Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chowhound

Hubs and I went to two new (to us) places this weekend.

Friday night, we packed up little man and headed to Giovanni's in Brandon for some pasta. The restaurant is small and tucked into a strip mall on Lakeland Drive.

I think one waitress was handling the entire restaurant, so service, while very friendly, was slow. Also, I think that she was on duty busing tables. As a result, there were quite a few dirty tables around.

I got the cheese ravioli, and hubs and little man both got spaghetti and meatballs. Both dishes were very good, with lots of tangy tomato sauce and tons of cheese. Both entrees also came with a dinner salad, and the house dressing was a tangy vinaigrette. Both hubs and I got iced tea, which tasted like it had been sitting in a pitcher for a few days.

Prices were reasonable, and the turtle cheesecake was gooey, creamy and delicious.

Verdict: I probably wouldn't return to dine-in at this restaurant. However, take-out would be a possibility.

I heard through the grapevine that Ding How, which has relocated to Old Canton Road in Ridgeland, serves dim sum on Saturdays and Sundays. You may be aware of how I love dim sum. In every city I travel to that has a Chinatown, I head over there and track down a restaurant that serves it. Now, I have a local fix!

The restaurant opens at 12 noon on Sundays to serve dim sum. However, I recommend that you show up at 11:45 a.m. or so, because when we showed up at noon, the restaurant was already filling up, and we had to wait for a table.

We loved the crab dumplings (delicious dressed with a bit of soy sauce), the edamame dumplings (something I'd never had before), the jasmine dumplings (with lots of garlic - YUM!), and, of course, the PORK dumplings. (Nom nom nom!) We also tried a shrimp and eggplant dish, as well as a chicken and sticky rice concoction wrapped in lotus leaves. We finished up with a coconut dumpling, so Clay could have a little something sweet. (Incidentally, I wasn't sure if he'd like dim sum, but that little rascal was scarfing down dumplings right and left! That kid makes me proud!)

Again, the staff seemed a little thin for the number of people that were in the restaurant. I'd also note that this was some of the most expensive dim sum I've ever had. For hubs, myself and little man, we spent about $35. (For a similar meal in a large city, we probably would have spent at least $10 less.) However, since Ding How is (to my knowledge) the only dim sum game in town, they can probably get away with it.

Verdict: I will most likely be back, but EARLY this time!

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