Good as ever: fried pork dumplings at 99 Allen.
Fried Dumpling, the city’s first dollar dumpling stall, was evicted in March 2009 by its landlord, the Heaven Way Buddha Church (suck it up, Richard Gere!). As if by miracle, the place reopened this last September, with a spruce new decor, and a new crew of dumpling makers, now going by the ethereal name of Inexpensive Delicacies Company, Inc. Some friends and I recently checked the place out to see if the dumplings were as good as before.
The new $4 brisket soup.
The short answer is yes. The oblong fried chive-and-porkers were nicely fried/steamed, and an amazing cheap-eats bargain at four for $1. The buns are three for a $1, and fried on the bottom after being steamed, hard to eat since they’re too hot to pick up — and as soon as you take a bite, the meatball middle comes flying out.
The menu remains admirably brief, with a couple of extra dishes added. The brisket soup is wonderful, with about 10 hunks of fatty brisket, and masses of handmade wheat noodles and bright green baby bok choy. One of our party raved about the broth, which was on the plain side and a nice antidote to the recent cold snap. The so-called sesame pancake comes nicely browned, but is really a scallion pancake in disguise.
Excellent news for the Lower East Side, as this place is still superior to Vanessa’s. (Sorry, Vanessa.)
99 Allen Street
Inside the bun.
Our merry crew, pre-art-opening at Lolita’s.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 13, 2010