The giant, luscious leek and pork dumplings at San Dong Snacks, next to Jasmine Vietnamese Restaurant on Bellaire, bring back a lot of memories. When I first arrived in Houston, self-described "Ethnic Food Explorer" Jay Francis volunteered to show me around.

San Dong Noodle House9938 Bellaire Blvd.
Our first meeting was supposed to take place at the tiny noodle shop called San Tong Snacks, which was located in what is now the Metropole Center on Bellaire. When we arrived, a sign on the door said the restaurant was closed for vacation. Jay and I ate Taiwanese food at a restaurant nearby.
But I returned to San Tong Snacks again and again. I was blown away by the dumplings, the springy housemade noodles in dark beef soup, and the noodles in soup with fermented vegetables. In fact, just about everything on the short menu was a hit.