Birthday Gluttony, Continued…

More people cooking for me. Awesome. This time the whole crew at DTF.

More people cooking for me…awesome. This time the whole crew at DTF.

To really top off the birthday celebration–I know, I was milking it–we headed into Seattle for a little time at the Burke Museum, some back-to-school shopping, and then…wait for it…DIN TAI FUNG! Kind of a tradition the last couple years, and I haven’t been back since the last birthday, but I’ve been dreaming about those soup dumplings for an entire year.

Ta-Da! Shanghainese soup dumplings--xiao long bao--at DTF.

Ta-Da! Shanghainese soup dumplings–xiao long bao–at DTF.

And they did not disappoint. Tender noodle wrappers that burst with ginger-y pork broth when you bite into them. Actually, everything at DTF is pretty mind blowing. We also had the subtle, delicate won ton soup, a lightly pickled red-chile cucumber salad, savory seaweed salad, crispy potstickers and the hand-cut noodles. And more soup dumplings. All of it with an exceptional intensity of flavor you just don’t experience anywhere else. Hard to believe this is a chain restaurant, but if you’re ever in the area, it’s more than worth the wait.

Mom's blackberry pie, vanilla ice cream, my two best buddies and their goofy dad. Great day.

Hey look, the goofball in the middle is only one-year old.

When we returned home, it was, of course, pie time. Did I mention this is The Greatest Pie In The World? Oh, man. The perfect ending to a fantastic birthday. And on that note, I think I better go jogging now.

Fast Food

This one’s for you, Captain Z!¬†When the going get’s tough, the tough go for pork products. And in our case, that means getting off the Island and heading to our favorite dim sum joint in Seattle. They really put the fast in fast food. Carts loaded with treats parade around the tables in an endless loop, trailing fragrant clouds of pork-scented steam. The kids start pointing to what they want before we even sit down, and we’re eating within seconds of entering the place. Awesome.

Clockwise from left we have: Skyla and Weston reaching for honey-glazed baked char siu baos; something I don’t know the name of involving a yellow wrapper, tripe, shrimp and shredded bok choy; potstickers; har gow; gai lan (Chinese broccoli); sticky rice packages and siu mai. And that was just the first course. Guttony ensued. Of course, when you factor in the time and cost of the ferry ride, it’s hardly a fast meal. But we’ll take it.