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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vanessa's Dumplings

Today's review is based upon a single menu item, the Sesame Pancake Sandwich at Vanessa's Dumplings on 220 East 14th Street. Vanessa's Dumplings is located on 14th Street, close to Third Avenue and not far from all the student hustle and bustle at Union Square. I happened upon this place many times in the past, dismissing it as an overpriced Chinese Restaurant that migrated from Chinatown. I remember when they opened a couple of years ago, there was a prominent sign in front of the restaurant telling passersby of their inexpensive dumplings. As I passed by this weekend, I decided to give this restaurant a try.

I ordered the Sesame Pancake Sandwich with Vegetables as this was an item I've never tried before. The sandwich was made of a sesame pancake larger than an English muffin. It is pan-fried to a crispy brown texture, with sesame seeds embedded on both sides. The filling was made of carrots, cucumbers, lettuce and other vegetables I couldn't identify. These crispy veggies were mixed with a sweet gingery, light fish sauce based dressing. The sandwich was served hot, with the cold vegetables taking on the heat of the pancake. It was delicious, although I was a bit concerned about the sugar and salt content. The pancakes crispy outside was nicely balanced with a chewy inside.

Vanessa's is definitely a Pan-Asian restaurant aimed at students in the area. Most dishes are within a student's budget, with the vast majority of menu items going for under $5.99. The sesame pancake sanwiches range from $1.29 for just the pancake, to $2.99 for the Chicken Teriyaki sandwich. Based upon this one item, I can say that the quality of this item is good and that the other items may be worth trying. And besides, who isn't on a student's budget these days?

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