Now, that you've visualized the soup dumpling experience the way that Joe's Shanghai wanted you to, I feel I can now begin my ode to the soup dumpling. There are but a few things I have come to truly love during my 22 years - the midpoint of the Brooklyn Bridge, local beers of whichever city I find myself located, pork belly, Sicilia, and, you've guessed it, the soup dumpling. I'm not saying that other foods do not satiate me, no quite the contrary; HOWEVER, Joe's Shanghai soup dumplings have their own instinctual drive in my body. If I crave a soup dumpling, I cannot be satisfied until I'm sucking the soupy goodness out of one.
There is an alluring nature to the overall Joe's Shanghai experience. Perhaps it's the 1970's decor of Joe's Shanghai, maybe it's sharing a banquet table with random strangers, or possibly it's the waiters first (and most important) question: "pork or crab?". Whatever the cause may be, I am emotionally involved with the restaurant. If you do decide to venture to Joe's, please note that the best location is in Manhattan on Pell Street. Never heard of it? That's because, I believe, Pell St. only appears for those worthy enough of the soup dumpling journey -- a dumpling Platform 9 3/4 if you will. If you find the mystical side street and do happen to stumble into Joe's, you must bring with you two things: about $7.50 per person since the food is ridiculously cheap and the answer to the ultimate question "pork or crab?"
9 Pell Street
New York, New York 10013
Other locations: http://www.joeshanghairestaurants.com/