Labor Day might be the symbolic end of summer, but truth be told there’s almost two weeks left of the season. So why not celebrate the tail end with something truly crazy: a piña loca from Jazmin Deli in Elmhurst? It’s part fruit salad, part candy store and all party. The $15 fiesta consists of a cored out pineapple filled with a mixture of spiced fruit, cucumbers, and the candy coated peanuts known as cacahuate estilo Japones. It’s garnished with skewers of more fruit, and several types of candy including a straw coated in spicy tamarind.
With its tropical flair and Tiki drink umbrella the piña loca resembles nothing so much as a scorpion bowl for the younger set. To get your hands on one though, you’ll need to find Jazmin Deli first. Like many of the best Queens eateries it’s in an improbable location, the basement of an apartment building. Food’s only served on weekends. On my one visit the tacos de barbacoa were nothing to write home about.
My friends and I were unable to finish our piña loca as we’d come from an Indonesian food festival earlier that day. We probably should have tried some of the deli’s smaller frozen treats like the Mexican ices known as nieves. Alas there was no escaping the allure of the piña loca.
Jazmin Deli, 80-50 Baxter Ave., Ste. P2, Elmhurst, 347-639-0391