So I’ve been insanely overworked and running around like a madwoman since I’ve started student teaching. It was on Thursday that I told myself I needed to do something to have fun and relax this weekend, originally I just wanted to go to the village but then Scott informed me that today the NYC Dumpling Festival would be taking place 😀
We arrived about 10 minutes early and waited on a nice short line to purchase our tickets. For $20 you got to sample dumplings from any four stands at the festival. It seemed a bit expensive to me at first, but I was happy to learn all of my $20 was going to help support the Food Bank of NYC. Scott and I each bought a ticket, so our plan was to try samples from 8 different stands and share them. The first dumplings we tried were Tang’s veggie dumplings.
These were whole wheat and vegan and were served with some sweet chili sauce. I didn’t taste the whole wheat in them at all and the sauce was awesome! These dumplings can be purchased at Whole Foods, which means I’ll probably never have them again, or at least for a very long time since Whole Foods is out of the way and damn expensive. Our next choice was Veselka’s Trio of Pierogi.
We got one potato/sour cream pierogi, one goat/beef pierogi and one goat cheese/arugula pierogi. I let Scott eat the one that had beef in it because I do not eat beef (he ate everything else that had beef in it for me also :)) He liked that one. The potato one just tasted like your standard pierogi to me, nothing special. However, the goat cheese and arugula one was the most delicious thing I ate at the festival! It was amazing and went wonderfully with the sauteed onions. It was a total food-gasm. Our next sample was O Lavadar’s fried seafood dumplings.
I wasn’t too thrilled with these to be honest. I liked the sauce but the filling didn’t work with the outside for me. Plus I’ve never been crazy about deep fried foods in general. After that we decided to try Chinese Mirch’s chicken momo
These were simple chicken dumplings in a spicy broth. I really enjoyed this. I know this would be extremely delicious in cold weather. I liked the spice the broth left on the dumplings, it made me feel warm inside without setting my mouth on fire. But unlike Scott I didn’t drink any of the broth, since his tolerance for spicy things is much higher than mine. Anyways, onto our next two samples Elsewhere’s lamb and potato dumpling (top) and miss Korea BBQ’s duo of mandu (bottom) The lamb and potato dumping was excellent. It was comfort food in a dumpling pastry form. This is another dish that I think would be more satisfying to each when it’s cold because it was pretty filling. The Korean BBQ sample consisted of one pork dumpling and one kimchi dumpling as well as a side of kimchi and marinated beef. I thought the pork dumpling was alright, but it wasn’t amazing. When I first tried the kimchi dumpling my inital thoughts were “wow, this is the best veggie dumpling I’ve had in a long time,” but then the spice hit me. It was too spicy for my tastes by Scott enjoyed it. The kimchi side tasted like sauerkraut only not. I like sauerkraut better, but I’d be interested to see what a fusion of kimchi and sauerkraut would taste like. And Scott said the marinated beef was nothing special.Our last dumpling sample for the day came from Ivy Bakery.
This was a spiced apple dumpling pastry. It was quite tasty but I was a bit disappointed they only gave us one and that it was as small as it was. But it was a nice desert to end with. With our final sample ticket we got two bottles of ginger ale from Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale.
I’ve had their ginger ale once or twice before and I must say that they are *legit.* With the normal one you feel the burn of ginger, which I find pleasant when I am ill because I feel like it’s helping to fight whatever sickness I have. Plus ginger is good for your digestive system. Scott and I split the pomegranate one which wasn’t as intense as the normal one. I took the jasmine tea one home with me and plan on trying it later tonight or tomorrow.
They were going to have a dumpling eating contest and set a world record for the most dumplings eaten in two minutes, but I’m not into eating competitions so I didn’t really watch. The dumpling cutting to set off the festivities was pretty awesome though.
Over all I had an awesome time and even got to find a few restaurants I’d really like to visit in the future. The few things we didn’t try were some pork dumpings and chicken liver raviolis. My two disappointments with this event were the fact that the dumpling mascot the event’s website led me to think would be there was not there and the fact that they didn’t have any samosas.