Thank you. In New York, I relied almost entirely on your restaurant suggestions. They were great. Although this is a blog about food in Houston, the next several posts will be about the state of food in NYC.
NYC's Chinatown is bigger and more vibrant than I remembered.
Yes, there are Chinese funeral parlors, Chinese banks, and acupuncturists. But mostly Chinatown is about food. The array of exotic foods on every corner is remarkable.
Misha, Bob, and Jenny all suggested I tried the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai. Joe's is known as the benchmark for soup dumplings. The crowd proves it. Even in mid-afternoon, the wait for a party of two at one of the large communal tables was 30 - 40 minutes. But since I was alone, I got a spot immediately.Joe's dumplings are art. The skin is fresh, firm and chewy. The soup inside is thick, glutinous, and savory. And the filling had far more flavor than ordinary lump-of-meat filling.
Joe's provides a pre-mixed dumpling sauce. I didn't need it. The flavors inside the dumplings were so good that they did not need any tampering.
Jenny sent me a guide to cheap Chinatown food that recommended Wah Fung No. 1 Fast Foods, formerly a street cart, but now a hole-in-the-wall takeaway stand. The line out the door was 20-minutes long, and the customers were exclusively Asian -- all good signs.