We have tried to dine at BaoBao Dumpling House several previous times we were in Portland, only to find a very long queue outside the establishment for the 46 seats inside. Luckily, this rainy mid-week evening saw empty tables at the dinner hour, making the dumpling hunt finally possible. The waitstaff is pleasant, helpful, and engaging, knowing the menu items and being able to recommend wisely. Six dumplings come as an order, which can be pan fried or steamed in most instances, and two plates make for an evening's meal for one. Their Kung Pao chicken and peanuts, pan fried, arrived with a golden exterior texture and a delectable filling. Each table holds not only Soy sauce, but also rice-wine vinegar and hot spicy oil. All of these, individually and collectively, added to these dumplings. An order of steamed spinach, mushroom, and egg appeared in a double stack of metal steamers, and these also were cooked well. What I found missing, though, was the flavor of mushroom (the egg being virtually invisible to the eye) when balanced against the spinach. BaoBao offers several local draft-beer selections to accompany dinner, with small (?12 oz) drafts priced above the rest of the Portland dining market. Nevertheless, we plan on returning to the Dumpling House the next time we're in town because it offers a good value for the quality of their dishes.
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