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Madeline Dolinsky's Chicago Dim Sum Round-up

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Did you think Steve was the only Dolinsky who knows his way around Chinatown? The Hungry Hound's 14-year-old daughter, Madeline (or should we call her the Hungry Pup?), has been going to Chinatown with her foodie father since she was a wee lass and knows more about that area's restaurants than most grown-ups we know. So we reached out to young Ms. Dolinsky to give us a recount of her Chinatown connection as well as a list of her five favorite spots for dim sum.

So, in her own words, here's Madeline Dolinsky. Watch out Papa Hound, the kid may take your job one day.

I have been going to Chinatown since I was about six months old. Chinatown is like a second home to me, since I have been going there so long, and my family and I go there frequently. The restaurant where it all started was a place called Phoenix, which is where I really got a craving for Chinese food and all of the things it had to offer. Since I was only a baby when I first went there, I ate something of a rice porridge called congee, which is a good food for babies to eat, because it is very soft and easy to swallow. This is still one of my favorite foods to this day, and every time I go to Phoenix, they know exactly what I am going to order: congee, with preserved egg, pork, and scallions

Another thing I like about Chinatown is dim sum, which happens anytime before mid-afternoon. Different types of food are carted around the restaurant in either steamed boxes, on plates or in bowls, and the diners can pick out what they would like to eat from these different carts. This is one of my favorite times to go to Chinatown because I like to pick out what I want to eat and not have to rely on a menu.

Going to Chinatown is a great cultural experience. I really enjoy getting to try different foods, going to new places and getting to know the Chinese culture. I find that when you go there, you can explore different tastes that you never knew existed before.

When you go to Chinatown, don’t expect it’s going to be a Panda Express, which is not technically Chinese food. Go in there awaiting new things and tell yourself that trying new things is good. If you don't like it, then so be it. At least you dared to try it. Chinese food is a cuisine that should be looked upon as something delicate, not just some cheap food you can get anywhere, anytime.

Madeline Dolinsky's Top 5 Dim Sum (and then some) Spots

1) Triple Crown:
They have the best Dim Sum, because it is very authentic and they have a good variety of steamed and fried foods.

2) Phoenix:
My favorite thing there is the congee because I basically grew up on it. I also like the carts that come around the room with all types of yummy treats on them.

3) Shui Wah:
One thing that they have that no one else does is the calamari "fries" that are long, thin, breaded and tasty. They are also dusted with a little bit of chili powder. I like that you order from a card, which means the food comes out fresh as soon as it's cooked.

*For non-Dim Sum, Madeline likes these two Chinatown spots:
4) Lao Beijing:
This place has northern Chinese food, which makes it different from other Chinese places. They also have a really cool dish that consists of crispy shrimp that is to die for.

5) Joy Yee's Noodle Shop:
This place has also been around since I was little and they have a huge menu with lots of pictures. They definitely have the greatest smoothies/bubble tea. Sometimes we will go somewhere else in Chinatown for dinner and then go there just for the bubble tea.

Phoenix [Photo: ChitownDining]

Lao Beijing

2138 S Archer Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 312 881 0168

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