Well, as luck would have it, the soon to be Missus and I decided to forgoe our usual weekend excursion to Argyle in favor of Chinatown. No worries on my end, I already stalked up on Bahn Mi from Ba Le after dinner at San Soo Gap San friday night. Can you say C-H-O-W-H-O-U-N-D? Anyway, I digress.
First stop: dim sum at Phoenix. Believe it or not, as many good reviews as I have read on this board, this was my first time. After a short five minute wait, we were seated INSIDE what seemed like a fortress of other tables. UGH! In other words, the food carts couldn't directly roll up to our table. As if this wasn't bad enough, besides one "driver", nobody was the least bit interested in making sure we got any food. As if this wasn't disheartening enough, when a table next to us was getting ready to leave and I asked to move, the manager asked why? Immediately the right and left side of my brain started to duel. Do I tell him what I want to and ask him if he wants to live? Do I try to explain we have been there ten minutes and have all of two plates, thanks only to the Missus having to literally get up and get the food? Granted, we aren't at Tru, but even for asian restaurant standards, this is pretty bad.
Anyway, we moved and things started to roll. One of my absolute faves is cow tendon in a garlicky brown sauce, and their's was possibly the best I've ever had. That being said, it was going on 1:45pm, and I am sad to say that they were starting to run out of stuff, including some sticky rice to go along with the tendon. The turnip cake was excellent, especially with the left over sauce from the tendon. The fried dumpling-like stuff that looked little footballs stuffed with pork were excellent and not at all greasy. There were no chinese vegetables going around, nowhere near the assortment of buns I am used to, and there was no duck, pork, or chicken going around. We did have duck feet, which were good, but there is something about dim sum and being overwhelmed by the choices and the whole experience.
How did this experience end? We ate our fill, sort of, but that didn't include many items we were looking forward to eating. Finally, we were handed a check for, I kid you not, 75 $! We have never EVER spent more than 30 bucks, even in our most ravenous state. The check comes back with the "mistakes" removed and came out to ONLY 45 bucks, for the two of us.
My questions are the following. Was this a fluke as far as service is concerned? Was the lack of items more due to us showing up sort of late? Finally, is Phoenix expensive, or is it just me? All that being said, if they hadn't sold out of tendon, I would have ordered two more orders, one for there and one to go.
Finally, as hard as I looked using Chowhound's search, I can't find a post from either Zim or ErikM that mentioned a no frills place with a great selection and dirt cheap. Any help or suggesions?
Sorry about the long post that has gone over much travelled ground.