First stop: Di Palo's
Susan watches the magic happening behind the counter. That smile on her face is because porchetta is being sliced, and she's about to eat it.
There's Louis Di Palo himself! Hey Louis!
Susan and Ed
"The porchetta I just put in my mouth was so ridiculous, I can't even speak." —Susan
"Right? Louis Di Palo's porchetta is a beautiful thing." —Ed
Second stop: Golden Steamer
We tell nearly everyone who walks into the Serious Eats office that they should stop by Golden Steamer around the corner on Mott Street to pick up some bao (no matter what time of day, no matter what they're craving). We can't get enough of their steamy-soft pumpkin buns and at 70-cents a piece, we don't have to! The fluffy pillow is filled with a buttery, slightly sweetened pumpkin puree. Straight from the steamer, it might need a cooling blow between ripped-off bites.
Third stop: Rice roll cart
At first we couldn't find this little cart tucked into the sidewalk corner of Elizabeth and Hester. Once we did (hurray!) we read the sign on the window: closed at noon (nooooooo). But thankfully a girl walked right up and ordered a rice roll, so we pointed to hers and some secret handshakes later, they made us one too. Victory.
You're looking at $1.25. Oh Chinatown, how you spoil us. The stretchy, moist rice noodles are all folded up inside the styrofoam box, with a combination of sauces on top. Fish balls are optional.
Another Susan eating shot
She makes a good eating face.
Fourth stop: New Kim Tuong
It had been a while since the porchetta (a half hour?). Yes, time for more pork.
Susan and Ed
They are quite the dynamic duo, and two of the finest food crawlers the world has ever seen.
There's a guy inside hacking pieces off a roast pig for your viewing (and eating) enjoyment. And what they hand you for $3.50 is this.
Fifth stop: Prosperity Dumpling
Time for some sesame pancakes and fried pork dumplings...
Watch the guy slice up the pancake into triangles like pizza.
Filled with Peking duck, pickled carrots and cilantro ($1.50).
Sixth (and final) stop: Shanghai Cafe Deluxe
Susan had to try the winner of our soup dumpling tasting. The Xiao Long Bao ($4.95) are consistently awesome with an ultra-savory soup and nice porky filling. She washed it all down with bubble tea...and maybe there was some banana leaf-wrapped sticky rice too.