Dirt Cheap Eats 2008: China Bistro

It would be easy to feast on house-made dumplings all afternoon at this Chinese storefront. The plump little bundles, hand-rolled and filled with out-of-the-ordinary stuffers, come a dozen to a platter ($7.25 to $8.25). Try Mama’s Special—a mixture of pork, shrimp, chives, and napa cabbage—or the herby pork with dill or shrimp with chive. There are 12 varieties on the regular menu, but keep an eye out for worthwhile specials such as the pork-and-pumpkin dumplings. Bubble teas ($3 to $3.95) go well with the salty, savory morsels, and the cold plates in the glass case—such as a toss of edamame, tofu, and Chinese spinach ($2)—are good, too. Though the standard Chinese fare on the menu is ordinary, the chopped-pork-and-Chinese-mushroom-topped Beijing Noodles ($6.95) is a sleeper hit. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.