Finding a sub-$10 meal in this city isn’t terrible, but if you’re really strapped for cash — possibly even dipping into your rainy-day change jar so you don’t die of starvation — options are scarce. For those times, you’ll want to have Shu Jiao Fu Zhou in your back pocket. Every single item on this canteen’s menu is $3.50 or less, and the place deals in hearty peasant food like dumplings and beef noodle soup. But just because the food here is priced on par with the Dollar Menu doesn’t mean you’re going to get inferior fare — our favorite item is the $2 noodles in peanut butter sauce, a rib-sticking dish that’s imbued with that sweet-savory legume flavor and tinged with a bit of acid and spice. Dumplings are another excellent choice; $2 buys you six pork-stuffed purses, while $3 gets you 10. They’re so popular with the neighbors that you’ll undoubtedly see a half-dozen people stop through to buy the meat-filled pockets in frozen bulk.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2014