Saturday, July 02, 2005

Food Memories

I’m willing to bet that most of us food bloggers, whose hobby it is to document what we eat, have a very distinct set of food memories. That is, we relate food to events in our lives that evoke good feelings of times gone by.

When my children were very little, my parents lived in San Francisco’s Golden Gateway area, wedged between the Financial District, North Beach, and Chinatown. A visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house meant a visit to a Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. My Dad was easy to spot on crowded Stockton St. with his bright white hair standing a good bit taller than most of the pedestrians. I don’t know what the kids liked better, eating Dim Sum or buying Pop Pops and trinkets at the shops that cater to tourists along Grant Ave.

A few years later when my daughter was a Girl Scout we took her troop to Dim Sum assuming that all kids love the little bites selected off carts that roll by. The other girls starred as if we had landed on an alien planet while my kid pointed to her favorite goodies on the cart. When the chicken feet were displayed the troop retreated from the restaurant. It was off to McDonalds for some real kid food. I know there are a number of girls from that troop that are still traumatized by those chicken feet.

It is with these food memories in mind we review East Ocean Seafood Restaurant on Powell St. in Emeryville.Ca. With very same former Girl Scout daughter, and her now adult, baby sister we arrive for Saturday Dim Sum. No carts for the Dim Sum!? That’s not right! We almost do an about face and flee. Oh well, we’ve come this far. We are seated at a window table that overlooks the bay with great views of San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and the ports with their Star Wars looking giant steel cranes. As we are seated we receive a paper menu listing the available dishes. One is expected to make check marks next to the items we want brought to the table. This confuses us a little because we are used to viewing items for selection. With a family conference the boxes are checked we drink tea and wait. The service is fast and efficient but a bit on the brusque side. No time for friendly. The dishes arrive and arrive and arrive. Yes we have ordered way too much food. The demise of carts actually seems to have the food arrive much hotter than we are used to. This is darn good Dim Sum. The portions are large and the ingredients are fresh. Four of us eat for $52 including tea but not tip and we took home a large doggie bag. The dog didn’t get any. More good food memories were created.

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Sui mai

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Shrimp Dumplings

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Rice noodles with shrimp

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Steamed pork buns

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Lotus leaf rice --tastes better than it looks ;)

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Pan fried onion cake

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Unknowen fried tasty something

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Steamed Chinese Brocc. --gotta have a veg.


Jeenie said...

My exotic taste for food and my try anything attitude definitely stem from our days spent in China Town. It's funny, I had some of those same friends over as adults and served dim sum as appetizers on cute little Asian platters. They ood and awwd about how unique I was and gobbled it up. Apparently, they were not too scarred...just slow to understand the goodness that is dim sum.

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