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U-Lee
1468 Hyde Street/Jackson, SF
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Post-trial hearing at The Hyde Out
8/13/00

Vardigan

I don't know if anyone keeps track of such things (they should!) but U-Lee's potstickers are definitely the biggest in San Francisco, probably in America, and possibly in the world. Each one is about the size of your kidney. Maybe your spleen -- I'm not really up on anatomy. But you need only look at the photo here to get an idea, to scale (thank you, thorough Judge Turner).

And they were delicious, as good as any I've tasted in my life. We also ordered too many, which was my fault, as I'm sure the other judges are feverishly explaining, right now, as they type up their reviews. I valiantly ate four of the twelve. (That's why I'm in the middle of the photo, doing most of the hoisting.) Being so big, they're rather unwieldy, and some may not enjoy the disproportionate meat-to-wrapper ratio. Lot of meat to not a lot of wrapper. But I still really liked them, and thanks to their size, I was not left longingly tapping the ends of my chopsticks together wishing there was just one more 'sticker to pinch between them. That's what usually happens when I go out for Chinese food. Speaking of, we had some other items. Black-bean chicken was my favorite, featuring all-white meat, and going for around five bucks.

 

McClure

Potstickers the size of a newborn's brain, a newborn what I'm not quite sure, maybe a whale. Definitely the biggest potsticker I've had the pleasure of munching on.

That's where the problem lies with these big balls of meat. Everything about them is great, except the size. Crispy on one side, greasy slick on the other with a tasty filling. I have to say I prefer the two bite sized stick. I like each of my mouthfuls to have a bit of meat and a bit of noodle. The size of the meatball you get in these potstickers makes that difficult. It gets close to meat fillin' overload. If they would only cut them in thirds (and that ain't my job) they might have something. A couple of other tasty dishes we had were the black bean chicken and the fried beef with lemon sauce. You've had fried chicken and fried pork, now try the beef. It's definitely different and definitely good. The black bean chicken had some flavorful fun going on. The twice cooked pork we ordered was nothing special, pretty much some slices of pork, a bunch of cabbage in an okay spicy sauce.

Don't read me wrong, go to U Lee's, get the potstickers, they are great. They're just not what this Judge is looking for.

 

Turner

Jumpin' Jahosaphat, U-Lee serves up some gargantuan potstickers. Fine tasting, too. Can't say I've had a better one, really. The sheer food-dollar value wins the prize for U-Lee. Apparently, some folks try to make a meal out of them alone, because scrawled on the menu next to Potstickers is "Must order entree". Fair enough. Judge Vardigan had prior knowledge of their enormous size but let us get two orders anyway. He "forgot". And considering you get six 'sticks (each the size of a cat's head) per order, we wondered if we could finish those and the three entrees we ordered. We didn't. Had two potsticks left over.

We also ordered Twice-Cooked Pork (pass), Black Bean Chicken (quite flavorful and complex) and Fried Beef with Lemon Sauce. The FBWLS was new to me, but pretty damn good. You don't often see beef battered, fried and served with lemon sauce. But the shining star, of course, are the potstickers. Very very tasting filling...but possibly too much of it if one likes the wrapper. Still, if you are a potsticker fan (meat variety) you owe it to yourself to trek up to Hyde and Jackson.

Beware, the dining area is quite compact, so consider getting it to go. But, I would wait a while on the street for those behemoth dumplings, and that's saying something.

 

Note: Since the taping of this review some members of the Füd Court returned to U-Lee and the potstickers were no longer the size of a cat's head, newborn's brain, or your kidney. Still big, but not as big as they once were. Be forewarned.

Thanks to reader-eater Betsy for suggesting U-Lee.

 

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