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Recession Snacking

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If you can’t make out the fine print, one of the best bargain joints on the Lower East Side is out of business. According to this notice from the landlord, Heaven Way Buddha Church, “Fried Dumpling’s” lease on Allen Street has expired. For the uninitiated, this place gave you five dumplings for a dollar. But have no fear, there are actually lots of other options in the neighborhood. My personal favorite: Lan Zhou, East Broadway and Pike Streets. You get 8 dumplings for two bucks. The skin is paper thin, the pork filling flavorful. And how about this: you can take 50 frozen dumplings home for $8!

While we’re on the subject of Asian fast food, check out New York Magazine’s take on Vietnamese sandwiches (Banh Mi). The new spot on Orchard, An Choi, made the “top 10 list.” “Nicely balanced if slightly dry,” NYMag says. There’s been lots of grousing on the food boards about this place, due to the slightly higher prices than you’ll find most places in Chinatown. Still, you won’t find anything on the menu for more than $10 and, frankly, the spruced up decor is worth a few pennies more. And there’s no doubt, the bread is crispier and more delicate, the ingredients a good deal fresher.

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