April 16, 2009

Vanessa's Dumplings - More like Vanessa's Sesame Pancake Sandwiches

Vanessa's sandwichVanessa's Dumplings needs to be renamed Vanessa's Sesame Pancake Sandwiches ASAP. On a recent night, my boyfriend and I embarked on another legendary "food tour" (term coined by our good friend Frank).

Our first stop was Vanessa's Dumplings - a small "cheap eats" joint that does mostly takeout located on 14th street between 2nd and 3rd Ave. I suppose it is mostly known for the dumplings, but it was the sesame pancake sandwiches that really stole the show.

The dumplings were truly disappointing - flavorless and exhibiting the ultimate sin of way too much "skin." By this I mean - all I tasted was dough. Dumplings should be delicate, flaky, fragile to the touch. I guess Vanessa's is more like a dumpling factory - trading durability for delicacy. Too bad. Better options for sure downtown...

On the other hand...the sesame pancake sandwiches were a true delight. Stuff your sandwich with pork, roast beef, vegetables or...tuna? I recommend the pork - succulent, juicy and sweet. Piled on with a carrot and cucumber slaw that kind of reminded me of traditional Vietnamese sandwiches and book ended with sesame pancakes as oily as all sesame pancakes should be - at $2.99 a pop, you will be itching for seconds.

Ahh, if only your belt buckle had that extra hole...

Vanessa's Dumplings
220 E. 14th St., New York, NY 10003

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