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100 Favorite Dishes: Shanghai-style dumplings from Chopsticks China Bistro

As a countdown to the Best of Denver 2010, coming April 1, Cafe Society is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in Denver. Send your own nominations to cafe@westword.com.

Number 77: Soup dumplings from Chopsticks China Bistro

The first time I had the Shanghai-style dumplings at Chopsticks China Bistro, I endured throbbing blisters on the roof of my mouth for a week, which wouldn't have happened, of course, had I actually heeded our server's warning: "Hot! Dangerous! Really hot!" he alerted. And again.

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He was right. The sealed xiao long bao, creased and shaped like spheres, harbor minced pork and scalding juices that threaten to scorch anything in their line of spray, including your lips, chin and tongue. But as soon as the threat of smoldering subsides, those orbs of liquid and pig become a dependency, an addiction that necessitates weekly, sometimes daily doses. They're served with slivers of ginger, chile paste and astringent Chinese black vinegar, the sum of which you slide onto your spoon and slurp with utter abandonment.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 100 Chicken-fried steak from Lola No. 99 Alaskan reindeer sausage from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs No. 98 Mac-and-cheese fries from Jonesy's EatBar No. 97 Soft egg ravioli from Prima No. 96 Pho - any pho -- from Pho 95 No. 95 Assiette de charcuterie maison from Z Cuisine À Côté No. 94: Cheeseburger from Larkburger No. 93: BBQ Masher from Cabin Creek Smokehouse No. 92: Apple pancake from the Original Pancake House No. 91: Burrata from Osteria Marco No. 90: Eggs Benedict from Devil's Food Bakery No. 89: Chile Relleno from La Fiesta No. 88: Deviled eggs from Steuben's No. 87: Corn-in-a-cup from Jack-n- Grill No. 86: Enchiladas from Taco House No. 85: Pupusas from Pupusas Sabor Hispano No. 84: Baklava from Ali Baba Grill No. 83: Masa-fried oyster shooters from Deluxe No. 82: Tacos al pastor from Los Carboncitos No. 81: Salsa bar from Tacos Y Salsas No. 80: Dim Sum from Star Kitchen No. 79: Green chile cheeseburger from Cherry Cricket No. 78: Fries from Encore

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