When I find something I like, I stick with it. I watch movies over and over, read the same books and order the same things at restaurants. I know that I should be more adventurous, but when you really love a dish, what if the new item does not live up to the awesomeness that you could have had? Do you want to risk that? Case in point, Sha Lin Noodles.
I first stumbled across the restaurant in the late 90s when I was working down the street at Office Depot. I had just become a vegetarian and was looking for lunch time places to eat. My first meal there is the meal that I have been eating ever since. Cutting Noodles in Soup with Tofu and Vegetables in Vegetable Broth and Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings. I have strayed from time to time by trying the pork dumplings or the soup with chicken or a different type of noodle, but I always come back to you:
And the dumplings. I dream about the dumplings. Sometimes at work when I should be paying attention, I think about the dumplings. If I could marry food, I would have married these dumplings. The most awesome specimen of food wrapped in dough (my favorite food of all)
They come to your table so steaming hot that we have to poke holes in them to cool them down. I always end up burning my mouth because I cannot wait long enough and eat them piping hot.
Big M eats in much the same way, he orders the curried cutting noodles with chicken.
The Sha Lin is not glamorous. A bunch of tables in a room with pictures of the food on the wall for decoration and waitresses pulling an amazing amount of food out of the kitchen. Watching the cooks make the cutting noodles for my soup is a highlight. The cooks are shaving perfect strips of noodles off a round of dough held on their shoulder with a curved piece of metal, and they never miss the water. Very fun. You need to show up early, or you will have to wait. They only make a certain amount of the vegetarian dumplings everyday so if you come too late, you might not get any. I hate when this happens. There is a scary parking lot in the back for parking that lets you come in the back hallway.
If I like you, I have taken you here to eat. I have cut down on my appearances here since discovering JC. Big M used to know when in his bike ride to call so that the food was ready when he rode by. Awesome.
UPDATE: Dec 1, 2010. Fire bad. Sad news today as Sha Lin Noodles has been closed due to a fire in a neighbouring restaurant. I really, really, really, really, really hope they are able to open again either there or a new location. I don't want to think of a world that is without Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings. Fire took Special #2 from Buddist Vegetarian from me, don't take my dumplings too.