One of things I love most about bringing food tours to Korean megamarket Assi Plaza, is browsing the meat case. In addition to lovely cuts of short rib and pork belly for tabletop grilling there’s plenty of offal, from snout to pizzle. And then there’s this, to ggi, or wild rabbit with a graphic of Bugs Bunny on the label. Many thanks to Instagrammer HUNGRY_EYE. 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.
Tuesday was as fine a winter’s day as any for a food tour.
What do you when duty calls and your battlefield is in the grips of a polar vortex? Well if your duty is to give food tours of America’s tastiest Chinatown, you soldier on. Which is precisely what I did Tuesday morning when I showed a couple around Downtown Flushing. There was no way I was going to cancel on them, particularly since they’d travelled from Buffalo, a burg notorious for snowfall. To submit your delicious and/or snowy finds to Photo Friday simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY. And while you’re at it, check me out on Instagram, joedistefanoqns.
When I’m in the mood for something spicy on a bitter cold winter morning there’s nothing better than a bowl of customizable Malaysian kari laksa from Curry Leaves in Flushing. I like to go in the wee hours of the morning—oh, say 4 a.m.—when the crew behind the longest-running pop-up in Queens is just getting started. Laksa and other Malaysian snacks are served cafeteria style from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily. As you can see from this photo, plenty of folks are still bellying up to the laksa bar at 9 a.m. 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.
If you’re anything at all like me you overindulged at yesterday’s Thanksgiving festivities and want nothing at all to do with turkey. Which brings me to the subject of this installment of Photo Friday: the stack of pork chops at M. Wells Steakhouse. It should be noted that even though this latest venture from M. Dufour is a grown-up spot where chef sports whites and a kerchief around his neck lending him the air of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, there are wacky touches like a bone-in burger and this stack of blade thin chops. Piled high and oozing anchovy butter it’s a carnivorous homage to that diner favorite, flapjacks. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to the gym work off yesterday’s turkey.
Last weekend LIC Flea & Food turned into a little Japan of sorts with dancers in maid outfits, calligraphy, and, above all, food, ranging from okonomiayiki and yakisoba to experimental sushi and ramen. The fishless experimental sushi featuring a spicy chicken teriyaki was not to my taste, but the more traditional tonkotsu ramen was amazing. Koji Hagihara, the chef at Hakata Tonton, a West Village eatery specializing in dishes made from pig’s feet prepared a batch of tonkotsu ramen, a dish that’s nowhere to be found on Hakata Tonton’s menu. The cloudy broth was rich with pork flavor thanks to bones that had been simmered for hours on end. Topped with pickled bamboo shoots; green onions; a wobbly slab of fatty pork belly; and sprinklings of sesame seeds and crushed red pepper, it’s one of the best bowls of ramen I’ve ever had in Queens. Kojisan, if you’re reading this, won’t you please bring your ramen to our borough? Or at least to my house? With fall in full effect, I could use a bowl right about now.
I’m proud to announce that in the interest of sharing the love and deliciousness we all crave C+M’s Photo Friday is taking reader submissions via Instagram. This week’s entry—大嘴饼 Da Zui Bing (literally ‘Big Mouth Pastry) at Liang’s Kitchenor “humongous sesame-studded pastry shells stuffed with minced meat, spring onions and Chinese parsley”—comes from my good friend, Colin Goh, who as always proves to be a font of information about dining in downtown Flushing. To submit your delicious finds simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY. And while you’re at it check me out on Instagram, joedistefanoqns.
I’ve dubbed the sector of Jackson Heights bounded by 72 and 74 Streets, between Roosevelt and 37th Avenues, Himalayan Heights due its profusion of Tibetan and Nepalese eateries. There are now three carts specializing in momo, the steamed dumplings beloved by all members of the Himalayan diaspora. My tendency is to downplay the area’s remaining Indian restaurants, but the truth is that those few blocks of Jackson Heights are a rich tapestry of interwoven ethnic enclaves. There’s even a Little Bangladesh on 73 Street. It’s favorite part of my food tours of the neighborhood,particularly when the Baul Daada Jaal Muri shop is open. (more…)
The stewed oxtail lunch special at Liang’s is spectacular.
PLEASE NOTE THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED
I’m proud to announce that in the interest of sharing the love and deliciousness we all crave C+M’s Photo Friday will be taking reader submissions via Instagram. This week’s entry—níu wěi fàn or oxtail and rice—comes from my good friend Colin Goh, who as always proves to be a font of information about dining in downtown Flushing. Colin found this bountiful plate of sumptuous stewed oxtail, firm tofu, cabbage, and a hard-boiled egg, all topped with a generous sprinkle of minced pork at Liang’s Kichen. At $8.95 it is one of the best and tasty deals in downtown Flushing. And as Colin points out it’s not every day that one literally the name of one’s web site embodied in a plate of Taiwanese comfort food. By the way Liang’s is one of those places that Colin and I have both passed by hundreds of times. Located in the basement of a hotel, it turns out some of the tastiest Taiwanese food I’ve had in downtown Flushing. To submit your delicious finds simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY. And while you’re at it check me out on Instagram, joedistefanoqns.
These do not appear to be faces of gastronomic bliss.
Above is a snapshot of the only two people who appeared sadder than I did on the debut day of the much ballyhooed Ramen Burger at Smorgasburg. I waited on line in the rain for more than hour, my desire for mutant foodstuffs unrequited. I was angry, sad, and confused. Why did I set myself up for failure by not showing up early enough? Do I really care about such fad foods or am I just trying to drive traffic to my blawg? (Honestly, a bit of both.)
More important than all my navel gazing though is the question I am most asked about weird foodstuffs: “But, is it good?” Based on the expression of the couple above I’d say not really. I will likely eat a Ramen Burger one of these days. My sincere hope is that it is truly delicious. I don’t know if it’s on offer at the ‘Burg or not, nor do I care. Tomorrow I am looking forward to a day the beach with my brothers. Have a good weekend, and may whatever you eat, faddish or not, be delicious.
“We’re going to make you something.” Sarah Obraitis of M. Wells Dinette said to me last week. I’d just consumed a decadent plate of boudin blanc, with scallops and sweetbreads along with an herb salad. I mumbled a refusal thinking the only thing I could possibly eat was a wafer thin mint à la Mr. Creosote. “This is the type of thing you get at Le Bernardin,” she continued brightly. “It’s inspired by soap candy that Hugue ate as a kid in Canada.” Sarah walked away leaving me to ponder the notion of soap candy. (more…)