Friday, April 17, 2009

Frugal Fridays: Mee Sum Pastry

At the Memento Meal Potluck last weekend, our friend Carolyn suggested a Frugal Friday lunch spot for me, and this week I had the perfect chance to check it out.

My office mate, Jason, had to swing by Sur La Table to exchange a pan - and knowing I love cooking, asked if I wanted to tag along as an excuse to get out of the office for a little while and ogle cookware. I told him about my Frugal Friday mission at a spot just around the corner from Sur La Table, and he said he was in.

So we grabbed a bus, headed to Pike Place Market, and while Jason sorted out the seemingly complicated exchange with a couple of the employees, I wandered the store and took pictures of things that I liked, most notably a pineapple shaped bundt cake pan.

Once the exchange was completed, we headed to our lunch destination: Mee Sum Pastry, 1526 Pike Place Market - right between La Buona Tavola Truffle Cafe (where our friend Kristin works) and The Juice Emporium,

I took a few moments to scan the menu, which features both baked and steamed humbow of many types (chicken, bbq pork, veggie), as well as some other items like crab rangoon, potstickers, and shrimp wedges.

On the advice of Carolyn and her husband David, we both went for a steamed BBQ Pork humbow ($2.06 + tax) and then paired it with a crab rangoon (also $2.06 + tax). Our total came to $4.50 each after tax.

It was Jason's first humbow, and he seemed to enjoy it - though we were both taken by surprise at how sweet the BBQ pork was - and by the paper on the bottom, which we both ate a piece of before we realized it was there. But the crab rangoon turned out to be the star of our lunch. The outside was a golden, crispy shell and inside was a chunky, creamy, delicious crab mixture. I've only had a few crab rangoons in my life, but it turns out to be a favorite of Jason's, and he was particularly impressed by the texture of the filling. Apparently many places blend the crab until it's smooth, so it gets lost a bit. Mee Sum folds in big chunks of crab, for a very satisfying bite.

I have to admit that it wasn't the most filling lunch, and my tummy was growling by the end of the work day, but that could be more about my choices than the prices. Darn near everything on their menu is under $3, and although the baked humbow were generally higher in price, some of them were also below the $2.50 mark - leaving plenty of cash for a crab rangoon or some potstickers.

(Frugal Fridays is a weekly series dedicated to finding Seattle lunch spots where you can walk in with a $5 bill and walk out with a fulfilling, preferably healthy, lunch. If you have suggestions of places in the Seattle area with a great lunch for under $5 after tax, post a comment - I'd love the help.)

Mee Sum Pastry on Urbanspoon


javaplz said...

I am sorry Dan I meant to tell you the baked humbow.
I don't like the steamed ones they seem so doughy to me.

I am glad you tried the crab rangoon, I have never had it and it sounds good!

have a great weekend!

what's cookin', good lookin'? said...

No reason to apologize - the steamed ones are tasty too! But next time, I'll be spending a little extra to try out the baked ones. The golden crust was really beautiful - and the size looked like a perfect lunch. Thanks again for the tip!