Photographs by Eliesa Johnson
Nick Rancone and Chris Uhrich
Dim sum for dummies
Yangtze Restaurant | photo by Craig Bares
China’s answer to brunch is a parade of small plates and steam baskets containing all manner of Cantonese delights. Servers at dim sum restaurants wheel carts from table to table, and diners point to what they want—everything from dumplings to meatballs to rolled rice noodles. Need a primer? Here’s a localized guide to the glorious Sunday ritual.
• Don’t fear the line. There will be one at Yangtze in St. Louis Park, but you will be rewarded for your time. And bring friends, because dim sum is a sharing event.
• Drink tea. Even if you never drink tea, you should drink it at dim sum. It’s hot and revitalizing and will help fill in the spaces between all the dumplings you are about to put in your belly. When you’ve emptied the pot, turn the lid upside-down or leave it ajar to signal that you need a refill.
• If you don’t know what it is, eat it. When the carts show up, all you have to do is say “yes” or “no,” then the item will be checked off on your tableside list. This isn’t the time or place to ask which farm the meat came from or if there’s wheat in the dumplings. There is. Just eat it.
• No hoarding. Don’t empty the first cart that comes by. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Carts at Mandarin Kitchen in south Minneapolis will be stacked with fresh buns before coming out of the kitchen again, so you will be able to find another round of pork shumai if you need it.
• Chicken feet are a choice, not a dare. If you order them at, say, Pagoda in Dinkytown, eat them. Don’t play with them on your table in an attempt to recreate that Charlie Chaplin bread scene.
• Don’t deny the egg custard tart. Whenever the dessert cart shows up, grab something sweet and set it aside—that cart might not come back again.
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Drag Brunch - Mattie’s on Main [Now Closed]
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Blues Brunch - Famous Dave’s
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Polka Brunch - The Turf Club
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