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It's quitting time at Pike Place Market. All the flower sellers are packing away their daisies. The fish guys are slumping around looking exhausted after 10 hours spent posing for tourist snapshots. Even the buskers are packing up their clapped-out acoustic guitars and calling it a day. But down on the street, Mee Sum Pastry is still doing fast business, working through a line that began to form in the morning and really never shrank all day. People are coming for sticks full of barbecued pork and pineapple handed across the top of the glass cases; for sesame balls filled with sweet red beans and bags of fortune cookies. But the smart ones have eyes for just one thing: the barbecued pork humbow-hands down the best thing on Mee Sum's short menu, and the one thing that has made this place famous. Imagine a softball filled with pork and you'll have some idea what the humbow is: an orb of light, slightly sweet bread, fresh from the big deck ovens in the back of the Pike Place shop, stuffed with a big portion of barbecued pig. It's like a char siu bao, only bigger and better and easier to eat walking. And the best thing? One of them is almost a meal, and it comes in at $2.50 on the nose.
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