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Five-for-a-dollar dumpling update 2009-


Fat Guy
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We haven't really followed up on the 2007-08 five-for-a-dollar dumpling topic. A couple of things I've seen that are worth noting:

1 - Fried Dumpling on Allen Street got evicted. (The Mosco Street branch, which in my experience was never as good, is still in operation.)

2 - Dumpling House on Eldridge has fully transitioned to being Vanessa's Dumpling House and has jumped the shark. At busy times it now takes half an hour to get food, thanks to a two-stage order/pickup process, large crowds and a menu too big for the kitchen to handle. Thanks to all that, an order that includes multiple items will usually contain a couple of cold ones. I wish them success but I'm done with this place.

In light of all that, I'm beginning the search for a new favorite cheap-dumpling place in Manhattan's Chinatown and would appreciate suggestions.

Anyone have other five-for-a-dollar (or, in the case of Vanessa's, four-for-a-dollar) dumpling news, information, opinions, wit, wisdom?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The place on Eldridge, between Hester and Canal, is very good. May be called Prosperity Dumplings.

Vanessa's, as you mention above, is much more of a pain in the ass now, due to the thundering hordes. But you can still get some pretty damn good dumplings there, as well as some great $2 sandwiches on sesame pancakes. You just have to go at off-hours, which might mean eating lunch at, say, 3:30 in the afternoon, or at 10 AM. Avoid the soups. And, to get around the issue of some stuff being cold, only order 1 or 2 different items.

I've been meaning to try some of the newer, even holier-in-wall-places that have sprouted up on Henry, Madison and other off-the-beaten-path streets, and will report back when I do.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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The place on Eldridge, between Hester and Canal, is very good. May be called Prosperity Dumplings.

Yes, that's the one, on the east side of the street. Very good dumplings and great sesame pancakes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vanessa's, as you mention above, is much more of a pain in the ass now, due to the thundering hordes. But you can still get some pretty damn good dumplings there, as well as some great $2 sandwiches on sesame pancakes. You just have to go at off-hours, which might mean eating lunch at, say, 3:30 in the afternoon, or at 10 AM.

I've found that if you get there before noon, the wait's not horrible and the dumplings are still nuclear temperature. And an order of the chive-and-pork, plus a pork-filled sesame pancake, is hands down the best lunch in the city, and for $3 probably the best bargain. But Prosperity sounds like a promising alternative. And FG, agreed on the Mosco street place.

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

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Is Vanessa's formerly No.1 Dumpling House? If so, I am bummed that it is not what it once was, though I am heartened somewhat by ewindels report as well as what people have said about Prosperity. I would agree that this is amongst the very best food values in NYC (or at least has been).

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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I don't know about the No. 1. The old sign just said "Dumpling House." 118 Eldridge.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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In an attempt to be a completist about this whole dumpling thing, I'm actually trying to undertake a sort-of organized approach by doing a street by street search.

I've started with Eldridge Street, as it seems to be where the craze may have started.

Prosperity's dumplings are held in high esteem by many dumpling lovers, and rightfully so. They strike that perfect balance between crispy bottoms and a soft enclosure, with plenty of porky chive (chivey pork?) flavor. The skin is nice and thin, and not gummy like some of them get...it can barely contain the righteous amount of filling.

They were the only ones I bothered to try on my latest walk up Eldridge.

My full blog post is here.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 3 months later...

I read somewhere (I think it was the NY Times, though it may have been one of the magazines) that one of the dumpling places in New York also had a Noodle Puller at the back of the restaurant, in full view of the customers (if you don't know what a noodle-puller does, look it up or ask here), and I think they said that the soups they had to go with the noodles were excellent.

Does anybody know of a dumpling place with a Noodle Puller on display?

Incidentally, I ate at Dumpling House on Eldridge this past Saturday. The place was mobbed. The dumplings were mediocre, or less than mediocre.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Does anybody know of a dumpling place with a Noodle Puller on display?

Incidentally, I ate at Dumpling House on Eldridge this past Saturday. The place was mobbed. The dumplings were mediocre, or less than mediocre.

Hmmm. I wonder if it might be a noodle puller place that also does dumplings - they pretty much all do.

And I agree that the quality of the dumplings at Dumpling House has declined...I usually stick with the sesame pancake sandwiches. They're just feeding way too many people and probably cutting more corners than ever before.

If you're on Eldridge and jonesing for dumplings, I suggest heading further south to Prosperity.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Hmmm. I wonder if it might be a noodle puller place that also does dumplings - they pretty much all do.

If you're on Eldridge and jonesing for dumplings, I suggest heading further south to Prosperity.

Do I have to start a new thread to ask this, or can you (please) tell me the name of some "noodle puller" places where we could see the pulling in action? Thanks !!

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Hmmm. I wonder if it might be a noodle puller place that also does dumplings - they pretty much all do.

If you're on Eldridge and jonesing for dumplings, I suggest heading further south to Prosperity.

Do I have to start a new thread to ask this, or can you (please) tell me the name of some "noodle puller" places where we could see the pulling in action? Thanks !!

There is a topic (click me) which includes hand-pulled noodles. At most, if not all, of the hand-pulled noodle places, you can see the "puller" in action. Check out Lan Zhou at 144 East Broadway - the puller is actually in the dining area.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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