i had not had soup dumplings in awhile and was intrigued by newsjoke head to head comparison below so i decided to duplicate that duel today. i'll hold you in suspense for a sec.
first, cost is the same, the xiao long bao or soup dumplings w/ crab & pork run you $6.80 w/ tax at both places. that was all i orderd.
i was early and the first one in NGB and they set me right up. these dumplings are a bit larger than JOE'S, thinner skinned and have a lighter more delicate broth and meat mix inside. no burned taste at all as reported in the thread below.
the soup dumplings at JOE'S, which i had afterward, are thicker skinned, have a more substantial meaty flavor and have a heavier darker broth inside. i like to bite the tops off first to drink the hot soup inside the dumpling, thats my style for the tricky task, and the JOE'S dumplings awkwardly stick to your mouth when you do that.
so in the end it's apples and oranges really. depends if you want etheral or a more substantial version of these crowd pleasers. maybe call the NGB version "summer" soup dumplings and the JS version "winter" soup dumplings.
if i had to pick just one i vote NGB the winner and still the champ.