benches on the sidewalk for your lounging pleasure, or even a little patch of curb you could sit on without being trampled on.  So we kind of wandered up and out of that really busy area and actually did find some benches {in front of someone's house?} to sit on.   

Let's just preface this by saying that I liked all the dim sum.  I thought everything was fresh and full of flavor.  But the kids.  There was vegetables in the potstickers, the meat was pinker than they are used to, someone bit into a bone, someone saw an eyelash.  

Dim Sum Dig turned into Dim Sum Disaster.  We pushed through to another spot, this one was a little better with places to sit inside {Wing Sing on Stockton}...but it still wasn't an enjoyable dining experience so we abandoned the dig and decided to move on to The Fortune Cookie Factory.  

What to say about the Fortune Cookie Factory?  Well, it's down an alley...that looks like any other alley...with the distinguishing factor being delicious cookie smells wafting {a pleasant reprieve from the dried shrimp and starfish legs smell}.  It's a small dark little room with several women hunched over ancient looking machines churning out fortune cookies.  And that's it.  I'd have a picture of it, but you are charged 50¢ and it just felt weird to do it.  It was, in one word...depressing.


Thankfully, we finished up our bust of an adventure with a fun free tea tasting.  If anyone ever feels like they want to go to Chinatown after this raving review {ha ha} I would highly recommend going to Aroma Tea Shop on Washington.  It was a calm, serene, soothing place to escape to.  



By this time, the kids were asking to "go where the white people are" so we headed through the tunnel {that's fun to walk through} on Stockton towards Union Square.  We ate some good ole fashioned fried up food at The Cheesecake Factory then had the most fun ever going to the top of as many high rise hotels as we could.  If I had known that taking them on {free} elevator rides to check out the view of the city would have been that much fun, I would have skipped the cable cars and Chinatown. 

We had a blast.  We didn't get  to walk across the bridge, so we'll be back again soon for another tromp.  Maybe next time it will be Japan Town, the sights and smells there are a lot more tolerable!


Anonymous said...

I wanna go!! So bummed I didn't get to spend weekend with you guys, look what I missed -boohoo :) Looks like loads of fun. That's awesome that you guys did that. Way to go Jess. Taylor looks so grown up!

Jessica said...

It's probably a good thing you missed this trip M - it was pretty grubby! Japan Town is sooooo much cleaner :)