As you all know, I love dim sum, but there are so many constraints, one of which is that it is only offered during brunch times. So, if you work, that limits your dim sum consumption to weekends. But why? Why do the Chinese restaurants restrict us like this? Americans don't do it; there are plenty of diners that serve breakfast all day. I've often made breakfast-at-dinner at home. In fact, I just saw an episode of the Barefoot Contessa (what an awful name for a catering company!) where Ina made chicken hash for dinner and French toast for dessert.
Enter in Gitlo's, a “dim sum bakery,” in Allston that is open 11am to 10:30, and it's all dim sum, all day (and night)It's been making a splash on the Chowhound boards, with many exclaiming it's the best dim sum they have ever had. R and I went on Friday with our friend Richard and two of his friends. Richard is one of the few people who cares and knows about good food as much I do. He was one of the few people I called when I got my Shun knives because he actually knew what they were and would appreciate the awesomeness of the gift. Others were like, “knives? That's nice.”
We gathered at Gitlo's on Friday night. Parking was awful, but what did I expect on weekend night in that part of Allston? The restaurant is tiny, maybe 6 tables. It's not the type of dim sum where carts are going around, it's more like tapas, you order off a menu and order more when you want more. All of the 24 offerings are made to order. We ordered a lot of standard dim sum fare, like shrimp dumplings, some more traditional Chinese dishes, like fried daikon cake and then the bizarre, like sweet potato puffs. All of it was fantastic. Everything was very fresh, great flavors and made well. There were a few that we tried that we liked so much we instantly reordered another, like the dumplings and the crispy veggie rolls. The most shocking thing was the bill. For 5 hungry people, ordering without abandon for an hour and a half, it came to $48. I think my last steak entree was about the same price.
There's also a message on Chowhound about how Gitlo's is not getting enough business and the owner is worried the restaurant won't survive. I'm not surprised; combine these prices with the crappy parking and the tiny storefront (we drove past it twice and we were looking for it!), it's not a recipe for success.
So, do your part, people and go eat dim sum for dinner.
Gitlo's Dim Sum Bakery
164 Brighton Ave.
Allston, MA 02134