03/27/15 9:57am
wellswaffle

M. Wells’ Russian Waffle is delicious and quite photogenic.

“I’ll never use Instagram,” I once said. Famous last words. These days, I use it more than ever. Most of my non food nerd friends know my phone camera eats first. When I’m out with a posse of food nerds, it becomes an Instagram shooting frenzy, and I’ve learned to accept that I just might not get that perfect shot. But what about those other times? I am by no means an expert Instagrammer or food photographer, but I have learned a bit over the few years I have been shooting food. Below are some of my favorite tips. (more…)

02/20/15 11:27am
GXFC1

Festive hong bao being sold on Main Street last week.

Gong xi fa cai!! Here at C+M’s Photo Friday we wish to extend to you warm Chinese New Year wishes for this Year of the Sheep. There’s been much confusion as to whether it is the sheep or the ram, I may just start calling it Year of the Ovine.

Queens being the most diverse place on earth,  it’s not just Chinese who celebrate the Lunar Year, but also Vietnamese, Malaysians, and as I learned the other day, Thai people of Chinese descent. Two days ago I walked in to Sugar Club in Elmhurst with a tour group and there was entire New Year’s spread laid out. Want to be featured on Photo Friday? Tag your  Instagram photos #CMSHUNGRY.

12/12/14 11:33am
DUNGENESS CRAB

Photo: John X. Choe

When I was a kid my father and brothers used to catch blue claw crabs. Eating them was a fun, but messy process. These days I don’t have much patience for that process, but I do enjoy N.Y. Noodletown’s  salt baked soft shell crabs, and I love munching on the pickled crab in a Thai papaya salad. Believe it or not after more than 30 years of eating Chinese food, I had yet to eat a Dungeness—or donkey as my father used to say—crab until last week. Fresh seafood is a staple of Cantonese cuisine, so what better place to try the giant crustacean than Flushing’s Canton Gourmet. (more…)

06/13/14 12:42pm
PAELLA

Spanish red prawn paella as served at Lot 10 in Hong Kong.

These days the old social media channels teem with food photos, good, bad, and ugly. I like to think that mine are good. One Instagrammer who never fails to make hungry is little_meg_siu_meg, a well-travelled and well-fed Hong kong Kong resident. This photo she snapped of grilled prawn paella at On Lot 10 in Hong Kong left me speechless. Her description of the aroma of roasted shells makes me want to eat this right now. To submit your delicious finds to Photo Friday simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY.

06/06/14 2:15pm
DONUTS

Paczki—aka Polish doughnuts—at Old World Bakery.

Today is National Doughnut Day. While Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are both giving away the treats, this holiday was not started by a corporate chain. It began way back in 1938 when the Salvation Army began commemorating those who served doughnuts to World War I soldiers. This morning I decided to go to Dunkin’ and score a free glazed doughnut. It’s a decision I regret. (more…)

05/30/14 12:01pm
FRIEDMOMO

Phayul’s fried momo are even tastier than they look.

There are many wonderful things about Phayul, the second-floor Tibetan eatery overlooking the hustle and bustle of Himalayan Heights. Chele khatsa, spicy fried beef tongue, and tsak sha chu rul, a pungent beef and cheese soup come to mind. Even though I’ve been eating at Phayul for several years I’m still discovering new things, like fried momo. (more…)

05/23/14 10:28am
SINGAPOREBUTTERCRAB

Mellben’s butter crab looks stupendously good.

Singaporeans know how to eat. I know this firsthand because I am fortunate to be friends with Colin Goh and his wife, Yen Yen Woo, creators of Dim Sum Warriors. They live in Flushing and have turned me on to some of my favorite dishes in its Chinatown, including the soup dumplings at Flushing Mall, which have become a staple of my food tours. For the past two weeks they’ve been in Singapore on business. Apparently their business is posting photos of insanely delicious looking meals on Facebook. Like this creamy butter crab from Mellben Signature. All I can say is sign me up. To submit your delicious finds to Photo Friday simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY. And while you’re at it, check me out on Instagram.

04/18/14 10:45am
SHAKSHUKA

Saleya’s shakshuka is amazingly photogenic.

“Pretty sure that shakshuka always photographs like it’s already been digested,” I wrote on Facebook a while back. The less than appetizing observation came after reviewing some unflattering photos I took of the shakshuka at Grill House, my local Israeli spot. Many of my friends, food photographers and chefs among them, all agreed with my observation about the egg, tomato, and pepper concoction. (more…)

04/04/14 10:53am
PLOMBIR

“Best what we have,” from Mother Russia and Dadu via Rego Park.

When it comes to Russian luxury the first thing that comes to mind is caviar and Faberge eggs not ice cream. Nevertheless I could hardly resist this new brand of Russian ice cream I spotted yesterday at one of the many gourmet shops that line the Bukharian Broadway that is 108th Street in Rego Park. Russian ice cream is one of the reasons I love living in Rego Park, but honestly the packaging is usually more interesting than the ice cream itself. And so it proved to be with Dadu’s Luxury ice cream.

The package container a wafer cone packed with decent chocolate ice cream, hardly the equivalent of Magnum’s level of luxury. I’m just glad it didn’t cost more than $1.75. The real luxury was to be found in eating it as I walked down the street on the first real day of spring

To submit your delicious finds to Photo Friday simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY. And while you’re at it, check me out on Instagram, joedistefanoqns.

02/28/14 10:17am
SAMOSA

Surely these are New York City’s only Uzbek-Italian samosas.

Eating a beef or lamb samsa just plucked off the wall of a blazing tandoor oven is one of the pleasures of living down the road from Rokhat Kosher Bakery. The use of the tandoor has always made me suspect a link between Indian foodways and those of Uzbekistan. The other day my suspicion was confirmed—well, sort of—by the discovery of a most unusual samosa.

The package reads “Bon Appetito Samosa.” Despite the name these sugar-dusted treats from the No Regrets Bakery aren’t Italian. Nor are they Indian, or filled with potato. The light and buttery little pastries contain just a touch of sweetened walnut. Rokhat’s owner seemed as puzzled by them as I am. “At first, I thought they were Italian,” he told me.

To submit your delicious finds to Photo Friday simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY. And while you’re at it, check me out on Instagram, joedistefanoqns.