Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Cheapest and Tastiest Soup in Town: Vanessa's Dumplings

Venessa's Dumplings has been written up in every travel guide and on every  Best Of  and Top 100 lists for years now. So it's not really a secret, but it is always amazing to me how delicious and cheap their food is every time I go.  

Lucky for me the original shop (there is now one on 14th st) happens to be conveniently located just 6 short blocks away at 118 Elderidge St between Grand and Broome. 

During my struggle with this nasty flu (which doesn't seem to want to leave me) all I've wanted to eat is  soup, soup and more soup!  So I wandered over to Vansessa, which I normally think of as more a sandwich and dumpling place to see what soup they had on offer.  For $3 they had Vegetable Dumplings in Soup. 

The way it works at Vanessa's is you order at one counter, they give you a receipt with a number on it and you pick up your food at the adjacent counter when they call your number.   After I ordered I thought:  Damn I should have asked them what kind of soup it was....  As I really didn't wanted to keep it veggie if I could.  So imagine my glee when I got my large plastic quart container filled with 6 plump dumplings and a cloudy white Miso broth!  Heaven.  The dumplings are filled with greens, tofu, mushrooms and cilantro then hand wrapped in a dumpling noodle and boiled.  For good measure they also add several Shanghai Bok Choi to the broth for an added crunch and a little extra green.  For 3 dollars!  I was filled for the day.  Hot sauce and black vinegar are on the table so you can adjust the seasoning as you see fit.  I added Sriracha to each dumpling before I ate it. Yum.

This isn't a very good picture, I had already goobled down half of it before I thought to photograph it.
Limited communal and crowded constant flow may always make you want to consider taking your food home and eating it in more comfort, but I like the bustle of the place and enjoy the open kitchen and eves dropping on everyone's conversations.

Budget or not Vanessa's with certainly worth checking out, but go to the one in Chinatown, it's much nicer than the one on 14th street which has a student ghetto cafeteria feel.

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