Good Deals: 88 Palace

My Sunday dim sum adventure got off to an unusually late start (snooze buttons can be evil!), and as I stood waiting for my friend in front of one of my usual haunts, Jing Fong, the growing line and approach of the busy noontime gong made me decide we'd try to go elsewhere. When Dan finally arrived--just at 12--we peeked into the little Michelin-rated place next door, but opted out when a guy waiting in line said it would probably run $20 a person--too much for dim sum!!! We slipped through the little passageway next to Jing Fong's entrance that leads to the Bowery, and we took a left so we could check out the line at Golden Bridge...but it was CLOSED! Well, so much for that acceptable option...

We wandered towards East Broadway to check out the line at Golden Unicorn (out the door!), and then to see if Nice Restaurant still existed (nope). Then I remembered...the place under the Manhattan Bridge. It was kind of greasy and not-so-great when I'd been there before, but that was at least ten years ago. Through the little mall and up the escalator, and there it was! No line, clean, fairly busy, lots of carts. We decided it was worth a try.

While it's not the best dim sum on Earth, it's definitely an acceptable option--especially if you're meeting people who resist heading out for dim sum before 11:30. It was different from what I remembered (considering the passage of time, perhaps there are new owners?) Everything was fresh and hot, and the service was amazingly friendly--we actually had a few fun interactions with some of the cart ladies.

The highlights were the steamed dumplings with pork, vegetables, and taro; the fresh taro cakes; and the mystery meat (probably pork) in a rich and sweet sauce, which we chose after one of our hilarious cart lady moments. There were a ton of other beautiful-looking things we didn't have the stomach space to try, so this place is definitely worth another visit...especially after the demise of our other recently-found no-line dim sum option... 

88 Palace, 88 East Broadway, inside the mall underneath the Manhattan Bridge.

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