Eat This Now: Apple Dumplings at the Alley

There we were, my pal and I, happily fat after another great lunch at the Alley. He had an Alley Burger, gushing with Thousand Island dressing; I had the prime rib sammy, its horseradish aioli kicking me awake, its thin strips of beef as rich as carpaccio. We had a couple of drinks in us, and now we wanted dessert. The waitress went through the day’s specials: chocolate cake, ice cream, apple dumplings . . .

“Wait, apple dumplings are still around?” I slurred to my friend. “We gotta try them—that’s straight-up OLD SCHOOL.”

Not only was the dessert resolutely old school, but it was also spectacular in its simplicity: a caramel reduction, a small flurry of powdered sugar, and the dumplings themselves—immaculately flaky, with crunchy apples inside and a side of vanilla ice cream covered with chocolate syrup waiting to crown it. It’s only an occasional special at the Alley, so you know what to do: Order it until it becomes a regular item, damn it!

The Alley, 4501 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 646-9126;

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