5 Dumplings for $1 at Fried Dumpling

Let’s play William Safire for a moment and ponder the word cheap. I’m not using a dictionary here, but my guess is that cheap is defined as “inexpensive.” Therefore the opposite of cheap, it would seem, is expensive. If you call a woman cheap, it’s an insult. If you call a woman expensive, she’s a prostitute. If you call a prostitute, you’re Charlie Sheen. Wait: where was I?

Welcome to Fried Dumpling:

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It is impossible to talk about Fried Dumpling without using the word “cheap.” When Kirk led the lunch revolution again (see previous post) he suggested Fried Dumpling (after our souls were squashed by “Grave of the Fireflies” in our Animation class) saying: “It’s really cheap and the dumplings are pretty good.”

That pretty much sums up Fried Dumpling.

Fried Dumpling is located on Allen Street just south of Delancey. You walk in and this is what you see:

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There are three tables to your left and a tiny line up ahead. A Chinese man at the first table slurped his noodles loudly. I knew we were in a good place.

“This is the first time I’ve been here without someone who speaks Chinese,” worried Kirk.

Not a problem. As we approached the counter, I noticed this sign:

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I found it amusing and the implication of “cheap” is there which ties in nicely to our theme. Our theme is: “cheap and pretty good.”

At the counter I ordered 5 dumplings ($1) 5 pork buns ($1):

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I also ordered this Coconut Drink ($1?) which had 20% of my day’s recommended saturated fat:

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And this wonton soup ($1):

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As you can see, this is a great deal of food for $4. In fact you might say it was (BUZZER SOUND) cheap. How did it taste? (BUZZER SOUND) Pretty good.

My lunch companions concurred:

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“Man this is cheap,” said Dan (on the left).

“And it’s pretty good,” offered Himkar (on the right.)

Kirk held a dumpling aloft to show his pleasure at having chosen such a cheap and pretty good place to eat.

11 comments

  1. Hi Adam,

    Wasn’t that the most beautiful, depressing film? While you’re at it, go rent “Black Rain”. Not the cop movie, but the black and white Japanese film done in the early 60s I think. Have you covered Miyazaki yet?

  2. Actually, the guy in the grey coat doesn’t seem to be concurring as much as he seems to be shocked to have his picture taken. I don’t think enough chinese places keep sriracha on the table. Certainly none of them around here do.

  3. Ohh… I’m surprised you guys were able to go anywhere after seeing that film. Whenever I’m in need of an emotional enema, I watch Grave Of The Fireflies.

    That broth in the wonton soup looks really nice. How was it?

  4. Grave of The Fireflies is the saddest movie ever made. I don’t think I can ever watch it again.

  5. Watching Grave of the Fireflies makes me want to roll over and and hug something soft. And then DIE.

    …or eat dumplings…mmm, dumplings….

    The last time I went to Fried Dumpling (alone, sans any ability to speak Chinese, which probably makes me look kinda stupid being Chinese) I got the same thing as you, except without the coconut drink or wonton soup because a plate of dumplings and pork buns (aka, almost the same thing) is a lot of food! (Although…I’m probably a few feet shorter than you and should eat less anyway.)

    Whenever people complain to me about spending too much money on food, I think about all the cheapo, dingy places in Chinatown that certainly won’t fulfill much in the nutrition department, but are so yummy that I have no problem stuffing myself with mysteriously cheap pork and carbs. (Extend this to any bakery in Chinatown, where anything that’s $1 or more seems “expensive”.)

  6. ahhhh my little diabetic soul just died a smidge at all of that carby goodness. I am officially letting you eat for me, vicariously.

  7. Mmmmm…. we need a good, cheap place here in Bloomington. (While there is quite the variety of international cuisine available, they usually only fit one or the other of the aforementioned categories.)

  8. Seeing these pics and reading your description reminds me of all those lovely dumplings I had when I lived in Beijing.

    How were the wontons? Were the heavy and thick skinned or more delicate and light? I grew up making them with my mom and I always find wontons from outside are a bit “denser” than the traditional home cooked variety.

  9. Also harking back to my days in Beijing, I cann’t find that particular brand of coconut juice in the states. My inner voice squealed with girlish glee upon seeing that can in your blog.

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