It’s becoming a common trend in this column for me to eat Asian food on the weekly. Look man, I’m not going to lie, I’m a dumpling hound. I love ‘em. Gyoza, shumai, soup buns, I love any mix of braised meat and veggies that come in a doughy casing. I don’t know why they’re so delicious, but they are, and they make me happy, so let me live a little, won’t you? You will? Oh, hurray! Well then, that’s good, because I’ve got a treat for you: Tsingtao House, another Asian food place.

Tsingtao House, like many other places I go to, is right there in the big marketplace suburbanite heaven of Henrietta. It’s right off West Henrietta Road, a few plazas down from Movies 10 and Jay’s Diner. It’s a cozy little place with tables all around and some staff to keep it all running. The Democrat and Chronicle did a little bit on it recently, calling it “a Flushing-style eatery,” which basically just means that if you’re from Brooklyn and you miss it, you should probably eat here.

Tsingtao has a bit of a similar vibe to last week’s Sodam Korean Restaurant, so much so that their chairs actually look almost exactly the same as those at Sodam. Each table at Tsingtao gets the basics to keep patrons settled while thinking about food choices: a bowl of salted peanuts, a spicy plate of sprouts and pickled veggies, and some tea to pour for each person at the table. The menus are actually done through some sort of app that they have on these mini tablets, which is super cool, because it lets you just pick whatever you want with your friends without having to bother the staff until you put your order in. You also get your final order total (including tax), which is pretty helpful when you’re trying to binge out on a budget.

My table went with a family-style approach to what we ordered: We’d each order a plate we wanted, and then just get extra plates on the side so we could pick and choose what we wanted from each others plates. Altogether, we got an order of 12 spicy pork and green bean–steamed dumplings, a bowl of spicy pork noodles, and a plate of sweet marinated beef and mixed vegetables.

As I piled parts of each and every one of these dishes into my mouth, my tongue sizzled with the spicy kick of these  Chinatown-style bites, clearing my sinuses and waking me up from my groggy morning disposition. My spice tolerance seems pretty good, so food like this doesn’t phase me much, but it does make my stomach feel great knowing that the spice in these is a flavorful kick rather than a weak wimper. Props to Tsingtao for making about 70 percent of their menu spicy food, this place could practically be recommended as a sauna treatment for the inside of your nasal tract, and I mean that with only compliments in mind.

I should probably mention this now before I lose track, but this place is a total steal.. The 12 dumplings my table got were from my personal choice of plates to eat, and they came in at roughly $9 for the plate. Although the dumplings aren’t massive or anything, they’ve got good amounts of meat in ‘em, and they come with two different sauces on the side, a spicy one and a salty one. The other two plates were around $12 each, and they were pretty big for something that was going to be passed around the table. I love how all these small business Asian food places in Rochester are some of the most affordable places to eat around here. It’s good food, and it works well for my broke, lazy self, and my broke, not-as-lazy friends.

Tsingtao is at 2831 W Henrietta Road, which isn’t too far from here. I did the Uber estimate for you all (you’re welcome), and it costs about eight Washingtons to get there from campus. Since this is a family style food place, bring your whole friend group. They’ve got the table space for it, the food to feed you all, and I’m sure they’d appreciate the business traffic. Just make sure to tip, our waitress was super awesome, and the staff totally deserves any extra cash flow coming their way. Till next week, toodaloo UR.

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