Inspired by some criticism here (a few weeks ago) for the food quality of my inexpensive dumpling stand discovery inside the Canal Street Popeye's, we did a side-by-side taste comparison yesterday between the two better-known five-for-a-dollar dumpling places. And the winner is:
Fried Dumpling, on Allen St.
1) Less greasy
2) Less doughy
3) More flavorful filling
4) Less customer rudeness. At Eldridge Street, people continually tried barging in and cutting the (long) line at will, while the staff did nothing about it. Fortunately, my girlfriend-- who speaks Chinese-- would yell at the cutters (who were all Chinese themselves) in Mandarin and scare them off.
5) The one edge I'll give to Eldridge St. is on their sesame pancake. I ordered it as if it were the "beef" version (i.e., with carrots and sauce), but without the actual beef, and it was pretty tasty.
(P.S. Yes, they're both better than my Canal St. Popeye's dumpling stand discovery.)