Monday, May 11, 2009

Best Getting to Know the Neighborhood III: Keeping Superlatives Under Control

FIRST I've been devoted fan of the much-loved by everyone dumpling house on Eldridge since two remodellings ago and was put pretty ill at ease by its transformation into a Vanessa's Dumplings last year...the doubling of size, the doubling of cleanliness, the tripling of efficiency, the raise in prices (4 dumplings for a dollar instead of 5), total bummer--not that I haven't been there a lot, especially as I'm living three blocks away these days. But last week I found myself dumpling hungry and decided to take my pocket change to "Good Dumpling House," a establishment that's right around the corner from me who's name doesn't set the bar too high for itself.

Dumplings at Good Dumpling are 3 for $1 OR 8 for $2. I got the 8 to match the deal at the dumpling house on Eldridge. When I ordered I was told it would be a five minute wait for my dumplings, this took me back to the old days at the dumpling house where your food might be ready for you immediately OR you might have to wait a whole cooking cycle for a batch of dumplings that just went in the pan.

When I got my dumplings they were basically steamed dumplings that had been given a minute or two of frying time. Wet and wriggly, they were all right, in fact, I'd say they were good . . . but nothing more than that. Given my closeness to Eldridge street and the definite excellence of that establishment, I don't know that I'll be going back to Good Dumplings, but their truth-in-advertising name has me ready to only expect a little from this neighboring neighborhood restaurant:

SECOND I returned to Amazing 66 last week.

As you may recall, my first meal at Amazing 66 was too Chinese for me and created a battle of simultaneous grossness and deliciousness for me. So on my second visit I decided to play it totally, completely safe and order the Kung Pao chicken. It was dumb, boring, and not special at all. 0% amazing. My fault, I suppose, I definitely ordered poorly, but really, they should have been able to put a little spirit in this dish. Also, my hot and sour soup (which was great last time) did nothing for me on this visit. Amazing 66, I'm done with you, unless I make friends with your biggest fan and they take me to try all the right things.

AND TO CLOSE I poached my first egg last week. Without reading how to do it or anything. I poached my egg, peppered it, and then plopped it right into a bowl of instant ramen.

I know, real real fancy. I really liked watching the egg cook, so I'll definitely be poaching more. As a fan of the completely runny yolk, this is one of my favorite ways to have an egg cooked.


Side of Jeffrey said...

I used to love watching eggs cook - in fact, I used to blow them up in the microwave all the time until my mom finally said no more.

Betsy said...

That Kung Pao Chicken looks so promising and spicy and delicious! What a let down. Glad you're enjoying poached eggs. People who don't eat runny-yolked poached eggs are so sad.