My new mid-afternoon not-so-guilty pleasure is Dumpling Man on St. Mark’s Place, where between the hours of 3 – 5 pm, you can get a 6 piece seared dumpling plate and a soda or water for a mere $3.50. That’s cheap – and filling! When I’ve gone to Dumpling Man during other hours of the day, I’ve opted for the “Mix It Up”, whereby you can choose a combination of their offerings: chicken, pork, veggie, shrimp, “surprise” (the dumpling of the day), and sweet (a desserty type pumpkin or banana) dumpling. It’s a great way to try them all, play a game of which is which, and determine which you like best. A small catch about the $3.50 special is – no mixin’ it up. You can only choose one type of dumpling and they must be seared (not steamed). No biggie. I probably like the pork best, which is somewhat curious because I’m not a big pork fan in general and I typically don’t eat it a lot, but they do have the most flavor. The chicken are great too and have been voted “best chicken dumplings” according to various local foodie rags. The shrimp and veggie hold their own, and the special “surprise” dumplings of the day are especially yummy, often with stuffed with combinations of fresh ingredients like ginger and scallions, yam or spinach, lemongrass and chestnuts. They also have daily soup specials, like corn & quinoa or traditional miso. I always love being able to taste a bit of everything, so I say bring a friend and share a couple orders. Create your own mix up! For $3.50 you can’t go wrong.
And be sure you get the whole experience at least once by eating in at the counter and watching as the dumpling ladies fold these delicious bundles of yumminess right before your eyes. After that, you’ll probably start fantasizing about them come 3 pm everyday, and luckily Dumpling Man rewards such behavior, bringing people back for more and more by providing a frequent eaters card which earns you a free order of dumplings after you’ve purchased 10. Just don’t forget the dumpling sauce – or the sriracha for that super spicy KICK!
Dumpling Man, 100 St. Marks Place, between 1st Ave and Ave A, East Village, NYC