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Dishing on The Ugly Dumpling

by Gabrielle Martin

Introducing The Ugly Dumpling, a craft ramen and handmade dumpling food truck; this new addition to the Sugarloaf dining scene has set up shop on The Landing, serving fresh and wholesome foods that will warm your body and soul, from savory dumplings to warm soup.

Hours of Operation

  • 11:00am to 4:00pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
  • Daily during Christmas and February vacation weeks

The Ugly Dumpling is owned and operated by Lou Sarofeen and his partner Chelsey; the couple is engaged to be married and expecting a baby together next spring. They say their small business’s opening in May of 2021 was two decades in the making: “The Ugly Dumpling came to be out of a twenty year-long career in the service industry, and the need to strike out on my own,” Lou, half of the dynamic duo, shares.

White miso-butter pork ramenWhite miso-butter pork ramen

He continues to dish on The Ugly Dumpling, explaining, “The cuisine we focused on was decided based on a number of factors, mostly due to what I love most: Asian-inspired dishes, warming, and, as best as we can muster, something healthy. Our menu is modest and evolving. We source locally and prepare our food with our eye on quality. We’re not interested in cutting corners when it comes to quality.” 

  • Fun fact: The Ugly Dumpling makes their own Ponzu dipping sauce by hand with dash flakes, fresh citrus, and locally-sourced seaweed. 

Pork dumpling in dipping saucePork dumpling in dipping sauce

The Ugly Dumpling’s menu was heavily inspired by Lou’s love for the flavor profile surrounding Asian-style cuisine, and more specifically, broth or soup: “For our first season at Sugarloaf, we are looking forward to selling soup! Soup is my favorite; the way it makes you feel when you’re cold and hungry is unparalleled. To have an opportunity to make delicious soup out in the cold at the resort sounds like a match made in Heaven!”

“Something my mother would say to be as a developing cook was, ‘You have to cook for people what people want to eat.’ At that time, I used to go a little crazy on my dishes during the early, experimental years of my culinary development, but her words always resonated with me,” Sarofeen shares.

That’s why, Lou says, Crab Rangoon’s and pork dumplings—which are “hands down” the most popular menu item—were an easy choice for The Ugly Dumpling: “Make them delicious and people everywhere will appreciate them.”

Crab rangoonsCrab rangoons

It’s also about incorporating the owner’s passions into the food truck’s culinary palette: take, for instance, mushroom dumplings and ramen. Lou acknowledges that while these “are more niche,” they are “workable.”

“I love mushrooms and spice,” Sarofeen says, “so I fit it into the menu wherever I can because it’s something that I want. It’s a balance between the two necessities.”

I took it upon myself to test taste 3 items from The Ugly Dumpling's menu: I sampled the crab rangoons, the pork dumplings, and the white miso-butter pork ramen bowl.

  • The crab rangoons were a wonderful combination of crab, cream cheese, and crispy fried wonton. In my opinion, you can never really go wrong with crab rangoonsafter all, this dish is truly a marvel of the modern American Chinese menu–and The Ugly Dumpling's rangoons are no exception to this rule: they are delicious, delicately folded, and just downright divine. 
  • The pork dumplings were flavorful and served steamed, making them super tender and a treat to eat.
  • The ramen bowl came steeped in a steaming broth, topped in meat, noodles, and veggies, and complete with an egg. It was rich and stick-to-your-bones good; I have to say, this dish is the ideal option for your shivering skier taking a lunch break on The Beach, as it's guaranteed to fill and warm you up. 

At The Ugly Dumpling, you can enjoy Asian-inspired, home-cooked meals on wheels, and you can count that what you order is prepared with creativity, modesty, skill, and top-of-the-line ingredients. The newest addition to Sugarloaf scene, like all of our eateries, serves fresh and wholesome foods to warm both body and soul–though its fare is entirely unique to any of our other dining offerings.

The next time you ski or ride down The Landing, look for the Ugly Dumpling's "Open" flag flying in the breeze, and stop by to give it a try!