Giving Vendy Rookie Finalist A-Pou’s Taste The Official +/-
Taiwanese potsticker seller A-Pou’s Taste seems to be a permanent fixture in the line of carts on Liberty St. (at Broadway), and I had only eaten there when they were fairly new at the first ever Pushcart Market and still trying to work out some major kinks (mainly, long waits). Since then they’ve moved from the East Village to the Financial District and every time I walk by there’s a line so I figured it was time to eat there again for review purposes before the Vendy Awards this Saturday where they have a shot at being crowned the Rookie of the Year.
One of the major complaints I’ve heard is that the wait is to long at the cart, and I can see that. Other people have said the dumplings aren’t that great, but I think that it’s a matter of taste, and also the fact that decent dumplings of any kind are pretty much non-existent unless you’re willing to head up to Chinatown to somewhere like Vanessa’s or Prosperity Dumpling.
They seem to have gotten better at both speeding up food distribution and keeping some dumplings cooking at all times. I had to wait about 10 minutes to have food in my hand, but there were five or six people in front of me and I could see that the two workers were moving as fast as possible.
The menu hasn’t changed much from when the cart first launched, other than the addition of Chinese spaghetti. They have pork, chicken, beef and kimchi, and vegetable potstickers, the spaghetti and various teas and milk teas. They have also introduced lunch and dinner combos where you can get either 10 potstickers or 5 potstickers and Chinese spaghetti for $6, or 10 dumplings and spaghetti for $8.
I would say for most appetites, either 10 dumplings or the smaller dumpling/spaghetti combo should do. I wanted to try the spaghetti, so I went with that combo with three pork and two beef dumplings. I had tried the chicken ones before and found the beef ones far superior.
The dumplings were slightly better than I remember, although I would have liked a nicer crust on the bottom. They cook them and then put them in metal steam tubs, so I’m guessing they just lost some of the crispiness. Flavor-wise I liked the beef ones better than the pork, but they were both pretty good. The hot sauce is really good but packs a punch, so beware the dumplings on the bottom that get doused in it.
And if you aren’t full after eating the five dumplings, you will be after the Chinese spaghetti. I don’t know what the secret ingredient is in this stuff but I couldn’t stop eating it! It’s like my brain knew I was eating the junkiest Chinese food ever, but my mouth told it to shut up and mind its own business. This is a worthy addition to the cart, and if you are a fan of the sauteed Chinese noodle family you might want to give this a shot.
I’m happy A-Pou’s is part of the increasingly strong lineup of carts that has grown on Liberty plaza. If you stop by this week, wish them luck at the Vendy’s this weekend.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- It’s far better than Rickshaw.
- The Chinese spaghetti is a nice, addictive addition.
- The dumplings are handmade and larger than the ones you find in Chinatown.
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- You’re in for a 10 to 15 minute wait if you go during prime lunch time.
- 10 dumplings for $6 doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.
A-Pou’s Taste cart, Liberty St. (at Broadway)