"Homemade style" blotch soup ($6.50) is replete with bits of wheat pasta known as mian geda, often simply geda, that might be more graciously translated as dumpling knots. Traditionally these gnocchi-like nubbins were made by hand, one by one, albeit very quickly. At Lao Dong Bei, which showcases the cuisine of China's Northeast, they're made en masse, yet each manages to maintain a bit of chewy individuality. One bowl is a good shared starter for two or three diners on a cold day.
Also shown below (and further documented on Chowhound): crispy sliced fish with cumin ($12.50); lamb chop in Xinjiang style ($21.50); deep-fried eggplant with ground pork ($7.95); spicy quail ($14.50); pearl meatballs (a specialty of the chef's longtime home kitchen in Harbin; comped for us, I believe); chicken in orange flavor ($8.50); fried pork in orange sauce ($9.95); "mixed vegetable" with hot syrup ($10.95). This last dish — which included chunks of sweet potato, taro, apple, and mountain yam — is one of the few true desserts on the menu. At our table, however, the similar-colored, orange-flavored, spicy-sweet chicken and pork dishes also functioned in that capacity, to great acclaim.
Lao Dong Bei
44-09 Kissena Blvd. (Franklin-Elder Aves.), Flushing, Queens