10/27/14 11:46am
CANNELLE2

Breakfast of champions via L.I.C. and Brittany.

For seven years French pastry fans have made the pilgrimage to Cannelle Patisserie. There, in the Paris of East Elmhurst, situated in an otherwise unremarkable strip mall, they found cases lined with flaky croissants, praline cream-filled Paris-Brest, and other specialties of owner Jean-Claude Perennou’s native Brittany. Now Perennou has opened a second shop in the heart of Long Island City, practically a macaron’s throw from the East River waterfront. (more…)

10/08/14 10:13am

MIGA1

La Nueva Bakery is the only hybrid Uruguayan-Colombian bakery I’ve ever encountered. Savory Colombian snack breads like pan de bono and pan de queso sit in the case beside Uruguayan treats like dulce de leche-filled churros and the buttery twists known as hornitos. And there are Uruguayan sandwiches de miga, dainty crustless triple deckers with various fillings sold in packages of six. They line the deli case like so many savory layer cakes. (more…)

09/02/14 12:10pm
RUGELSSAINT

It’s no mere pain au chocolat.

At first glance it looks like an especially robust chocolate croissant. This burnished breakfast treat is no mere pain au chocolat though. For one thing, it’s not French at all. I found this glorious $3 beauty at Andre’s Hungarian Bakery a couple of weeks ago. The Forest Hills establishment is better known for apple strudel and rugelach than French breakfast items. I have never waited on line for a Cronut, and don’t plan to anytime soon. The chocolate croissant—or rugelssaint as I’ve taken to calling it— is worth waiting on line for though. Not that there’s ever a line at Andre’s. (more…)

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.

01/14/14 11:19am
CHICKENTABAK

Marani’s chicken tabaka, crunchy and garlicky as all getout.

The running joke about the Uzbek kebab places in Rego Park is that they’re all pretty much the same restaurant. Sure some might have slightly surlier service than others or make a specialty of chebureks, , but they’re all basically about grilled meat—beefchicken, and lamb–on flat swordlike skewers.  So I was intrigued when I heard about Marani,  a relatively new Georgian joint.

Ever since I read about the decadent adajaruli khachapuri being served at Brooklyn Bread House in Sheepshead Bay and at Oda House in the East Village, Georgian food has been a feverish blip on my radar. So I was especially excited to learn of a restaurant right in my neighborhood that served the mythical cheese and egg bread. (more…)

12/30/13 2:50pm

As 2013 draws to a close rather than offer up a list of resolutions—less chips more gym, save money, etc.—C+M offers a list of 20 of our favorite posts, a highlight reel of the year that was. Let the mostly Queens-focused cavalcade of offal, sandwiches, mashups, secret eats and deliciousness begin.

Crazy Crab’s Yunnan special sliced pork salad.

1. Best use of Pig Face
Crazy Crab’s Yunnanese pig face salad is a spicy sour, salty, and unabashedly funky showcase for swatches of cool, slightly chewy pig skin.

2. Best Fizzy Water for Gluttons
Apart from being the preferred beverage of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin the selling point of Borjomi, a Georgian sparkling mineral water, is that it “Gets rid of unnecessaries,” or as expressed in more forthright language elsewhere on the company web site, “Borjomi also improves functioning of intestines and supports slag excretion.”

3. Flushing’s Cheapest Veggie Burger
The $1.25 cài bĭng at Super Snack, a counter just outside Golden Shopping Mall is packed with crunchy piquant mustard greens and is as fine a snack as any.

(more…)

10/23/13 10:50am
CHICKENMUSTARD

The tastiest chicken bun in all of New York City

Roast pork buns—either pillowy white and starchy or burnished and brown—are commonplace in all of New York City’s Chinatowns. Chicken buns, not so much. So the chicken bun at Morning Glory Bakery in Rego Park is especially unique. I like to think of it as a breakfast sandwich, but only because they usually run out it before noon. “Special!! Mustard Stem Chili Chicken Bun,” a hand-written multicolored sign at the counter above a sheet pan of the sandwiches reads. (more…)

10/08/13 10:23am

CRONUTSIGN2

I have yet to consume a Cronut, but my friend Wendy Chan did, and she was kind enough to file this dispatch from the front lines of food faddery in Soho. Take it away Wendy . . .

While grocery shopping at Stew Leonard’s this summer, I walked past the bakery where samples were passed out for a taste of their new product, a croissant donut. The bakery team there claimed this new hybrid is made from 162 layers of butter and dough, deep-fried to golden perfection. I knew this “Cro Do” was a copycat product, but I would not miss a chance to try it.

It did taste pretty good, still piping hot. I was sold. Frankly, butter makes everything taste good! Deep fried? Darn it! Irresistible! It’s retailed at $3.99 for two. I bought half a dozen to share with friends that evening. No line, no fuss.

My daughter ,Veronica, had already introduced me to the original Cronut, created by Dominique Ansel, but it didn’t impress me. But then, it was frozen overnight, as a thoughtful gift of love, (well, she had to get up early to stand in line for it) so it was not a fair verdict. (more…)

09/04/13 9:51am
COCOTART

Good day, sunshine! Buttery coconut sunshine, that is.

Forget Cronuts, fauxnuts, and even, dare I say, fresh-filled cannoli. The object of my pastry desires these days is the coconut egg tart from New Flushing Bakery. I used to think the egg tarts at this Chinese bakery on Roosevelt and Main were pretty good. And then I tried the Portuguese egg custard, which was even better. It was only recently that I ate the life-altering coconut egg tart. It’s the jewel in the crown of this bakery that’s known as the Egg Tart King. Think of it as the love child of a macaroon and an egg tart, with the chocolate gene being recessive. Lighter than a macaroon and less eggy than an egg tart, it is truly delightful. The sunny yellow coconut-egg filling has a crisp brown top and sits in a buttery crust. And with the bakery’s buy three get one free deal the price works out to four for $3.99. Trust me, you’ll eat them. Oh and get this, as anybody who’s taken my Flushing food tour knows, the bakery has a satellite location in the J-Mart supermarket.

New Flushing Bakery, 135-45 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing; 136-20 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing

08/13/13 10:24am
A Korean Cronut knockoff has landed in Flushing.

A Korean Cronut knockoff has landed in Flushing.

With all the time I spend in Flushing it’s hard to believe that it’s taken me this long to patronize Paris Baguette. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that it was the Korean bakery’s Cronut knockoff that finally lured me across the threshold.

“You can’t take pictures here,” said a beret wearing young man dressed in a striped shirt more commonly seen on French mimes. “Discover the dessert that’s taking over Manhattan,” read a sign above the croissant-doughnut hybrids. “Decadent and yummy,” it continued. I don’t often succumb to the lures of food faddery, but Cronut curiosity got the best of me. There is no way in hell I am waiting on line at 5 a.m. outside of Dominique Ansel for any pastry, no matter how hyperbolically delicious. So I considered getting one of Paris Baguette’s  Croissant Donuts ($3.50) to be the next best thing. It was indeed “decadent and yummy,” topped with lemon zest and filled with a vanilla cream. (more…)