New Queen Village Eats: Humpty’s Dumplings

I’d been looking forward to trying Humpty’s Dumplings since I first heard it would be opening a Queen Village location – two blocks from my house, nonetheless – back in April. There seemed to be a good deal of hype surrounding it, stemming from its first location in Glenside. More importantly, I can’t resist a fried ball of dough stuffed with some combination of meat, vegetables, and/or cheese. Having just opened last week, I decided Sunday afternoon was the perfect time to check out what I hoped would become part of my regular nearby snacking rotation.

After the arduous two minute trek to 5th and Bainbridge, I walk in and survey the menu. In addition to dumplings, there are also noodles and salads, but my eyes immediately fixate on the list of dumpling options. It’s $7.50 for a box of 5 – my wife is joining as well but isn’t as hungry, and I order us 2 boxes to share so I can try more than just the five “Favorites” on the menu. While I’m waiting for my dumplings (about 5 minutes), I notice the in-house Humpty’s hot sauce. It’s dubbed Murder Sauce, but the employee assures me it’s not quite as intense as its name suggests, so I decide to give it a go as well.

The first dumpling I try is the Honey Chipotle Chicken, and it turns out to be my favorite. The chicken is tender without being mushy and the honey and chipotle sauce combo packs a punch of flavor. It also happens to go perfectly with some heat from the Murder Sauce, which I use for dipping on the side. And although it’s not unique to this one in particular, the actual fried dumpling itself adds a great crunch.

I proceeded to try six more dumplings, covering the entire menu except for the Cheesecake dessert option. Other personal favorites were the Cheesesteak and the Roast Pork. In a city populated by delicious cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches, I wondered how the dumpling versions would stack up, but again the meat was tender and juicy, which complemented the outer crunch of the dumpling. The Spinach, Ricotta, and Mozzerella was also delicious – it could’ve used a little more seasoning, but the Murder Sauce helped account for that, and either way it helped balance out some of the heavier meat-filled dumplings. To round things out, the Buffalo Chicken dumpling was solid, although I was expecting more of a blue cheese flavor, while the Cauliflower and Pumpkin Seed (one of the rotating menu Specials) was relatively bland and definitely my least favorite of the dumplings I tried.

I finished everything off with an Apple Pie dumpling (also a rotating Special) coated with brown sugar and cinnamon, which added a little extra sweetness. After seven dumplings, I was definitely full. Given my appetite when I walked in, I think a box of 5 might have left me wanting more, but overall the 5 for $7.50 deal still offers a solid portion size for lunch or a casual dinner – you can always add a salad, as well.  There are certainly some standout options, and I’m already thinking about my next Honey Chipotle Chicken dumpling, but the overall variety of flavors across the menu packed into one box is part of what makes the experience a little different than your average spot. Simply put, Humpty’s Dumplings knows what it is and does it right, and it will certainly be on the short list of places when I need some nearby fried goodness.