Unicorns and dumplings

Among the stretch of bars on Southeast Belmont stands a majestic white unicorn snarling with fervor and hunger as his magical horn pierces a brilliant golden dumpling.

Among the stretch of bars on Southeast Belmont stands a majestic white unicorn snarling with fervor and hunger as his magical horn pierces a brilliant golden dumpling.

The sandwich-board sign bearing this masterful work of unicorn art stopped me dead in my tracks. “What is this place of wonderment?” I asked myself aloud. The answer came glowing from a neon sign in the alley that shined “Dumps” brilliantly in the night.

Newly established in the Belmont and 34th Avenue food cart pod, Dumps has only been open for four months and is already taking the neighborhood by storm. Catering to the lunchtime and late-night crowds, Dumps is open until midnight everyday and is even cooking up hot, heavenly dumplings until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Coming from a Polish and Lithuanian background, I’ve had my fair share of pierogi and know a good noodle pocket when I eat one. Dumps’ little dumplings aren’t weighty or greasy like others I’ve had. They’re delicious small pan-fried pillows of scrumptious goodness. Their generous portions of ten tasty dumplings come served in a takeout box atop a bed of fresh vinaigrette slaw for just six bucks. It’s the perfect portion to keep your belly full midday or soak up a night of boozing into the wee hours of the night.

I chose to chow down on a box of Big Kahuna dumplings. These juicy little morsels come stuffed with teriyaki pork and pineapple filling drenched in Dumps’ house made teriyaki sauce. The Big Kahuna’s are big on flavor, carefully balanced between sweet sauce and savory pork, contrasted with the cool crunch of teriyaki cabbage.

I stole a couple dumps from my cohorts’ containers and got to try the Spicy Thai dumplings that pack hot Chicken Larb filling topped with mint leaves and marinated in lime juice and chili oil. The flavor combo is succulent and fresh and definitely has enough sizzle to tingle your tongue.

They also have some seriously good vegan options. I’m admittedly a bit of a skeptic when it comes to most vegan choices, but Dumps’ samosas are soft bites of warm noodles filled with curried potatoes, cilantro, peas and onions. They’re served up with a side of mellow mango chutney, which sweetly compliments the dish. The creators of Dumps clearly have their hold on Indian flavors.

Owners Ryan Soukkala and Jessica Redden came up with the idea back when they lived in Bellingham, Wash., where they used to dine out on dumplings all the time.

“We’ve always loved dumplings, but thought we could definitely kick it up with some new ingredients,” Soukkala said.

Dumps delivers when it comes to variety. They’ve got dumplings with bacon and blue cheese, dumplings that taste like tacos, dumplings puffed up with cheesy-garlic mashed potatoes and so many other incredible flavor profiles that will please any group of food-goers.

“We make all of our dumplings hand crafted with love,” Soukkala said.

The time they put into every delectable dump is super apparent in the tender fillings and delicate noodle vessels. Not to mention, the owners themselves are wonderfully welcoming people who are great to chitchat with while you’re waiting for your dumps to get cooked up. If you’re craving something more unique than the common food cart fare or a night of drinks on the town has left you in need of some stomach comfort food, Dumps has your answer.

I know that when I have a major fever, the only prescription is more dumps! Whatever your reason, every man, woman, child and unicorn needs to head down to Belmont to get a mouth full. ?