Belmont, MA: Taiwanese Dim Sum Brunch at Shangri-La
When people tell me they don't "get" the appeal of brunch, I always ask if they've had dim sum. Because however you feel about corned beef hash and eggs, there's no denying the appeal of dumplings, noodles, and fried turnip cakes—especially as the first meal of the day.
That said, I can almost understand wanting to switch up the typical Cantonese spread from time to time. That's when I skip Chinatown and head for Belmont, home to one of the Hub's best Taiwanese restaurants. You'll know Shangri-La by the line the snakes out the door—a guaranteed sight every Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
It's not a pushcart operation like the grand dim sum halls downtown—arguably a boon, since your food is made to order. And the menu is vast: everything from pig ear salad, to crispy shao bing, to fried chitterlings, to popular xiao long bao (soup dumplings). I just wish the tables were bigger.
About the author: Liz Bomze lives in Brookline, MA, and works as the Senior Features Editor for Cook's Illustrated Magazine. In her free time, she freelances regularly for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and Martha's Vineyard Magazine; practices bread-baking and canning; takes photos; reads; and watches baseball. Top 5 foods: fresh noodles, gravlax, sour cherry pie, burrata, ma po tofu.