My adventurous swim buddies and I needed some refueling after class on Monday night. And since we were already on the Lower East Side, I figured I could drag my burning legs a few blocks south to Chinatown, where tasty, cheap food can be found on every block.
Sometimes, hole-in-the-wall joints can be amazing foodie finds, and other times, well, you understand why they're just a hole-in-the-wall place. Vanessa's Dumplings, which has been lauded by Time Out New York and New Yorker mags, exceeded my expectations. For a whopping $5, I got a sesame pancake-vegetable sandwich, a steamed red bean bun, and a steamed vegetable bun that I ended up taking home because it was more food than I had anticipated!
My sesame pancake sandwich, with a very simple combo of carrots, cucumber, and cilantro, was enough to satisfy my post-swim appetite, but light enough where I didn't feel like I'd sink to the bottom of a pool. My bun was loaded with sweet mashed red beans, and I could barely finish it.
$5 is a safe enough price for a hole-in-the-wall, but a bargain for a tasty dumpling meal- I definitely recommend visiting Vanessa's. Gotta love Chinatown!
Vanessa's Dumpling House, 118A Eldridge Street btwn. Grand and Broome, 212-625-8008