We went with some Chi-town friends down to NYC this last weekend - and our main goal, of course, was to EAT! Now I realize I only have food pictures and none of us! Maybe I need to re-think my priorities. Nah.
These are "soup dumplings" from Joe's Shang-Hai in Chinatown (long line outside). (Their Chinese name is "Xiao Long Bao," literally, little basket bun - as in, steamed in a little basket.) They are super special because not only does the dumpling have meat inside (usually pork) but also a delicious broth. The ones we had were superb - and the ones pictured above were extra special because they had crab meat! You dip the dumplings in vinegar and minced ginger. Nibble the skin just a little so that you don't squirt when you bite down on the whole thing, then enjoy the meaty soupiness of it all.
For dessert we went to Beard Papa's for yummy yummy cream puffs - which is about all the bakery does. (Molt could not stop saying, "I love it when you call me Beard Papa" a la Notorious B.I.G.)
They were super fresh and, if you look closely at the cream filling, made with real vanilla bean:
Alas, they are only in CA, HI, MA, NJ, and NY. And Japan & Hong Kong.