I just photographed an event for a local hospital, celebrating the pending opening of the "Brooklyn-Chinese Family Health Center," in Sunset Park — NYC's third-largest Chinatown. Judging from the jubilation of attendees, and the number of journalists who showed up, the community is excited.
Board members and executives from the hospital, plus elected officials were there, and they praised the initiative. Afterward, we headed over to a nearby church for a luncheon reception.
The food, which came from Pacificana, a Sunset Park dim sum restaurant, included some common Chinese food items, but unlike my nearby delivery dives, here the beef & wide noodles was not oily or salty, the beef was not fatty, and the vegetable lo mein was al dente. The fried rolls were made with a thin wrapper — like Vietnamese spring rolls -- not the thicker bubbly standards — and the filling was not cabbage. My favorite was the shrimp har gow, dumplings filled with two shrimp each. (Mouse over photo, above, for a look at the dumplings.)
This buffet meal had me wanting more, and had me thinking about Chinese food. My neighborhood has about ten choices for pizza :-) — but only two or three for Chinese -- and nothing remarkable like Pacificana or some other places I know.
My favorite spot is Vanessa's Dumpling House, on the Lower East Side. Their dumplings are amazing (you can watch the women making them through a little window in the back) but my favorite item there is the Peking Duck Sandwich (served on a wedge of homemade fried sesame pancake) ($2.25). It's off the hook.
I'm in Brooklyn more than in Manhattan, and I haven't been able to get Pacificana off my mind. So that's where I'm going next time. Anyone wanna join me?!!