I remember the first time I tried dim sum, like it was yesterday. Only it was 1994 and I was in in the middle of my undergraduate experience, wearing flannel shirts, buck shoes, and jcrew jeans. I basically looked like this. A friend and I skipped Humanities 101 for a stop in Downtown Crossing to have the top of our earlobes pierced. Ouch. After what seemed like surgery without any anesthesia, my friend suggested we get dim sum. Dim sum? What's dim sum? I didn't want to sound like an ignoramus, so I casually said that "I loooove dim sum." It should be noted that at that point in my life I called myself a sketchatairan, refusing to eat most meat. Typical meals: Celeste pizza and cheese sandwiches from Subway. To say I had a limited palate is an understatement. Obviously, I had never tried dim sum.
My friend, a Chinese American, guided me through lunch proudly, quietly boasting about food that was a part of her family's roots. Dishes arrived at our table: brown blobs stuffed in dumplings, chicken feet, fish roe, and other unrecognizables wrapped in leaves. Did I feel cosmopolitan? No, I felt quesy. The food was good, if I could get past my psychological limitations, but as an ignoramus trying new things it was unsettling. Plus my earlobe was killing me.
My taste buds have grow up since then, and I can truly say that "I looove dim sum," but finding a great dim sum restaurant in the DC area has been difficult. A few weeks ago, I tried the Saturday dim sum brunch at The Source, where Scott Drewno is serving up some seriously delicious plates.