This past weekend, with my family in tow (three kids, a husband and my parents), I set off on one of our favorite New York City culinary adventures— The East Village. It’s like junking it on the boardwalk but city style. We started with a sampling of Belgian French fries at Pomme Frites on 2nd Avenue, near 6th Street. Their crispy, golden fries, served in a paper cone with the house Irish Curry sauce (one of about a hundred sauces from which to choose) are out of this world!
Next, we walked briskly East on St. Mark’s Place, burning off the fried goodness we just stuffed into our bellies. We stepped into the aisle-like Dumpling Man, a 40’ long by 6’ wide slice of steamed heaven. We placed our orders and sat down to watch three Asian women work together to efficiently make and cut dough, form wrappers, and create dumplings. If we weren’t seated behind plexi-glass, we might as well have been in their kitchen, witnessing a thousand-year old tradition of communal dumpling making. It’s well worth the trip just to watch the technique these adept women use to crimp shrimp, pork and vegetable dumplings. They are masters and make it appear as simple as preparing toast. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to crimp a dumpling, it’s like a free class while you wait for your order to be served. My kids were so bright-eyed and curious one woman even passed over some dough for them to play with. The dumplings, which have thicker dough, are delicious. Between the seven of us, we polished off 20 dumplings in about ten minutes.
Next stop, Hummus, for a small plate of the creamiest and most delicious Hummus and Health Salad I’ve ever tasted. My husband sampled the falafel, which was crisp yet moist and wonderfully spiced. Next stop was just a few steps East to Crif Dogs, where the kids enjoyed some fantastic hot dogs. With my belly getting too full for even a taste, I passed on the dogs and let my kids devour their own, topped with a layer of chili. I snuck a taste of their Stewarts Root Beer to cleanse the palate for dessert at Australia, our final stop. Somehow, their hand made creamy ice creams and sorbets transcend even our favorites like Haagen Daas. The small portions are forgivable since the taste is so superior, and our bellies too full to fit more anyway!