01/01/18 9:39pm

The year that just drew to close was a year of personal challenges—coping with chemo via congee—and achievements—publishing a guidebook to Queens—all while eating my way through New York City’s most delicious and diverse borough. Herewith, are 17 from 2017. 

1. Most Super Soup Dumplings
I’ve been a fan of Helen You’s dumplings since long before she became the empress of Dumpling Galaxy. My favorite at Tianjin Dumpling house in Golden Mall remains the lamb and green squash. Yang rou xiao long bao, or lamb soup dumplings, are one of the off-menu stars at Dumpling Galaxy. The little packages bursting with unctuous lamb broth are so good that they have become a  staple of my Flushing Chinatown food tours. Dumpling Galaxy, 42-35 Main St., Flushing, 718-461-0808

2. Choicest Chang Fen
I cut my teeth on Cantonese steam rice rolls at Mei Lei Wah in Manhattan’s Chinatown, so this breakfast staple will always have a special place in my heart and stomach. About a year ago Joe’s Steam Rice Roll opened in downtown Flushing and I knew right away that it was somethings special. For one thing he’s grinding fresh rice as opposed to using rice flour like everybody else in New York City, which imparts a delicate flavor and texture. Turns out that Joe himself went to Guangzhou to learn his craft and brought the equipment back with him. My favorite is the shrimp and egg with green onion. Joe’s Steam Rice Roll, 136-21 Roosevelt Ave., #A1, Flushing

3. Duckiest Thai Arancini
OK fine, they’re not quite Italian rice balls, but the trio of crispy sticky rice balls served with Thailand Center Point’s larb duck with crispy rice ($13.95) do a great job of soaking up the piquant sauce. The shredded meat—mixed with roasted rice powder and shot through with herbs and just the right amount of chilies—is superb. Thailand’s Center Point, 63-19 39th Avenue, Woodside, 718-651-6888 (more…)

01/28/13 12:05pm
Ea tyour heart out Peruvian style.

Eat your heart out Peruvian style.

After ceviche, my next favorite Peruvian food would have to be anticuchos, skewers of grilled beef heart. In my home borough of Queens there are more Peruvian restaurants to grab this carnivore’s delight than once could shake a stick at. The best anticuchos I’ve had don’t come from a restaurant in Queens, though.  They come from a Peruvian street cart in Manhhatan’s Union Square.

Morocho Peruvian serves up two skewers, with purple Peruvian potatoes, and the kernels of hominy corn known as choclo for $6. The secret behind these succulent skewers of  is that they are veal heart rather than the beef heart found elsewhere. A lengthy marination in Peruvian aji panca peppers, soy sauce and oregano makes them even more toothsome. Though some would say it is not quite as romantic as chocolate, I think this tender veal heart makes for a fine St. Valentine’s Day snack.

 Morocho Peruvian Fusion, 1 Union Square West @ West 14th St., 646-330-1951