Though my day job requires that I spend my days in TriBeCa, a couple of weeks ago I found myself at a Midtown meeting. And anyone whose ever spent anytime in Midtown knows that lunch options are sparse. Aside from the salad bar bodegas, its pretty slim pickins. So you can imagine my excitement when a co-worker introduced me to Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, a fast food - Chinese take out hybrid located on 23rd between 5th & 6th Ave. Since dumplings are one of my favorite aspects of Asian cuisine, I was pretty over the moon about the new lunch find. Not to mention the fact that affordable TriBeCa lunch options are also pretty sparing and a girl can only have so many tomato soups and grilled cheese sandwiches a la 'wichcraft (ok, I'll be honest, I pretty much OD'd on this lunch combo during the cooler months, so anything new came as a refreshing change). Let's just say that if Rickshaw were closer to my place of employment, I'd be a frequent lunchtime visitor. Since I'm a sampler, it was quite enjoyable that I found two lunch companions with a penchant for sharing...and sampling.
The carnivorous and pork-deprived eater that I am gravitated directly to the Classic Pork dumplings. In my personal opinion, Asian food is really best when it features pork. Take the classics - moo shu, lo mein, dumplings - they're just not the same with chicken. Anyhow, I got myself an order of pork dumplings that did not disappoint.
My oh-so-generous colleagues offered up a taste of theirs and who was I to turn it down? That is, after all, how I got to sample the Peking Duck dumpling. I should interject here and tell you that I typically do not eat duck (and Shaun winces as I tell you this, since he and my sister Kim enjoyed what they refer to as the best meal of their lives when we traveled in Budapest with duck as the major star...but I digress...). It's a bit greasy for my taste, and this dumpling was no different. It was, however, rather tasty. And while I probably wouldn't order it on my own, if you like duck, you would probably like this little guy.
And for all of you vegetarians out there, we also sampled the Vegetarian Edamame dumpling. It was a fun twist on an Asian favorite. Would I substitute the pork variety for the edamame? No way, Jose. But for a vegetarian option? I'll take it. And no, it in no way comes remotely close to the wonder of the Land vegetable dumpling - yep, the ones that I claim changed my life and love so unconditionally that I even made a vid about 'em.
Lastly (and no, I usually do not eat this much for lunch, but when in Midtown...), I sampled the Chocolate Shanghai Soup Dumpling. This one was eaten with caution my friends. Filled with dark, liquidy chocolate, could you just imagine this thing exploding all over your clothes? Yeah, I've had nightmares about it. But it is pretty darn delightful and truly unique to boot.
So there you have it...a tale of my Midtown lunch. This is the only city locale, though I've heard stories of a Rickshaw Dumpling truck traveling around lower Manhattan. I haven't investigated this myself, but any info you could share would be greatly appreciated! But how about you...what do you eat for lunch at work? Any local faves? Any places that you wish were a smidge closer to the office?