Yep, you read correctly. The last day of our New Mexico – Texas full-tilt chile, art, and UFO spring break road trip (about which I promise to write more in the very near future) fell on Ernest’s birthday. He is now 6. And we all know that the very least one can offer someone on their birthday is to decide what to have for dinner. Despite hints about succulent chicken tacos (“Mama, I eat tacos all of the time” was his response, which, as regular readers know, is true both in his daily home life and was most definitely a fact of meals on this road trip), the Birthday Boy wanted dim sum.
Of course he did. Dim sum is his favorite food. By a large margin, from what I can tell. And then he was such a good sport when we told him that it might not work out that I did what I could to track down dim sum in Albuquerque. There are, based on the limited research I could do as we drove in the rain and hail between art galleries (hey, do we know how to show a 6 year-old a good birthday time or what?) while I also tried to book a room at a hotel near the airport (6:51 am flight!) that had an indoor pool (birthday + rain = the least I could do), two places in Albuquerque to get dim sum: Amerasian Sumosushi and Ming Dynasty. Ming Dynasty had a definite edge in the online reviews, a more focused Chinese menu, and, let’s be honest, a much more appealing name.
You know what? Ming Dynasty is putting out some very serviceable dumplings. Some were a bit heavy, but the barbeque pork buns were light as a feather with an excellent filling-to-bun ratio and the sesame balls were crispy and fresh. The vegetable mu shu my dashing husband and I ordered to supplement our dinner (all the better to leave the lion’s share of dumplings for the Birthday Boy to inhale), was deftly assembled table-side with supremely tender house-made pancakes.
They were as good as any mu shu I’ve ever had. In fact, I can’t recall any better.
And I’d like to add that the service was delightful. Charming and kind and efficient. And very quick with that second order of har gow that they never saw coming… no one, not even dim sum resturant workers, can ever believe how much dim sum my boy can eat.