Second Helpings

Mee Yee Lin

I miss Mee Yee Lin -- the old Mee Yee Lin on West Alameda Avenue, the little dim sum place where I first ate crispy fried intestine, where I could linger over a late lunch in a homey American cafe as envisioned by a transplanted Chinese family. But that Mee Yee Lin closed its doors several months ago (the space is now a $1.35-a-scoop joint), and Mee Yee Lin moved on to a space in Aurora that had been Dragon Garden (which is owned by the same family). But it's just not the same. The new place is tiny, a strip-mall storefront with drained fish tanks humped up by the front door and a single dining room decorated in the simplest, most spartan style imaginable, with maybe ten tables. On Saturday and Sunday mornings (the most traditional time for dim sum), the room is swamped with fans of the former Mee Yee Lin making a pilgrimage. I don't remember if the old menu had a lot of Americanized Chinese dishes, but they're out in full force here, in all their sticky-sweet and over-sauced glory. This Mee Yee Lin does have two saving graces, though. First, the prices: Four of us ate here last week, stuffing ourselves off both the dim sum and regular menu, crowding the table with plates and bowls and little tin steamers, and the total bill was forty bucks. Second, the dim sum menu was shipped over from Alameda more or less intact and features wonderful shu mai dumplings, fried shrimp balls and amazing Hong Kong-style soups. Even the crispy fried intestines are still listed -- but the last two times I've tried to order them, they've been sold out.
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Jason Sheehan
Contact: Jason Sheehan