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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dumpling Day

My Mommy knocked on my door nice and early yesterday morning because there was a lot we wanted to pack into one Saturday.  We started by heading to Orchard House, my neighborhood coffee house for a cup of java, a scone, and a glance at the New York Times.  Orchard House has been in the 'hood about exactly as long as I have, so we share a special bond.  I like the vibe, the coffee, and the free WiFi.

After we got the necessary caffeine buzz, we tackled the Brooklyn Bridge.  At just over a mile (each way), it is a nice walk with a great view.  If you've never done this, I highly recommend it, and if you have, do it again - it's not just for tourists.  We got to other side just in time for Grimaldi's to open their doors, but we had something better in mind for lunch.  We took the subway back into Manhattan and headed to Chrystie and Houston for the Dumpling Festival.  $20 got us four plates of food, so we decided to split one ticket.  We started with the Malaysian lemongrass dumplings (pictured below) after eavesdropping on Mario Batali's convo next to us and hearing they were good (and yes, he was wearing the standard orange crocs, shorts, button-down, and navy fleece vest).  He was right about the Malaysian dumplings, but Macao Trading Co.'s dumplings were amazing.  I'll have to actually go to the restaurant now.  Suddenly a bajillion people decided to show up and the lines grew to overwhelming lengths.  It was at this time that we decided to use our third ticket to get two pomegranate ginger ales from Bruce's.  Surprisingly spicy and refreshing.  Our fourth and final ticket went to sticky sweet rice dumplings (some filled with sesame paste, others with nuts).  I'm glad we picked a dessert dumpling to end our meal, but they were super sweet.  One order came with five dumplings, but one was enough to satisfy me.

After dumplings, we walked around the LES so I could point out some sights to my Mom.  By sights, I mean I showed her all the bars and restaurants I like, which doesn't sound like crazy fun but whatevs.  After buying a pair of earrings at a cute little boutique, I couldn't resist a stop into Russ & Daughters.  My Mom was amazed by the fresh bagel/cream cheese/lox sandwiches.  I can't say I blame her, but I had my eye on something else and walked away with a quarter pound of chopped liver.  Chopped liver may weird some people out, but I love it.  Russ & Daughters makes a pretty good version, but nothing will compare to Mildred/Grandma's, probably because my Grandma uses way more lard.

After all that walking, I was ready for a shower and a nap, so I headed home to do just that.  Throw a little How I Met Your Mother in the mix, and it was the perfect rest before dinner.

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