As readers of the SF board know, I'm a nut for good xiaolong bao (I even registered the domain name). I'll be in NYC next week with a couple of free days to spare and would like to find the best xiaolong bao in Chinatown. I'll be focusing on the orthodox pork-only xiaolong bao (with maybe savory soymilk soup, onion pancakes or something else to make a light meal), and I'm most iterested in finding the ones that stack up best to the "gold standard" of the Nanxiang Steamed Dumpling House in Shanghai.
On my list so far (in no particular order) are Moon House, Yeah Shanghai Deluxe, Shanghai Gourmet, Shanghai Cafe, and New Green Bo. I've been to Joe's Shanghai and Evergreen (midtown) so I'll be skipping them.
I probably won't be able to hit them all, so I'm wondering if someone from Shanghai or who is familiar with the real thing can comment and help me prioritize my quest.
I'm also interested in finding the best "street food" grade pan fried dumplings (shengjian mantou), meaning well-browned to charred on the bottom and wickedly greasy, but I only plan to go for these once.