Food Review of Pel Meni Dumpling Tzar

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By Marissa Lordahl

Warm dumplings but a cold reception

Deep in Fremont, down an otherwise mundane alley is Pel Meni Dumpling Tzar. Inside the entrance, the eccentric restaurant is surrounded by a mish mash of businesses including a Hot Yoga studio and a tattoo parlor.

Bright yellow walls and a menagerie of wooden chairs, stools, and tables make up the dining area of the restaurant. From down the hall a tattoo gun can be heard whirring away. In the kitchen area large pots sit steaming and an orange cooler of water sits with dixie cups for patrons.

Just like the environment, the menu was full of quirkiness and variety. On the menu, there are different dumpling options such as The Traditional for those who like to stick to familiar and comfortable tastes, and The Greek for those who want to branch out a little more.

The Falcon tried four different Russian dumpling options: The Traditional, Razorback, Khan, and The Greek. All of them were distinct and delicious in their own way.

The Traditional was spiced with curry flavor and paired well with the sour cream and brown bread that it came with, which took the edge off its spiciness.

The Razorback had a distinctly tangy flavor and a starchy texture.

The Khan came with cabbage, carrots and wonton strips, each creating a variety of textures reminiscent of typical Chinese food.

The Greek resembled in part the salad of its namesake; the dumplings came out in a bowl filled with cucumber, greek olives, and tzatziki.

Each of the servings of dumplings came out in small white plastic bowls with a single spoon. Requests for additional dish ware were met with some resistance, which we found odd experience.

Along with initially refusing to give us extra bowls, the overall customer service left something to be desired. The wait time for service was about ten minutes, but the attitude of the employees was a lackluster desire to help customers.

In addition to the unwelcoming environment, the price was a little high for the portion size. The total for 18 dumplings about the size of a walnut was about $10. Split between six people, 48 dumplings didn’t go a long way.

Despite the subpar customer service and the high prices, the dumplings were delicious and good quality, outweighing these mediocrities.

The Falcon recommends this restaurant for the great food but unfortunately not for the dining experience and service.

Come by for delicious and fresh Russian dumplings, but do not expect a warm welcome.

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