How About Them Knockers - J.S. Chens

Delivering Dim Sum after 3:00 - 30 Dealing with my OCD - 20 Surprisingly Decent Dim Sum Delivered - 25 Chuckling cheeseburger remark - 10 Total - 85

J.S. Chen's Restaurant
240 Legacy Dr. #118, Plano

It has been a long and unseasonably warm week in the City of Ate and I found myself staring down the double barrel question of what's for dinner, and more importantly who was going to make it..Having lived through a particularly rough week it no doubt was one of those Knockers nights I convinced myself as I rummaged through that drawer that housed all the forgotten menus of dinners past.

I was never one to use the many delivery services available in town as it feels unholy allowing a third party come between me and my dinner. This makes delivery dining much more limited and generally in the hands of two of the most industrious restaurateurs in the business today: the Chinese American and the Italian American.

What makes Chinese and Italian food so delightfully deliverable? I pondered this question as I filtered through the many choices of pizzas and kung pao. Not sure what I was looking for because I knew there would not be a menu featuring crab dinners or a random Indian haunt that would whisk saag paneer to my stoop.

It seemed perfectly reasonable that there would be and industrious Indian restaurant that would deliver. The food is just as conducive for take away as any General Tso's chicken or pepperoni pie could possibly ever desire.

Perhaps if I continued my search through the drawer long enough I would grow weary and fall onto a book I should be reading.

Digging deeper into the dusty chasm there seemed to appear a bright light and a resounding heavenly blend of trumpets as I pulled out the menu for J.S. Chen's. Suddenly visions of dim sum danced through my head. Tasty morsels of Shanghai dumplings beckoned me to place the call.

Never one to disregard animated visions of dancing dumplings I placed the call without regard to what I might actually order. I know that restaurants hate this, but I seem to find myself bringing the employees into the decision process. And when it comes to anything ethnic I like to ask what they had for lunch thinking it would be the most authentic and freshest choice.

This would not be the case for the Chen's employee since he claims to have enjoyed a cheeseburger for lunch. I didn't dare ask the guy to bring me one of those, even though there is a Wendy's in his parking lot and it couldn't be all that much trouble for him to sit in the drive through for me.

Tossing my OCD thoughts out I had sudden burst of decisiveness and rattled off my choices from their dim sum menu that clearly stated that dim sum was available until 3:00 PM daily and it was just after 6:00. It didn't seem to phase the good people at Chen's. And they dutifully took my order that included stuffed bean curd skin, steamed Shanghai dumplings and shrimp dumplings. I usually enjoy the stir fried Chinese broccoli that is treated with sesame oil, but I didn't see it on the menu.

The order is placed and the food arrives just shy of the 40 minutes that I am promised.

Unwrapping my little feast I start having buyers remorse thinking that I should have ordered a braised duck or spicy squid dish. Regardless, I sit down and douse my plated delivery with the provided extra spicy chili sauce and enjoy my book and the happy repast.

My order was just as fresh and appetizing as if I had pulled it from a wandering cart in any dim sum restaurant that I have ever been to. I especially enjoyed the stuffed bean curd that comes braised in a light pork sauce. My only disappointment, and I have suffered this before at Chen's, is their Shanghai dumpling. What should be meatball stuffed dumpling with the added soup surprise was not soupy in the least and the meatball was more like a loose concoction of finely minced meat that reminded me of jarred baby food.

Resting atop the empty styrofoam containers I smiled happily and reminded myself to convince the nearest Indian restaurant that they should deliver.

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Steven Doyle