Little Dumplings of Love

I was once again reminded this week that’s it’s the simple pleasures of life that make it worth living. On Wednesday, Lisa was scheduled for a sonogram – the first chance to find out the sex of our baby. And we got the news: it looks like we will be having a girl! Happy happy joy joy!

After buying a few outfits at the Ocean County Mall for the new arrival (Lisa just couldn’t resist in buying a few girly-girl things…heehee), we were ravenous. While Julian pushed hard for Friendly’s, Lisa’s craving for Chinese won out and we decided to go over to Golden Gate Restaurant, which serves Chinese and Thai dishes, in the TJ Maxx Plaza on the other side on Route 37. The Golden Gate has been around since 1988, and has the interior decor to match. On the whole, while the staff is professional, friendly and attentive, the food at Golden Gate is fine but nothing special. The Thai portion of their menu is just OK. If you’re jonesing for some tom yum soup, theirs is decent enough to fit the bill. The vegetables in red curry we ordered that night were a bit disappointing; the sauce tasted more like a mix of curry and satay. Their main Chinese fare was its usual fairly goodness. The scallion pancakes were tasty but a bit greasy, and the chicken in black bean sauce was typical of what you’d get in any Chinese restaurant.

So why am I using precious blogspace to mention Golden Gate? Instead of ordering the usual dumplings that you can get anywhere, we went with Mary’s Dumplings. Mary’s Dumplings? Yes – homemade dumplings with a thinner dough and filled with pork and vegetables. Instead of getting that usual heavy doughy feel when biting into a dumpling, these were delicate and flavorful. They made a typical Chinese restaurant meal a little more fun and enjoyable. They were little dumplings of love. And I’m sure that our little dumpling of love growing in Lisa’s womb enjoyed them as well.

Golden Gate Restaurant – 1358 Hooper Ave (TJ Maxx Plaza), Toms River. 732.286.6699.

Looking for something to do? Well, you have no excuse for sitting around the house this weekend, ’cause there’s a bunch of things going on…

* The Ocean County Fair is still going on and will run through Sunday.
* The NJ State BBQ Championship is happening this weekend down in North Wildwood. We plan on being there Sunday, ’cause we loves the ‘cue.
* Don’t like barbecue? How about chili? The Millville SummerFest features the People’s Choice Chili Cook-Off.
* Thumbs down to BBQ AND chili??? Fine…maybe some seafood, perhaps? Check out the Vineland Seafood Festival this Saturday.
* And, to wash this all down, try a locally produced wine while you partake in the Walk in the Vineyard Wine Trail Weekend taking place at many of the South Jersey wineries. Details of this and all the events can be found by going to the Festivals of Food link.

Speaking of which, one more event has been added to the Festivals of Food. The Ethnic Fair and Gift Auction on July 27th at the Holy Annunciation Church in Brick will have Slavic, Mediterranean and American food offerings.

And for a little more reading…

The Artful Diner has come out with his Top Ten Jersey Shore Dining list for 2008.

Aaron McCargo has made it to the Final Four!

Despite a delayed opening, the Stone Harbor farm market seems to be doing well.

Can’t eat enough blueberries to satisfy you? How about a blueberry salon treatment?

Enjoy your weekend!

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