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Santa Fe Talin Market's Crazily Awesome Monday-only "Pop-up Dumpling Bar"

finlero | Jan 25, 201410:26 AM

This is one of those chow finds that's so good, but in such a small space, that a major part of me wants to keep it a secret rather than risking spoiling it with crowds. But hey, that's hardly in the spirit of this site, so against my better judgment, here goes...

On Mondays only, from 11 - 6, Talin in Santa Fe has started a so-called "pop-up dumpling bar" at its little restaurant. It is just plain ridiculously good, easily the best chow experience I've had in NM in half a year, maybe much longer. The four types of boiled dumplings they offer aren't just homemade -- they're made fresh on premises all day by one of the women behind the counter.

8 bucks gets you your choice of hot and sour soup or egg drop soup (neither of which is my thing but both of which are nice renditions) a plate of 8 dumplings (your choice of four varieties: "traditional", shrimp, vegetarian, or salmon), and either a traditional, a spicy, or a Sichuan-style dipping sauce, the latter of which is chock full of chile oil and Sichuan peppercorns. DC and I tried both the traditional and the shrimp dumplings, with both sauces, everything was note-perfect, just a fantastic combination of remarkably authentic flavors.

A la carte for a few bucks you can also get a dish of raw cucumbers in Sichuan sauce (also ridiculous, maybe the best thing on the whole pop-up menu) or a sliced duck sandwich on steamed Chinese flatbread (slightly less good than the rest of the menu, but I'll get it again).

As far as I could tell, all the ramen options are still available as well, although if I'm there on a Monday there's absolutely no way I'd get anything other than the dumplings. Between the bar and a handful of tables, there's room for about a dozen diners at a time, so it can be tricky to get a seat. As such, go check it out, but don't tell too many of your friends...

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