Since my last trip to Philly the diverse ecosystem of food carts and trucks around the University of Pennsylvania seems to have contracted some. The number of carts has gone down and the diversity has diminished, and worse of all there is a proliferation of “New York City Halal Carts”. Come on Philly get it together – why are there no carts selling hoagies laden with pork, broccoli rabe and provolone cheese?
Luckily The Real Le Anh Chinese Food Cart is still there selling great Chinese lunch plates (original review here). Last time I tried the daily special Crab and Cheese Dumplings, but this time I went vegan and got the home made vegetable dumplings. There is the choice of boiled or fried for the pork, chicken or vegetable dumplings that Le Anh sells. I went with fried which meant the dumplings were first par-boiled and then deep fried. I was pretty much blown away by these dumplings, better even than the Crab and Cheese Dumplings. They were filled with Chinese cabbage and greens, no flavored tofu or minced mushroom filler, just nutritious greens. The dumplings were served doused in a ladle full of thick brown, ginger flavored sauce/gravy. This is how the Crab and Cheese Dumplings were served too, so this appears to be the Le Anh standard serving style. The vegetable filling was able to stand up to the ginger sauce and provide a slightly bitter retort to the sweet sauce. Avoid the NYC wanna-be Halal rice and meat plate carts and go to The Real Le Anh Chinese Food Cart.