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.
It was bound to happen sooner or later given that old school Flushing slice spot Lucia Pizza sits next door to Taipei Hong, home of the secret Taiwanese fried chicken. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it sooner, Lucia’s slice and the crunchy morsels of fried chicken leaves are two of my favorite quick bites in downtown Flushing. The combination of the spicy fried chicken shot through with fried basil leaves and the slice’s sauce and mozzarella make for a wonderfully excessive mashup that calls to mind a chicken parmigiana hero.
Want to try this Taiwanese-Italian mashup? First you’ll need to score a bag of Taipei Hong’s chicken. The food court that houses Taipei Hong is also home to the fast-food franchise ready Two Peck Chicken, so the lady who runs Taipei Hong sells her chicken on the sly, and only to go. You’ll need to ask for the No. 1, which is listed on the menu as stinky tofu. But if you ask for the No. 1 to go saying something along the lines of “You know the chicken,” you will be prompted with “spicy or no spicy.” Request the spicy. Some folks have had trouble procuring this secret No. 1 chicken, so you might want to say the magic words yan su ji, salted crispy chicken.
Once you’ve secured your $4 bag of contraband poultry head over to the front window of Lucia Pizza and order a $2.25 slice. Then create your very own Taiwanese-Italian-American mashup. There’s enough chicken that you might want also do the same with a Sicilian slice. It’s the greatest novelty slice in downtown Flushing since T.J.’s stopped gilding slices with kimchi years ago.
Taipei Hong, 136-55 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing; Lucia Pizza, 136-55 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, 718-445-1313