Mama's Lu Dumpling House is located on Garvey Ave. just east of Garfield. It is a very small place right off the street and can be easily missed. The cuisine a Shanghainese. I also want to add that there are two pretty good sized flat screen tvs which is also a plus.
When we arrived there was a small line and then proceeded to write our name down on the waitlist provided inside the front of the restaurant. The wait was about 10-15 minutes.
Menu: (note this is only 1 page of 3)
Before ordering you are served some salted peanuts (msg) and marinated cucumbers.
I did not try or take a picture of the cucumbers simply because they are not my favorite food item. But I overheard a guy next to us ask for seconds because he thoroughly enjoyed them.
Our first dish was the Pork Chop w/ Spicy Salt.
What an explosion of flavor. The first flavor that came through was the garlic and salt. A truly savory dish. I ate it with white rice only because I am one of those people who must eat there pork chop over white rice. This was one of the best dishes of the night although the SALT was MSG as well. If you are not keen on MSG I would suggest not ordering anything on the menu that says SALT (although you will be missing out).
The next dish that came was the Pan Fried Dumplings.
These were very tasty. the pork was flavored well and could get a background taste of hoisin and Chinese 5 spice blend. If you like your dumplings with a great pork flavor then these are for you. Only thing about the dumplings was the skins are a little tough and not as chewy as they could have been.
Next came the Green Onion/Scallion Pancake.
Now I love green onion pancakes and when done right it can be something special. The rendition at Mama's Lu seemed to have great texture but it lacked the punch of green onion that I know and love. It was also a lot greasier than others that I have tried. Smothered with the house blend of chili paste and it was overall a fairly successful dish. Not bad for $2.00.
Lastly is the Juicy Pork Dumplings.
Like the pan fried dumplings we ordered, they had the same hoisin like punch with the addition of a nice pork soup broth. A nice dumpling on its own right. They were also a bit larger than most Xiao Long Bao. The wrapper was thick and chewy and held the broth very well. And the price was great, I believe 10 for just under $5.00.
Next time I am come through I am going to have to try the fried rice. It looked pretty damn good as I saw it at another table.
Overall a great deal and the check came a little over $20.00. Yep, great cuisine for a bargain.