Boston Asian Food Court
Another food I just cannot get in Nashville is Dim Sum. Whenever I am in New York, San Francisco, Boston or Chicago, it is a required meal for me to have Dim Sum. When I was in Boston a couple weeks ago, the only scheduled meal outside of the reunion was with my mom for lunch and we were to get Dim Sum. I had expected to go to one of the Chinese restaurants in the small, but vibrant Chinatown in downtown Boston, but my mom had the hookup that was right on the Green B-line near B.U.s campus, the Super 88 Market and Asian Food Court.
The Super 88 food court is a bit utilitarian, with the original concrete floor that the former car show room had, each table was like any mall food court, and each booth was about delivering hot food fast. There were all sorts of vendors like Dim Sum, Chinese noodles, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Bubble Tea, Mongolian, Vietnamese, and others. The vendor booths were not about visual aesthetics of the counter, the signs, or the plating. The food court wasn't even about the typical Asian food experience either. It was just about getting food out to business people, students, teachers, and others quickly, so everyone can get on their way and do their thing.
I will admit, I missed the experience of the the Dim Sum cart wondering the isles of a big Chinese restaurant with a worn and dirty red carpet. I miss the energy of of a packed room of 500+ people who are vying for that last har gau steamer dish in the Dim Sum cart as the Dim Sum cart attendant is making her way back to the kitchen to re-stock the cart. I missed the gaudy gold and red artwork filling the red painted walls of a downtown Chinese Restaurant. I missed seeing familial generations of sitting at a big round table from great grandma to the great grandchildren and watching the great grandchildren fidget in their seats because they had to wear dress shoes and look nice for great grandma. I missed the wait staff walking fast, and slapping a pot of hot tea on the table, spilling a little hot water on the tablecloth because he barely slowed down to place the teapot there. I missed the roar of the chatter that 500+ people can make while parents insist on giving great grandma and the children the best pieces of each dish; the children, stuffed from eating, loudly refusing and fussing, and not understanding the customs and traditions of this act, and they think that the parents are force feeding them, rather than accepting it as a gesture of honoring the children. This time, I missed all this. For me, food is about the whole experience - the visual and audio experiences as well as aroma, taste and texture.
So, we ordered a la carte, many of my favorites from the Dim Sum counter and the Chinese Noodle counter. We waited a short time, and our numbers were called. Everything came in white take-out containers. Each dish tasted just about right, but it wasn't the full-on Dim Sum experience.
I left Super 88 Market and Asian Food Court, stuffed. I did fill up as much as I could because I justs don't know when I will be able to get Dim Sum again. I have no current plans to go to the 4 northern cities that I know have great Dim Sum. Until next time, I will be longing for the full body experience that the weekend Dim Sum restaurant offers.
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