01/03/16 12:29pm

Now that the streets around Times Square are almost cleared of New Year’s Eve confetti and I’ve digested several plates of lucky New Year’s noodles it’s time to take a look back at 2015. It was a big year for me, including a profile in The Wall Street Journal. Queens  continued to amaze with everything from octopus tacos and Thai noodles to Caribbean Chinese and the most unlikely French patisserie ever. In no particular order here are 15 of the best things I ate last year.

CHERRYDRYNOODLE

Tom yum haeng topped with fried pork sugar and chili.

1. Yummiest dry tom yum
The weekend noodle soup pop-up at Elmhurst’s Pata Paplean remained on point, but one of my favorites there wasn’t a soup at all. Tom yum haeng—dry tom yum noodles—consists of springy yellow noodles, fish balls and golden shards of fried pork all dressed with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili, and cilantro. Mix it all up and dig into the best dry noodles in Thai Town.

BIGELOWS2

2.  Tastiest deep-fried seafood nostalgia
The cheery blue and white Bigelow’s Seafood has been around for more than 70 years. After driving by it for about that amount of time, I finally had the privilege of trying it this past spring. These wizards of the fryer turn out impeccable Ipswich clams, fried smelts, shrimp, and soft shell crabs all served in an atmosphere that time and cholesterol have forgotten.  (more…)

11/16/15 11:15am
NestShark

Fried shark at the Nest in Richmond Hill.

My pal Rob MacKay of It’s in Queens has been raving for years about a restaurant in Richmond Hill called the Nest. It’s a Carribean-Chinese spot that’s a little further afield from Liberty Avenue’s roti shops and doubles parlors. Not only is Queens fortunate to have plenty of real deal regional Chinese we boast several hybrid varieties: Indian-Chinese, Peruvian-Chinese, and Carribean-Chinese. I’m least familiar with the last of these, and truth be told my West Indian food game is leagues behind my regional Chinese repertoire. With its deep menu of Carribean-Chinese items, including more than a dozen kinds of fried rice and plenty of West Indian fare, the Nest is a great place to learn about both. Which is exactly what I did over the course of a leisurely meal with Rob last Friday. (more…)

11/14/14 12:23am

QEDCFOODIE

Let’s face it as much I profess to  hate the F-word, I am the King of the Queens Foodies. There’s just no way around it. Here’s the thing though, Queens Foodies are different than  typical foodies, who I like to think as merely trendy eaters. We don’tcare about such food faddery as Cronuts or ramen burgers. When your borough includes everything from the Kathmandu cafes and Latin American street food vendors of Jackson Heights to the regional Chinese wonderland of Flushing’s food courts to the West Indian enclave of Richmond Hill where for lunch today some pals and I ate ourselves silly on Guyanese food and Jamaican I-tal cuisine you tend to become a tad obsessive. (more…)

12/18/13 12:20pm
CM-BAKE-SHARK

Photo: Dave Cook/Eating in Translation

With the official start of winter just days away my mind turns toward sandwiches served in far warmer climes, specifically Trinidad. To celebrate Saturday’s Winter Solstice why not visit Richmond Hill’s Trini Delite and treat yourself  to a Maracas style bake and shark ($8). The sandwich takes its name from Maracas Beach where many vendors sell the local delicacy. Trini Delite offers it only on weekends, so expect to wait on line. The deejay/CD vendor  playing the hits of Soca Elvis and other  artists will keep you entertained as your appetite builds. (more…)

09/11/13 10:02am

There are a lot of sandwiches to be had in Queens, so for this week’s Sandwich Wednesday, I thought I’d call out seven of my favorites. Some are big, and some are small, but they’re all delicious and hold a special place in my heart and stomach.

Each sandwich is about the size of yiour head.

Each sandwich is about the size of your head.

1. Tortas Pumas,Tortas Neza
You’ll need to round up some amigos to help you eat this $14 behemoth from Queens’ tastiest torta truck. The ingredients include headcheese, a chorizo omelet, and fried hot dogs. 111th St. and Roosevelt Avenue, Corona

Scotch bonnet pepper sauce makes it even more bangin’.

Scotch bonnet pepper sauce makes it even more bangin’.

2. Bangamary Sandwich, Sybil’s Restaurant & Bakery
A crunchy fried fillet of bangamary—also known as the king weakfish—is tucked into a Guyanese roll. What makes this sandwich ($6) truly great though is a medley of condiments, including tamarind and tartar sauce. A bit of fruity, fiery Scotch bonnet sauce sends the whole thing into the flavor stratosphere. 132-17 Liberty Ave., Richmond Hill,  718-835-9235 (more…)

07/24/13 11:16am
Scotch bonnet pepper sauce makes it even more bangin’.

Scotch bonnet pepper sauce makes it even more bangin’.

Much of The Guyanese/Trinidadian/Indian enclave Richmond Hill remains terra incognita to me, just as Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall once was. There are dozens upon dozens of doubles joints along Liberty Avenue. I know there’s tons of good stuff in this hood, but sometimes don’t know where to start. One beacon of deliciousness I’ve found  in this vast sea of West Indian food is the bangamary sandwich ($6) at Sybil’s. It is one of the best fried fish sandwiches I have ever had. (more…)