Gitlo's Review today in Globe
Excellent review today in Globe for Gitlo's. It's about time, hopefully there hard work and attention to quality and freshness will pay off!
Any other CHs at Gitlo's last night? The place was packed and Gitlo had to turn away at least 7 or 8 parties while we were there. We arrived around 6:15 and were seated right away but the remaining tables all filled up pretty much at the same time.
Sadly they were sold out of all dumplings but it gave us an opportunity to try some other things like the bean curd skins shrimp rolls which and an impressive amount of plump and juicy shrimp inside. We also had the daikon cakes (crispy) with XO sauce again. It was our last of five items to arrive and since they were so busy it was kind of a long wait for them. I thought maybe I was too full for them when they arrived but after one bite I quickly gobbled up the rest. It was even better than last time.
Just a word of warning: it difficult to get the combination of good, fast, and cheap. So at Gitlo's right now you get good and cheap. Know what your signing up for though. Most of the patrons last night were willing to wait and were very friendly but a couple were really tense and couldn't handle the slower service. Perhaps Gitlo's is not for them... not just yet. There are still many wrinkles to iron out. Gitlo apologized profusely when we were paying our bill. Even though I really had no complaints and understood why it was slower than last time I appreciated his sincerity.
They have been fairly slow the first few months and my sense is that the Boston Globe article probably left them a bit overwhelmed by the increased traffic as they make everything cooked to order. Hopefully if the increase in business maintains, Gitlo will be able to adjust to the volume.
tried to get in at around 330pm today. no dice. every table full and about 5-6 people waiting inside for seats.
went to Brown Sugar instead. it was pretty good.
i read the review, i am so happy for them i just know that it will bring them a lot of business. I just hope that they can keep up with the demand, in the past i've dealt with uneven food quality and service even with just a moderately full room. I've always been understanding but i wonder if others would be.
I also wonder how long i'm going to have to wait before I can go again, drove by today at 11am it was packed to the gills and people were still trying to get in, i've never seen it so full. I guess people read the review and thought it was a full sized dim sum place and were not prepared for its tiny size. Families with strollers waiting on the sidewalk i thought i was in Chinatown, almost half expected to hear a loud speaker calling out numbers...
Went to Gitlos and arrived at 11:20 AM (Easter Sunday). The tables were already full and a few tables of people who had apparently had no attention paid to them left - so we snagged a table by 11:30.
The front of the restaurant was totally disorganized. They were favoring the take out orders over the people in the restaurant. We even noticed a number of people who came in and ordered take out who got their food and left before we got any food. (we weren't the only ones). Of course we felt like chumps and were comtemplating going for Korean. But my SO convinced me to stay after the 45 minute investment we had already made.
We finally decided to write up our own order on a napkin and handed it to the "waiter", who after another 10 minutes told us of the stuff that was now (additionally) unavailable (there was already a long list of sold out items). We even volunteered to take some dumplings that another table did not want just to get food. So we finally got a first bite to eat at 12:15. We wound up having two (unordered) orders of taro with Pork and Shrimp dumplings - okay, but nothing to write home about. And then it was followed by the seafood rice in lotus leaf. We were quite suprised that it was not sticky rice. We found it lacking in flavor - no bells or whistles.
Then we got the Transparent noodles with Shrimp and veggies. I can make a much better version of it; though it is difficult to find this particular type of noodle in any markets.
Finally the fried and steamed shrimp har kow arrived. The Fried ones were nice, though a little greasy. The steamed ones' skins were quite thin and transparent. The nice thing was that the shrimp did not have the intestines left in place like you see in the Chinatown Har gow, but they could have used more flavor. They were definitely plump and shrimpy, but not worth the hour wait.
Finally we had had our fill, but decided that waiting for the wait staff to give us the bill would have added another 30 minute to our adventure. So I tallied up what we ordered, wrote it up on another napkin, and gave it to the cashier with our payment.
I also have been to a number of Dim Sum restaurants in Hong Kong, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Boston. Perhaps even to more places than the 'dim sum snob' referred to in the Globe article. Though I agree some of the places can have overcooked dim sum, or har gow with gummy skins, or families of rude, obnoxious cantonese people (of whom I happen to be a member of), every place has their pluses and minues. Some times you can go to Hei La Moon or China Pearl and have heavenly Har Gow or incredibly tasteful sticky rice in Lotus leaf, or something unusual and great like Lobster har gow, and sometimes the food is distinctly mediocre. But Gitlos did not rise above the pack on the food front for me; I did not find Gitlos food to be of any higher level (taste or quality wise) than those that you find at the other better dim sum places in Chinatown on a good day (preferably earlier on a weekend). And despite the wait that you can encounter for a table at the chinatown restautants, that wait is less annoying than seeing other people get served before you. The service at Gilos was totally, laughably amateurish.
Anyway, I wish good luck to Gitlos - their food is decent and is a good addition to Allston. They need the luck. They are pretty disorganized and have good enough dim sum, but they certainly aren't going to get any stars for service.
Keep in mind that they went from being a dinky hole in the wall that was never full to a glowing writeup in the Globe and being jam packed.
I drove by at about the time you were there asked how long the wait was, and decided to try some other time.
Staffing and food flow were never their forte.
That said quite a few of the dishes, on a slow day, are as good as I have ever had.
Personally, I will wait for the Globe buzz to die down, and hit them on weekday nights for the time being.
Finally, if they maintain this much biz, hopefully they will boost staffing and figure out how to deal. I personally really want Gitlo's t be around for a LONG time.
I stopped by Gitlo for the first time at 1pm today (Friday) and snagged the only open table upon arrival. I thought my timing was great, arriving just after the rush, a large party of 8 was just leaving. I was so wrong. This is possibly the worst service I've ever experienced in a Chinese establishment, and it wasn't even busy during the 45 minutes I was there.
I waited close to 10 minutes before someone decided to take my order while I sat watching 3 restaurant staff clear the table of 8 and two other tables of 2 that also left while I sat waiting. I ordered 2 items: scallop shiu mai and fried bean curd skin shrimp rolls. My shrimp rolls came out after 20 minutes (generously stuffed with shrimp and crispy skin, but not much flavor, wouldn't order again). It took another 10 minutes to get the shiu mai. After I finished the 1st course and was still waiting for the 2nd course, I sat there sort of staring/watching Gitlo and two of his staff talking amongst themselves in Cantonese at the cash register. They looked over at me after they realized I was watching them and brought me the check. I told the waitress I wasn't waiting for the check, I was waiting for my food! Confused looks as they asked about the shiu mai -- turns out it was ready and sitting to be delivered, I could see them sitting on a tray in the back. Still slightly warm when I ate them (pretty tasty but not much scallop, I'd order them again if I ever come back).
StriperGuy, I think you came in with a friend while I was eating my 1st course. You were just getting your food while I was getting my 2nd course. I think by then there were only 3-5 people still dining.
The food was good, but not mind-blowing. The service was *that* bad. And my other pet peeve about this place? Lukewarm tea that has so many tea leaf-bits floating in it that never sank that I felt I had to check my teeth after drinking it. Get a strainer!
That was me. My tea was hot. I always keep after them on brining out the next dish.
I was just sad that they had no char siu bao or cantonese dumplings.
We had shrimp balls wrapped in bacon, shrimp dumplings, spring rolls, and rainbow noodles. All pretty excellent.
They are not going to nail it on service at least not quite yet, but I am perfectly happy to nudge them along for the delicious food I ate.