Hounds just can’t stop talking about Roll and Dough, the two-month-old Greenwich Village shop that specializes in the Chinese stuffed breads called bing. Early favorites among the fillings are spicy pork, spicy beef, and hot-and-sour vegetable. But they’re all pretty tasty, so the insider strategy is to ask the counter staff which one’s freshest and go with it. “I got bings right out of the oven, and they were amazing,” testifies scrawford.
Recent reports endorse the straight vegetable bing (which piccola likens to spring roll filling stuffed into chewy, crispy sesame-studded wheat dough) as well as the classic pork-and-chive. The latter “totally kicks ass,” raves ghbrooklyn, balancing fatty richness and vinegary bite. And if you luck out and they’ve just made some of the spicy meat bing, go for it. Freshly baked spicy beef bing is so delicious, marvels rose water.
Service remains uncommonly good. The staff is friendly, quick, and goofily endearing, says gsw. And they continue to pass out free samples just as they did in the opening days. Beyond bing and buns, the menu offers dumplings, fried chicken ($1 a piece), wonton or noodle soups, and an intriguing lineup of “traditional old fashion steamed soups” made with pork, chicken, oxtail, and other meat on the bone.
In Flushing, Roll and Dough’s mother shop, Unique Pastry, is no longer open to the public, though it’s still in business making stuff for other locations. The owners say it may reopen in time. In the meantime, a small selection of its wares is available for Flushing hounds a few blocks south on Main Street at J & L Mall. There’s little English signage in this bare-bones, uncompromisingly authentic food court. Just look for bing on the right side of the narrow corridor that runs west from Main Street.
Unique Pastry [Flushing]
135-23 40th Rd., between Main and Prince Sts., Flushing, Queens
J & L Mall [Flushing]
41-82 Main St., between Sanford and Maple Aves., Flushing, Queens