A Sandwich A Day: Sesame Pancakes at Vanessa's Dumpling House

A Sandwich a Day

A new sandwich every day.

In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.

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[Photo: Robyn Lee]

What happens when you take a pancake, stud it with sesame seeds, and stuff it full of tender meats and fresh vegetables?

"This is essentially a Chinese sloppy joe," said Ed, as we tried to wrap our mouths around the Sesame Pancakes with Roasted Pork ($2) and Peking Duck ($2.25) at Vanessa's Dumpling House. The meat was lavished generously on both sandwiches, and even if the Peking duck was somewhat lost in its sweet barbecue-like sauce, I'm not complaining—it's hard to make any snarky remark when you pay for duck using quarters. The roast pork sandwich boasts a better build, as the spikey strips of julienned cucumbers, green onions, and sprigs of cilantro provide a nice crunch and a fresh foil for the sauced meat.

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The sandwich's main attraction, however, is the pancake itself. The dough is plopped into an oiled pan and fried, pancake-style, giving the spongy bread a crisp-bottomed crust not unlike that of a deep dish pizza. I'd use this pancake for anything (standing on the curb outside the restaurant, the inspiration left me slack-jawed: PB&J, Havarti and avocado, bacon and eggs...), and luckily a wedge of this sandwich manna can be nabbed for only 75 cents. Recession demons, have you met Chinatown?

Vanessa's Dumpling House

118A Eldridge Street, New York NY 10002 (map) 212-625-8008 212-625-8118