Ever since I tried Pot Stickers, those delightful little chinese appetizers, I have been in love with them. So much so, that I tend to rate a Chinese restaurant by how well they make Pot Stickers, and then by how good their food is.
Pot Stickers, for those of you who have either been too chicken to try them or who have never heard of them, are pork/beef filled dumplings that one dips in a special sauce before enjoying happily. In my travels, I have encountered two types of Pot Stickers, and three types of sauces.
The two types of Pot Stickers I will label as Doughy and Noodly. The main difference is in the wrapping. Doughy Pot Stickers are the one I encounter most of the time. Their wrapping is soft and pliable and it absorbs the sauce much better than the Noodly type. The Noodly type wrapping is, naturally, noodly. It bears many similar characteristics to lasagna type noodles. Both are yummy, but I prefer the Doughy type.
The three sauces I have encountered are Salty, Sweet, and Spicy. Salty is the type I usually encounter, although there are some places that make their sauce in a way that it tastes very similar, if not identical, to soy sauce (which it is NOT supposed to). Sweet is similar to a watered down Brown Sauce (Beef & Broccoli is a stereotypical example of Brown Sauce). Spicy is very similar to Salty, and I have found few places that served it. I am not entirely sure what kind of spice is used in the Spicy kind, as it is pleasantly hot, but does not leave the spiciness in one's mouth for long. I think it is merely a higher concentration of vinegar that makes it seem spicy.
Below is a listing of some of the Restaurants I have found Pot Stickers at, and a rating for their Pot Stickers, both the Sticker itself and the sauce. They are ratings from 1 to 10.
An idea of the ratings:
If I were to define the perfect Pot Sticker, it would be a Doughy type where the wrapping is kinda thick so that it'll hold together even when being cut with a fork (you'd be surprised how few Chinese Restaurants give you a knife) The wrapping should absorb the sauce readily. I rarely have a problem with the meat filling, so just go with the usual kind. Salty sauce should not taste like Soy Sauce, of course. Sweet sauce should not be gooey. Spicy sauce should not kill the eater. But, no matter what sauce, the Saltiness/Sweetness/Spiciness should not overwhelm the flavor, which should be strong.