Welcome to Ask C+M, a weekly column where I’ll answer readers questions regarding food in Queens and beyond. Have a question you’d like to ask? E-mail jdistefanony68c(at) yahoo.com. Our first question comes from Alex.
First of all, I love your blog, so many amazing options. I tried a few places you wrote about in the last week and they’ve been incredible. I recently moved to Astoria from California and I’m trying to find some interesting food in Astoria and Jackson Heights. I’ve done a fair amount of exploring and found some great things but I’m curious as to what your top recommendations in those two areas are, preferably things that are maybe off the beaten path. — Alex
So glad that youlike the blog and that you have been exploring the culinary paradise that is Queens. In Astoria I like Cevabdzinica Sarajevo (37-18 34th Ave.) for Bosnian food, including bureks and pljeskavica, a comically huge Bosnia burger, Down on Ditmars there’s Hinomaru (33-18 Ditmars Blvd.), a great Japanese ramen joint. The signature “NewYork style” ramen has a rich porky broth and features a fireball, an orb of ground pork mixed with several types of hot peppers. Astoria Seafood (Astoria Seafood, 37-10 33rd St.) is an excellent fish market/restaurant located away from most of the other Greek spots.
Wow there are too many places to choose from in Jackson Heights, but here are two. Phayul Restaurant (74-06 37th Rd.) is a great Tibetan spot that serves up tongue, tripe, and the ubiquitous Tibetan dumpling momo as well as soups and stir fries. Baul Daada Jal Muri Shop (73 St. near 37th Ave.) is one of the coolest street food operations around. Open in the evenings,weather permitting, Baul Daada mixes up a streetside Bangladeshi chaat called Jal Muri. Watch as he pours puffed rice, black chick peas, toasted soybeans, and about a dozen other ingredients, including chili and mustard oil into a big container and gives it a vigorous shake or three. Fork over $3 and consume the crunchy, spicy,tangy snack on the spot.