Year of the Takeout Day 85: Family Garden Part Deux


Shu Mai from Family Garden (636 Metropolitan Avenue, 718-387-1936)

The first time Year of the Takeout visited Family Garden, we were sick, and could only get vegetable soup, which doesn’t really do much justice to such an amicable alcove.

Indeed, if you decide to wait for your food to get prepped rather than ordering delivery, you will see that Family Garden lives up to its eponymous rep — there is a regular clientele that the woman behind the counter remembers by name. We eavesdropped a bit more (of course we’re creepy like that), and learned that she doesn’t just match names to faces — she will pick up on regs from their voices, and perhaps their phone numbers, when they call in their orders. In a city where anonymity prevails, this kind of friendly familiarity — however fleeting — outright charms.

Anyway, noticing many types of advertised dumplings the second time around — veg and pork dumplings, both of which come steamed or pan-fried; cheese-filled fried wontons; meat wontons, which come boiled, fried, or pan-fied; shumai; and “dim sum” — we picked the $4.50 shumai.

An open-faced, eggy, yellow noodle shell swaddles a garlic- and scallion-accented pork filling, which tastes slightly of shrimp. The porcine puffs are quite pleasant, though some portions of the exterior felt a little toothsome.