Spare a few coppers so I might buy some dumplings, good sir?
I used to eat dumplings all the time from the place on Allen St, off of Delancey St. I worked near there and they had one thing that a lot of the other dumpling houses don’t always have: pork buns. Not the big sweet pork buns that your standard Chinese restaurants sell for 1.50 a pop and are stuffed with big chunks a la Alpo, but the little pork buns that are rounded dumplings without chives and with thicker skin. The more well known dumpling spots like Vanessa’s don’t sell them, which is a shame, as I much prefer them to pot sticker-style dumplings.
I finally found a place that does them much better than the place on Allen St. ever did, but it’s out in Flushing. It has no English name. It’s on 41st, right off of Main St, next to the municipal parking lot. It’s marquee looks like this (sorry for the picture, it was sorta overcast):
The menu is both extensive and inexpensive:
I admit, when it comes to this place, I am no explorer (no tremella soup for me). All I ever get is the small pork buns (aka “the fried sumo pork bun”, according to the sign on the inside). Everyone else in the joint seems to go all over the menu, with the soybean milk seeming to be particularly popular.
I cannot overstate how much I love these pork buns. They are simple fatty treats. The only thing unique about them is they have a light sprinkling of sesame seeds. They’re certainly not gourmet, but unless you have a gigantic appetite, you should be full for $2.50.
On the off chance you are still hungry and you don’t want a tea egg or something, if you cross Main St, there is a little cart there that sells grilled kabobs of lamb and chicken for a dollar a piece. The people who run it are Muslim and definitely know what they’re doing with lamb. Live a little and say “yes” when they ask if you want it spicy.