Newsstand
10/31/14 12:10am
Zeus

Look for us in front of Mann’s Chinese Theater soon.

It’s not every day someone offers to put the name of my web site in lights. That’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago though when Zeusvision approached me with an offer to run digital display ads featuring C+M on the sides of buses driving through Los Angeles. At first, I was like really? And was frankly dubious. Then I remembered that I once made a T-shirt called Viva Queens y L.A. and took it as a sign from the Universe. (more…)

10/30/14 12:11am
luciataiwan

Two great tastes in one via Taipei and New York City.

Until very recently I was a pizza purist. Then I ate the falafel slice at Benjy’s Kosher Pizza Dairy Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Flushing. This surprisingly delicious mashup of Israeli and New York City street foods can be found on Main Street in Flushing , not the Chinese portion but the Jewish neighborhood sometimes called Kew Garden Hills. Yesterday I created a decidedly non-kosher mashup in the heart of Flushing’s Chinatown. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Taiwanese chicken parm slice. (more…)

10/29/14 10:39am
BENSDDD2

You’ll need big hands and a big appetite for Ben’s DDD .

An old-school New York City deli sandwich piled high with luscious pastrami is a joy to behold and eat. “It’ll feed a family four,” some say of these heavyweight classics that predate concern with cholesterol. Personally I always find them manageable, if filling. My go-to spot for deli—Ben’s Best—is a mere 10-minute walk from C+M headquarters. When it comes to deli I’m a purist, and don’t mix meats. I make one exception for Ben’s DDD, a dreadnought of a deli combo created by Guy Fieri.

The triple-decker DDD named for Fieri’s show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” is a powerhouse of deli sandwiches dreamed up by Fieri and longtime Ben’s Best deliman, Richy. The two concocted it during Fieri’s visit to the 65-year-old Rego Park institution. At the time I joked with Ben’s owner, Jay Parker, that his establishment must fall under the “dives” category. (more…)

10/27/14 11:46am
CANNELLE2

Breakfast of champions via L.I.C. and Brittany.

For seven years French pastry fans have made the pilgrimage to Cannelle Patisserie. There, in the Paris of East Elmhurst, situated in an otherwise unremarkable strip mall, they found cases lined with flaky croissants, praline cream-filled Paris-Brest, and other specialties of owner Jean-Claude Perennou’s native Brittany. Now Perennou has opened a second shop in the heart of Long Island City, practically a macaron’s throw from the East River waterfront. (more…)

10/24/14 10:03am
KANES3

Steak and eggs steps away from Flushing’s Chinatown.

I’ve passed by it hundreds of times on the bus ride to downtown Flushing from my home base of Rego Park. “Kane’s Flushing Diner,” reads a sign looming over the brick building, which clearly predates the neighborhood’s Chinatown. “We Love Our High Class Customers,” is painted on the pavement.

Yet another sign announces, “WORLD FAMOUS STEAK & 3 EGGS $8.99.”  I’m always quick to proclaim the regional Chinese culinary wonderland of Flushing as America’s best Chinatown. It’s certainly world famous for noodles, dumplings, and Dongbei cuisine, but Flushing’s not exactly known as a destination for old-school diners.

(more…)

10/23/14 10:36am
oddfellows3

Photo: @kat_odell

Foie gras, the rich decadent fatty liver of a duck or goose, always pairs well with something sweet like a glass of Sauternes, or perhaps some maple syrup. Leave it to Sam Mason and his crew at OddFellows Ice Cream Co. to turn it into a frozen confection. Last year the scoop shop served foie gras ice cream paired with a tart blueberry soda. This year Mason created something a little more playful, a drumstick that childhood staple. The inside of the cone is lined with dark chocolate and the scoop of foie gras ice cream is also covered in chocolate and then sprinkled with peanuts. The adult treat comes with a grownup price too, $7. It was well worth it last Friday on what I am pretty sure was the last day of Indian Summer.

OddFellows Ice Cream Co.,  175 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, 347-599-0556;  75 East 4th St., 917-475-1812

10/22/14 10:32am
BZGRILL1

It’s a far cry from those pizza shop mysery meat sandwiches.

Up until a few years ago the word “gyro” conjured up images of the languidly spinning towers of mystery meat. And then I tasted BZ Grill’s pork gyro. It’s a sandwich that simultaneously elevated my opinion of pork itself and the oft-maligned gyro. Instead of mystery meat the pita is stuffed with succulent slices of pork with crispy edges. It’s one of Queens’ finest sandwiches. (more…)

10/21/14 10:22am

 jason xianJason Wang, CEO of Xi’an Famous Foods, took a business that his father David “Liang Pi” Shi started in the 36th chamber of Flushing’s fabled Golden Shopping Mall, and made it truly famous spawning a mini-empire, specializing in cold skin noodles—squidgy, porous blocks of wheat gluten and chewy ribbons of wheat starch, tossed with bean sprouts, cilantro, slivers of cucumber and a “secret sauce” made from sesame paste, vinegar, and chili oil, among other things—and other regional specialties. The 25-year old noodle mogul took a break from the Forbes 30 under 30 Conference and was kind enough to answer 7 Questions.

Tell me about the two new Xi’an Famous Foods stores you have in the pipeline? How will they differ from
the other locations?
They’ll be very similar to our later locations in terms of the food, but each location has its own feel. The new Greenpoint location, for example, will have a backyard dining area, the first one of Xi’an Famous Foods with one, and the upcoming 34th Street location will have the biggest space out of all of our stores, with a mezzanine level featuring skylights.

You went to culinary school for a little bit, did that change your approach to the cuisine at Xi’an Famous Foods?
It widened my view of cuisine a bit, as it gave me an idea of how western cuisine is prepared, the fundamentals, and how in the end, it is still similar in some ways to Chinese cuisine. While it did not directly affect our ways of preparing our foods, it does make me more aware of possibilities and possible future applications of western approaches to our eastern ways of cooking. (more…)

10/17/14 11:01am
DELIGHT

The most delightful Middle Eastern sweetmeats in Rego Park, Queens.

“That’s Turkish delight,” the gentleman behind the counter at Queens Bazaar Foods told me and my tour group as I held up a box filled with amber colored disks and chunks rolled in pistachio. “Lokum, apricot and pistachio,” he said by way of further explanation.

It was my first time hearing the word lokum. I’d ever seen the confection looking quite like this. I am more accustomed to the gelatinous cubes dusted in white powder. Lebanese lokum is a world apart from those. It puts the delight in Turkish delight. When we left the shop my tour guests and I noshed on a few bites. Everyone agreed the chewy morsels flavored with pistachio, apricot, and rosewater were amazing. We only ate a little bit as we’d just taken down a gigantic xachapuri at Marani. I stashed the rest away, with the plan of writing about the best Lebanese sweets in Rego Park. (more…)

10/15/14 2:22pm
MCGRIDDLE

Best logo stamped fast-food breakfast sandwich ever.

“Do you eat fast food?” the physician’s assistant asked me yesterday during my annual checkup. For a moment I wondered whether cumin lamb skewers consumed on Queens street corners qualified and decided they did not fit the fast-food bill.

“About two or three times a year,” I responded. Most of those times are on road trips and the idea of the food—be it a Big Mac, Whopper, or Taco Bell Burrito Supreme—always far exceeds the end product. It’s as if I’m trying to capture some mystical childhood fast food experience. I’m convinced that if Hardee’s, which I recall as having magnificent char-grilled flavor, still existed in New York City I would be a happy man.  Call it chasing the fast food dragon. (more…)