Newsstand

smooklerJoshua Smookler the man behind Pete Wells’ favorite ramen has been a busy man of late. In between the birth of his daughter and the run-up to Mu Ramen,which is set to open mid to late October, he was kind enough answer Seven Questions.

Will you be unveiling any new ramen?
Yes, we will have four types of ramen that will be seasonal. Three of the ramens will always be on the menu; Mu Ramen, Spicy Miso, and the Tonkotsu 2.0. I have not decided which four we will open with but we will always have five ramens on the menu and one rotating on a weekly basis.

What types of ramen could they be? It could be anything from Tsukemen, Foie, Duck, Pata Negra, Parmesan, Seafood, Shoyu, Yuzu, Paitan, Kimchi…basically these ramens I have mentioned I have already made.

They are all very delicious, but I want to keep it fresh. So we will see which are popular and which are not. It really depends on the guests, how I feel, and what inspires me. (more…)

09/17/14 10:17am
PARIS-BREST

Best French breakfast sandwich ever!

Yes, I know it’s a dessert and not a technically a sandwich, but some people would consider a Paris-Brest ($3.50) from Cannelle Patisserie a breakfast sandwich. And, I am one of those people. Named for one of the oldest cycling events, the Paris-Brest-Paris, it’s an exercise in carbo loading and a sure sugar rush.

Two airy discs of choux pastry studded with almonds encase a generous shmear of praline cream. The walk to Cannelle from the 74 St. subway is long enough that you can almost delude yourself into thinking you’ve burned off the sweet, nutty treat on the way there and back.

Cannelle Patisserie, 75-59 31st Ave., East Elmhurst, 718-565-6200

09/15/14 12:23pm

With such a diversity of culinary cultures Queens boasts all kinds of noodles from all kinds of places. Cold, hot, spicy, even dessert they come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Here are seven of our favorites.

BIG-TRAY

1, Da pan ji, Su Xiang Yuan
One of the most surprising things about da pan ji, the Henanese specialty known as “big tray of chicken,” is that it’s actually a big tray of poultry, potatoes, and noodles. And not just any old noodles either, they are the very same springy broad ribbons that grace the specialty of the house at this stand whose name is often translated to Nutritious Lamb Noodle Soup. There’s no soup to be found in the tray though. Instead find hacked up bits of bird and chunks of potatoes atop a bed of hand-pulled noodles. The whole thing is crowned with fresh cilantro and shot through with dried chilies awash in a curry-like concoction with just a touch of star anise along with pleasant bursts of saltiness from preserved beans. The noodles are a perfect vehicle for all that sauce. Nutritious Lamb Noodle Soup, No.28, New World Mall Food Court, Flushing (more…)

09/12/14 12:58pm
koji2

An extra spicy bowl of Koji Hagihara’s tonkotsu chashu ramen.

Last year when I tasted Koji Hagihara’s tonkotsu chashu ramen at LIC Flea & Food I liked it so much I told him I hoped he’d bring it to Queens year round. Hagihara is the chef at Hakata Tonton, a West Village eatery specializing in Japanese dishes made from pig’s feet. His tonkotsu ramen is nowhere to be found on Hakata Tonton’s menu.  I am glad to report that he has started serving the fortifying noodle soup at the Flea every Saturday. (more…)

09/10/14 10:45am
SORRISO1

Is this Bensonhurst? Nope, it’s Astoria.

This Queens boy has a secret. A long time ago I lived in a galaxy far, far away called Brooklyn, in the lesser star system Park Slope. Back in the early 90s one of the best things about the hood—and back then it was still the hood—was the relatively short ride to then mostly Italian-American enclave of Bensonhurst. I’d stroll around 18th Ave., aka Cristofo Colombo Blvd., visit Villabate for pastries and inevitably wind up at Trunzo Bros. The old school salumeria/grocery shuttered a few years ago and I still miss it. So for this week’s Sandwich Wednesday I decided to check out Astoria’s Sorriso Italian Salumeria. (more…)

09/08/14 11:46am
HALO2

Flan and ube ice cream make it extra special.

My love of Filipino breakfast—garlic fried rice, eggs, a buttery toasted pan de sal, and any of several proteins, including dried milkfish—is no secret to readers of this blog. I am especially fond of getting my log on at Manny’s Bake Shop. That’s because the good ladies at Manny’s serve the most important meal of the day with a slice of cake for dessert. One day it might be purple ube cake and the next it might be an exquisite slice of brazo de Mercedes.

About a month ago I noticed a sign on the door advertising halo halo, the psychedelic Filipino snow cone. I couldn’t possibly have the mixture of shaved ice, young coconut, jackfruit, palm fruit, and ruby and emerald cubes of gelatin for breakfast. Or could I? (more…)

09/04/14 2:03am
PPP2A

Photos: Wendy Wong

Pata Paplean is my favorite Thai bar in Elmhurst, but I never drink there. I eat there as often as possible. On weekend afternoons the funky joint named for a 900-pound gorilla serves the best street food style Thai noodle soups in Queens’ Little Bangkok. So when Cherry and Chompoothe gals behind the pork blood enriched kuay tiew nam tok moo—asked if I wanted to collaborate on a popup series with them, I immediately said yes. (more…)

09/03/14 10:02am
takahachi1

And the award for most whimsical calf brain presentation goes to . . .

There are many, many wonderful beefy things to eat at Takashi, the Japanese nose-to-tail homage to all things bovine. Niku uni ($24)—tiles of marbled chuck flap atop a shiso leaf topped with uni—comes to mind, as does the miso marinated sweetbreads served over squid ink rice ($20). The place is a paradise for offal lovers. Each of the beast’s four rumens is on offer for tabletop grilling. Today’s post isn’t about any of those things, though. It’s about a sandwich, a sandwich of caviar and calf brain. (more…)

09/02/14 12:10pm
RUGELSSAINT

It’s no mere pain au chocolat.

At first glance it looks like an especially robust chocolate croissant. This burnished breakfast treat is no mere pain au chocolat though. For one thing, it’s not French at all. I found this glorious $3 beauty at Andre’s Hungarian Bakery a couple of weeks ago. The Forest Hills establishment is better known for apple strudel and rugelach than French breakfast items. I have never waited on line for a Cronut, and don’t plan to anytime soon. The chocolate croissant—or rugelssaint as I’ve taken to calling it— is worth waiting on line for though. Not that there’s ever a line at Andre’s. (more…)

08/28/14 1:54pm
JAVANOODLE

Java Village’s kwetiau Jakarta.

Chow fun—broad Chinese rice flour noodles—was as much a staple of childhood trips to Chinatown with my father as it was the local takeout. He cooked it at home too, purchasing wonton skins that he cut into noodle-sized strips. I have a feeling he’d have liked the kwetiau Jakarta ($9) I tried at Java Village the other night. It eats like chow fun’s spicier Indonesian cousin. (more…)