Surely Lhasa Fast Food’s “cold skin sushi” deserves Michelin recognition.
Earlier this week Michelin released its 2018 Bib Gourmand honorees, which “denotes establishments where diners can enjoy a great meal for a good value.” I’m glad the crew of inspectors from the little red book is focusing more attention on the so-called outer boroughs and happy to see they added my dear friend Helen You’s Dumpling Galaxy to the list, but the Queens roster is still lacking. What’s more, Brooklyn and Manhattan are broken out into subareas (Upper East Side, Williamsburg, etc.) while the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens lack such distinction. If any from Guide Michelin is reading this, do look me up I’d be glad to consult with you on neighborhood geography for a modest fee. (For the record I live in the one called Rego Park.)
“I can name five more Southeast Asian restaurants that should be on that list,” read a quote from me in The Wall Street Journal’s piece on the Bib Gourmands. I can, but I won’t. Instead here’s a list of seven places of varying cuisines that should have made the Michelin cut.
1. Lhasa Fast food Everybody who’s into food knows about this spot, which Jeff Orlick hipped me to years ago. Call it a momo speakeasy if you must, but really what Lhasa Fast Food is is a window into another culture and cuisine that just happens to be tucked away behind a cellphone store. I like the spicy yellow liang fen done up to look like sushi and of course the momos, including the classic beef and the rarely seen chu tse, or chive version. . 37-50 74th Street, Jackson Heights
After two decades of eating around New York City I finally got my fress on at Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop last week. Funny thing is my first job out of college was right around the corner. I’m not sure what kept me away back then, but these days the proximity of Ben’s Best Deli to my home does a good job.
But back to Eisenberg’s. Gotta love a joint whose slogan is “Raising New York’s Cholesterol Since 1929.” That cholesterol along with plenty of schmaltz and New York attitude has also managed preserve the old school deli tradition.
My pal Drew, clearly an old hand at dining in the joint’s bustling lunch time atmosphere, humored me as I briefly considered the shrimp salad sandwich. “I always get the combo Reuben,” Drew said. Between his cajoling and the waitress’ claim that it was “the best thing in the house,” my choice was made, and I am glad it was. And it wasn’t just any plain vanilla Reuben either, but a combo of pastrami and corned beef. Well worth it for $13, too. The dynamic duo of deli meats, kraut, and cheese almost put me in an old school deli coma. (more…)
Before all these recent accolades, in fact before Harry & Ida’s even existed, the Pop’s Pastrami Sandwich received the highest accolade of all being named “The World’s Greatest Sandwich.” The honor came from the creators of video series Make Me A Sandwich— Rob Serrini and Jeremy Spector—who upon tasting Horowitz’s creation declare their quest to find the world’s greatest sandwich over. (more…)
I’ve been a little off my sandwich game of late as I’ve been engaged in a rather monumental hamburger project for FoodieHub. That hasn’t stopped me from thinking about sandwiches though. Last night I discovered a beauty on Instagram, the kimchi reuben from Misery Loves Co. in Winooski Vermont. (more…)
In this era of Cronuts and Ramen Burgers it’s comforting to know there are still some things that are quintessentially old-school New York City foods, like the sandwiches at Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side. As I learned in “Deep Cuts,” the debut video from Season 2 of One Minute Meal Films one thing that makes Katz’s pastrami and corned beef sandwiches so special is the small platoon of cutters marshaled along the front counter. (more…)
“We’re thinking of calling it Pop’s,” Will Horowitz told me a few months ago when he gave me a sneak peek of his new Alphabet City trading post/deli/laboratory. He was taking delivery of a comically large immersion blender that looked like an outboard motor. The name’s been changed to Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., and I had a chance to stop by earlier this week.
Never has such a short menu of sandwiches confounded me so much. “Gee the cured meats with fennel chili butter sounds real good, and so does the smoked eel with kalechee butter,” I said like a kid in a candy—er meat—store, “but I really want to try the pastrami.” (more…)
Brisket with Swiss and gravy and pastrami at David’s.
I’ve been hearing about David’s House of Brisket for ages. The Crown Heights institution is unusual in several respects. Not only is it a Jewish deli in a neighborhood better known for jerk chicken and doubles, it has the distinction of being the only Jewish deli run by Yemeni Muslims. So when my pal Noah asked me to have lunch there with him I said yes.
“You’ve got to get the brisket with cheese and gravy,” Noah said, reminding me that even though it serves Jewish comfort food, David’s is decidedly not kosher. (more…)
Once upon a smokier, saltier, schmaltzier time in New York City, the Jewish deli was king. And, if I am to believe the trailer for the film Deli Man, which hits New York City theaters today, “There was a delicatessen on every single corner.” (more…)
You’ll need big hands and a big appetite for Ben’s DDD .
An old-school New York City deli sandwich piled high with luscious pastrami is a joy to behold and eat. “It’ll feed a family four,” some say of these heavyweight classics that predate concern with cholesterol. Personally I always find them manageable, if filling. My go-to spot for deli—Ben’s Best—is a mere 10-minute walk from C+M headquarters. When it comes to deli I’m a purist, and don’t mix meats. I make one exception for Ben’s DDD, a dreadnought of a deli combo created by Guy Fieri.
The triple-decker DDD named for Fieri’s show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” is a powerhouse of deli sandwiches dreamed up by Fieri and longtime Ben’s Best deliman, Richy. The two concocted it during Fieri’s visit to the 65-year-old Rego Park institution. At the time I joked with Ben’s owner, Jay Parker, that his establishment must fall under the “dives” category. (more…)
Ever wonder what goes on at night inside the neon squiggle festooned former diner that is Flushing’s Lake Pavilion? Well, wonder no more. The Cantonese banquet hall is the subject of a two-star review in this weeks’ New York Times. Gotta give Pete Wells props for trying goose webs and screw clam, which is not a clam, but rather an organ extracted from a sea cucumber.
In case you’ve got a forequarter of beef lying around that you’d like to turn into pastrami this video might come in handy.
I’ve always been fascinated with Rocco’s Calamari in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Now Eating in Translation helps me understand why. Rocco is Calabrese, just like my dear old Ma. (more…)