|Tom took a snapshot of the napkin from the Golden Unicorn|
If you are going to Chinatown for dim sum, I highly recommend going with someone who speaks Chinese. If you can't make that happen, take Matt.
Our morning got going when the underaged hostess barked our number into her microphone (#118). I did a small inner fist pump. We were whisked into a three-banger elevator and taken up to the middle banquet floor.
I say the middle banquet floor because on a floor below us and a floor above us, diners scarfed down dim sum. I say banquet floor because the place was plush-- as plush as you can get when the floor is linoleum and there's gold lamé curtains and you're seated at a ten-top with two people you don't know who are already halfway done with their lunch.
This was no backwater dumpling honky tonk. This was a major dim sum command central.
Carts of dim sum flew at us from all directions. It was a frenzy. Up until that moment I had been going through my Sunday morning in a very pleasant haze. But shit got real-- battalions of ladies with their carts hard-selling mystery dumplings hopefully not filled with strange animal parts. They were everywhere, all at once. Had I been born with the right gene sequence, I could easily have enjoyed a lavish epileptic fit.
Then came the duck guy. He pottered around, making, by hand, one at a time, these fluffy little dumpling sandwiches filled with duck. And these ducks, by the way, were delicious.
Matt struck up a chat with the duck guy. By the end of four handcrafted duck dumplings, Matt and the duck guy were best friends. This turned out to be important. Gravely important.
Because later, we wanted more duck. While we waited for the duck guy to come back around, a woman in a striped dress from a table up on the dais strode purposefully over to the duck guy. She said to him, "Six ducks, up there." She strode purposefully back to her table.
The duck guy took his phone out of his pocket. No one could inject more withering contempt into a small break to check his text messages than the duck guy. After that, he left his cart. Just took off. Awhile later, he came back.
And he made Matt four more duck dumpling sandwiches for our table.