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My $4 Chinatown dinner a la Calvin Trillin

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My $4 Chinatown dinner a la Calvin Trillin

Nor'easter | Mar 16, 2005 08:57 AM

I decided to retrace some of my steps from the Calvin Trillin New Yorker Festival walking tour for dinner last night. So after work I took the F train to East Broadway and started walking south on East Broadway. At Forsyth Street, I stopped to buy three "green sandwiches" ($1 each) from one of the stands on the corner. These were not going to be my dinner, but I wanted to take them home and stick them in the fridge to see how they keep for lunches during the week. I have them with me in my office now and have taken one out to bring to room temperature for lunch. I'll report whether this proves to be a worthwhile endeavor.

I continued down East Broadway to where it ends at Chatham Square, where I crossed the street (I guess that's Bowery at that point) and took a left and an immediate right onto Mott Street. I walked a block up Mott Street and took a left on Mosco Street to get to my dinner destination, Fried Dumplings at 106 Mosco Street, where for $4 I got a pint of hot and sour soup ($1), five fried dumplings ($1), four fried pork buns ($1), and a bottle of Poland Springs ($1). On the walking tour, we had only sampled the dumplings, so it was nice to sample the entire menu. What a great dinner at an unbeatable price! Yes, the dumplings were a little greasy, as others have reported in the past, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of them. I ate my food right at the little counter where they have five or six bar stools set up, and could watch in the mirror as the women behind the service counter continued to make dumplings by hand, one at a time.

My biggest complaint about the place is that while the area behind the service counter where the food was being prepared and served appeared to be kept very clean, little effort was made to keep the "front of the house" clean. The counter on which I ate was sticky with spilled sauce and the trash can looked like it had not been emptied all day.

The next time I do this -- perhaps on Thursday -- I intend to hit Dumpling House on Eldridge Street, where I can have sesame pancakes with beef with my dumplings. In the past, this was one of the hounds favorite places for fried dumplings. Is this still the case? Are there others I should try?

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