Fave Foods: Land Serves Up Change-Your-Life Vegetable Dumplings

As part of a new series called Fave Foods, we'll be featuring new, exciting, lesser known foods from around the city that just so happen to be particularly delicious. First up is from my favorite Thai restaurant on the Upper West Side. Though the entire restaurant is so tiny that it only seats about 30 people at a time, Land Thai Kitchen has some of the best Thai food I've had throughout the entire city. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so, as we waited for over an hour for a table. But yes, it's that good. The Land specialty? The vegetable dumplings featuring a mix of vegetables and peanuts, all of which are sweet and savory, are encompassed in a green skin which toes the line of being 'too squishy' yet unbelievably fantastic. But the flavor of the dumpling with soy sauce is really about as good as it gets. Too bad one order only comes with 4 dumplings...I could eat about 100. The best part? One order of veggie dumplings will set you back a mere $6.50 for four. These really are one of my ultimate fave NYC foods.

Featured foods:
Vegetable Dumplings
Chicken with Cashew Nuts
Squid with Garlic Sauce
Shrimp with Garlic Sauce
Thai Iced Coffee

$6 Lunch

Although I’ve given up ordering in lunch almost entirely, there are some days when the only residing items in my fridge are condiments and a can of Fresca. Unfortunately this also coincides with the days when I have little more than a few dollars in my wallet. In my quest to find reasonably priced lunch on the Upper West Side, I came across a super $6 lunch special.

Soutine Bakery . 104 West 70th Street . 212-496-1450
Tucked away on West 70th Street is a little bakery called Soutine. Primarily a maker of wedding cakes, this adorable, blink-and-you-miss-it bakery also features an unbeatable lunch special that’s not only delicious, but won’t break your bank. Though not publicized in any way (no signage, no menu, no online mention) all you have to do is go in and ask! It is one of the best values you’re likely to find. 
For a mere $6, you have your choice of a pre-made (but very fresh) sandwich, drink (primarily water and juice selections), and dessert. I generally choose the delicious ham and cheese on a fresh baguette. Other types include egg salad, tomato and mozzarella, turkey, and whatever happens to be available on a given day. You can choose from whatever’s on hand, so go early for a larger selection. The bread is crispy, and though many of the sandwiches are mayo and mustard free, you won’t miss them.

For the dessert, choose anything from giant cookies to brownies to blondies. You may have to pay extra for the cupcake, but since I’m an addict, I couldn’t resist. The frosting was similar to a lightly sweetened, very smooth whipped cream and the cake was light and crumbly. Beware when eating the old fashioned way, as it could be a bit messy, but totally worth it. 
Tasty sandwich, delectable dessert, and bottled water for $6? This is lunch my way.

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