Opening weekend at the Hester Street Fair was a sea of people. By the time I arrived, much of the food was sold out. And I couldn't even get close to most of the stands that still had food because there were so many people trying to make their way around in the small space. My hunger was becoming urgent. I spotted a promising place across the street that might fill that need — North Dumpling. There was a short line, but it moved fast and the food was produced quickly. The fried dumplings (10 for $2) and the steamed dumplings (8 for $2) were delicious and wonderfully hot. The sesame pancake with beef was just okay; too much bread and too little meat, which was fatty as well.
Having sated my stomach some, I was better prepared to deal with the crowds, which I needed to do so I could try one of the ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery. I gleefully handed over $4 for the "Lovelet" — two soft red velvet whoopie pie cookies cushioning cream cheese ice cream. This baby was well frozen and needed several minutes to thaw out, but it'll be nice when the sun really starts to heat up this summer. I loved the flavors in this. The cookies were fluffy and very recognizably red velvet flavored and the ice cream was smooth and creamy. Melt's Web site lists several interesting flavor combinations of cookies and ice creams that can be ordered for delivery or picked up from their location on the Lower East Side. They'll be opening a storefront soon as well. I hope to try more in the coming months to keep me cool.