Sunday, November 11, 2007

Excellent Essex Street Mystery Dumplings

When I grew up, Chinese on the Lower East Side meant Bernstein's, the Kosher-Chinese marvel. The neighborhood has changed a lot over the years, and while the Chinese remains, Bernstein's is long gone. Not that I miss it: their Chinese food was inedible. (I do miss Ratner's, whose borscht I still crave) But good Chinese food is found in abundance on the Lower East Side now, and one of the tastier establishments is the Lovely Wife's lunch place of choice.

There is no name to this place, except perhaps "Vegetable Steamed Dumplings." It consists of a lady, a serving area, a kitchen and three tables. The place is located at 27 A Essex Street, 10002 in the "UAS" (sic) (212-579-2700). Although the Lovely Wife and her colleagues love the place for their excellent lunches, I like the take out dumplings, which the lovely wife has honored us with several times recently. They come in a variety of flavors besides their vegetable namesake, although the vegetable dumplings are excellent, with well but but clearly identifiable pieces of vegetables in a decidedly non-vegetable broth which taste excellent steamed. The boys and I preferred the meat, but this may just be our inner carnivore coming through. They are sold by the 25 count for a price so low I still can not believe it. They freeze well, and tasted good several weeks after buying them.

If you are not fortunate enough to have a loved one work on the Lower East Side, it is still worth it to take a trip down there to buy these dumplings. Steam them up, serve them with a 50% soy/50% white vinegar sauce, and impress your friends.


Robin said...

Let's do a dumpling-off. We can go to LW's place and to a few others same trip. We can channel Calvin Trillin.

Matthew H said...

The place is called North Dumpling, and it's great. When I was there on Monday -- I work with a class of 4th graders at nearby P.S. 20 on Monday mornings -- it was packed with large teenagers buying 10 dumplings for lunch for $2. Sure beats a slice of pizza. The place was jammed, so I got 5 to go and ate them while walking up Essex Street. They were very good (but not as good as the gyoza at Sapporo at 152 W. 49th St., which are my favorite pork dumplings). Any other tips on cheap LES lunches?

Ira.B said...

Thanks for the tip!! I will keep pestering the lovely wife for good places to eat down there. I rely on her, as she works in the LES.