Lunch Lady

The Dumpling Lady

This weekend was one for chasing down a food truck (of sorts).  My quarry was The Dumpling Lady and fortunately they were pretty easy to find since they are routinely at Atherton Mill on Saturdays.

It was quite a great day for outdoor dining and long strolls which turned out to be a good thing.  I’d never been to Atherton Mill before but it is apparently popular judging by the very full parking lot.  I grabbed a spot at the edge of the lot and got a nice walk in to the other end where The Dumpling Lady was parked.

As you can see it’s not a truck but more a food trailer and what you don’t see from this side is the line to order.  Whatever else you want to say about the Dumpling Lady popular has to be part of the description.  I got there about 11:45 and as I was in line a guy who already ordered was talking to the young lady in front of me and they were already out of 3 popular items when he got there at 11:30.  A couple of points worth noting: they source their ingredients from local farms and suppliers & this is not an express lunch so plan to be in line for a few minutes.  When I got to the window I chose the chicken & mushroom dumplings since they were out of the sweet pork belly that was my first choice.  They also have noodles, steamed buns & wontons for those who might not be enthusiastic for dumplings and they were moving these in good quantities as well.  When you order they give you a pager to let you know when it’s ready so you don’t have to hover around the window for the 10-15 minute wait.

This is the large with 10 dumplings, they have a smaller one too but I wasn’t paying attention to how many were in it when the guy taking orders mentioned it.  The dumplings were steamed and the texture was tender but not mushy.  The filling was ok but it was really outgunned by the sauce.  I don’t know what all was in the sauce but it was flavorful, reddish in color and slick.  It made eating the dumplings with chopsticks an adventure.  Some of the ingredients I believe were in the sauce were cilantro, ginger, garlic, chives or really small scallions, lemongrass, and possibly chili oil among others.

I washed the dumplings down with some green tea that despite the name wasn’t quite ice cold but was very interesting nonetheless.

There is plenty of seating in the area in the form of benches and tables near the market.  The market deserves a mention because most of the suppliers of ingredients used by the Dumpling Lady have stalls in the market.  Another item to mention is this is a very dog friendly venue so if you have one bring it, if you don’t like dogs maybe skip it.

I enjoyed the dumplings and the day provided a great excuse for a drive and lunch outside but I’m not sure I’d make the drive again just for lunch.  If I ran across them at another venue I wouldn’t hesitate to try them again or recommend them to someone else.

French Deux


That’s right I’m leading off with the dessert pic (spoiler – I had dessert) since it’s nice and colorful.  So this weekend I wanted French food, probably in large part due to a friend posting pictures from France.  Whatever the reason I took the short drive to downtown Rock Hill and popped in to Amelie’s French Bakery.  I’ve been here several times for breakfast, which is fantastic, and I’ve had lunch at the flagship store in Charlotte as previously posted but never lunch at this location.

They had several savory options available that looked good but the turkey & cheddar quiche was what called my name.

It was a generous slice and was quite tasty.  They kept it really simple so the taste of the few ingredients stood out.  In addition to the turkey there was bacon as well and there was plenty of both so you got some of each in every bite.  They weren’t stingy with the cheddar on top either and being cheese it just complimented the rest.  The only nit I’ll pick is they didn’t leave the quiche in whatever appliance they used to heat it up quite long enough.  Tasted great but could have been better had it been hotter.

I didn’t bother snapping a shot of it but to wash this down I opted for their “mélange riche” coffee.  A medium dark roast with notes of blah blah blah and hints of yada yada.  It was good coffee, not as strong or dark as I prefer but a whole lot better than a lot I’ve had in some other restaurants.

One thing about Amelie’s is the eclectic décor and they love some interesting light fixtures as you can see from the one that was above my table.  There was another that had more fringe than a 20’s flapper and yet another that was an inverted Eiffel Tower with a cloud themed lamp shade.

As the spoiler lead off picture showed I had to grab some desert since I was at a bakery.  My selections were a pistachio macaron, a salted caramel & fudge macaron, and a fresh fruit mini tart just to give an impression of something healthy.  They were all three good but it was a toss up between the salted caramel macaron and the tart for the top spot.  No matter, they were just the thing to fortify me for some afternoon yardwork.

If you didn’t check it out the first time check out the Tell Me More – France page.

Another Super Saturday


Last blog was Super Bowl themed and this one is Super G.  There is a Korean restaurant in the Super G Mart food court along with a couple of others so it’s a repeat weekend.  It would be impossible not to compare Super G with the previous Korean experience at Pepero.  Both meals were at restaurants in a market but the difference was huge.  Where Pepero feels like a family owned local place with a great authentic restaurant attached, the Super G Mart is like a prototype for an International supermarket chain that added a semi-fast food Korean eatery in the corner.  Both are great for what they are but this is about the Super G so on to the food.

As you can see in the picture they have a pictographic menu plus some items packaged at the register and some dishes in the case under the menu.  I decided to try the bibimbap this time, although I was almost tempted to go with the bulgogi since I enjoyed it so much at Pepero but stayed the course and tried the new dish.

The Jethro sized bowl had mixed vegetables and some marinated beef resting on a foundation of white rice and topped with a lightly fried egg.  Included was a side of kimchi and some extra heat if you wanted to spice it up.  I really enjoyed the mix of vegetables with the rice and egg and the marinated meat was fantastic.  The kimchi was not very spicy but there was enough of the side heat to ratchet it up to whatever level you wanted.  I kept it pretty mild and enjoyed the whole meal.  I saw a few dishes other people had ordered and they all looked pretty good too.  I’d definitely eat here again, after trying the other two places of course.

After enjoying the meal I decided to wander the aisles and see what they had and I was definitely impressed.  The produce section has more variety than I’ve ever seen anywhere and it is arranged very logically.  From there I strolled into the meat department and just past the beef lips and bull fries I came upon these.

That means somewhere out there is a recipe that calls for beef knee-caps.  After this I just wandered up and down the aisles checking out the familiar international treats but things I’ve never heard of before.  I did wind up buying a couple of packs of cookies, some Korean rice cakes (not the crunchy snack kind), and some fish sausage, just because.  Each came from a different country; India, Oman, Korea & Japan.  Another thing that set this apart from a general trip to the market was the people.  I wouldn’t even begin to guess the number of different nationalities were represented by the crowd but to say it was diverse would be an understatement.  It won’t be my last visit to the Super G and if you have need of some odd ingredient, sauce, meat, spice, check them out.


Super Edition

Super Bowl

This being Super Bowl weekend I decided to pack away the passport and do a home version.

In keeping with Super Bowl party traditions I’m having finger food for dinner and a suitable half-time snack and either a drink for a celebratory Falcons victory toast or one to drown my sorrows at a Pats win.  We’ll see at the end which it was.

For Super dinner the entrée is whole wings marinated in Hunter’s Caribbean mustard sauce from that I picked up at the Charlotte Farmer’s Market just yesterday.  Popped them on the grill and enjoyed the last of a beautiful sunny day while they cooked.  End result was pretty good accompanied by the requisite vegetables and some dipping sauce.

Of course you have to have a little beverage to wash it down and the choice for that was a localish brew from the Catawba Brewing company.  It was their King Winterbolt Winter Ale and as you can see it was a nice dark ale.  It’s a higher than average alcohol beer at 7% and it’s also reasonably smooth and paired nicely with the tangy mustard sauce of the wings.

Half time and beyond snacks were corn chip, cheese & sausage nachos.  The cheese medley included Carolina Hoop Cheese from Ashe County Cheese and the sausage was hot sausage from Wadesboro, NC based Rayfield’s Meat Center, also picked up at the farmer’s market.  I love the ingredient list for the sausage was only four items long; pork, sage, salt & red pepper.  Mighty tasty.

And to finish off the evening since my team didn’t get crowned I had to have a consolation Crown.

And congratulations to Jay Verellen for winning the Blogaversary contest.