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As much as I love Buffalo, a major failing of the city is the lack of a Chinatown and a good dim sum restaurant. Dim sum, for those who haven’t discovered it yet, is a kind of Chinese brunch where servers push carts around the dining room, stopping at each table to offer diners their choice of various delights — steamed dumplings filled with all manner of things, small shrimp dishes, wonderful soups, and — if you are brave — chicken feet. (They’re rather like a chicken wing with much smaller bones.) You sit at your table, drinking tea, awaiting the arrival of the next cart. When it arrives, you select an item or two — or three or four — and then your server marks your check accordingly, per item served. It’s a beautiful way to try things you might normally be unwilling to tackle in the form of a larger entree at the local Chinese takeout (assuming they offer these delicacies at all), and — even better — dim sum tends to be cheap. Each time I’ve had dim sum (in Boston and Toronto), I’ve eaten until I was positively stuffed and at none of those meals did I spend more than twenty dollars. If you’re the type of person who is unafraid to sample new things, then give dim sum a try. If, however, you’re one of those people who eats four or five different things and only those, week in and week out, then dim sum probably isn’t for you.

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