07/11/16 8:07am
strawberrythai

Auttharos’ strawberry and salted egg salad.

At first glance Auttharos, the brand spanking new Thai spot that replaced Zabb Elee in Jackson Heights looks much like its predecessor. After all the menu’s appetizers include Esan sausage and the joint keeps much the same late night hours as the once Michelin-starred Zabb.

Things start to get interesting in Auttharos’ roster of papaya salads. There are more than a dozen permutations of som tam, from the fairly farang friendly—dried shrimp and peanuts—to the funkier and fishier —pickled crab and pickled fish. The really interesting stuff appears at the  end of the list: cucumber salad with boiled egg; long bean salad with pickled fish; corn salad with salted egg, and strawberry salad with salted egg. Let’s let that last one sink in: strawberry salad with salted egg!! (more…)

08/17/15 1:10pm
La Cevicheria's got the best mixto in Rockaway Beach.

La Cevicheria’s got the best mixto in Rockaway Beach.

Few things are more refreshing and delicious on a hot summer day than a good Peruvian ceviche. Fresh fish marinated/cooked with plenty of lime served showered with red onions and with the traditional accompaniments of camote (sweet potato), cancha (toasted corn kernels), and mote (hominy corn) makes for a fine summer meal. Until last week my go-to was ceviche pescado, with ceviche mixto a distant second. Thanks to Rockaway Beach’s La Cevichería, I have a newfound respect—and craving—for ceviche mixto. (more…)

08/11/15 1:53pm
tomato)pie

Frank Pepe’s tomato pie’s a slice of summer.

The other night I found myself in New Haven on a road trip as one sometimes does. Out-of-town guests were being entertained and the question of where to eat arose. “America’s first hamburger or pizza?” came the question. As the resident food expert the tie breaking vote was put to me. “Let’s go to Frank Pepe’s for pizza,” I responded. (more…)

05/11/15 10:15am
PLANTLOVESUMMER

Sure to be this summer’s spiciest bowl of kuai tiao.

Long before I ever slurped the kuai tiao that have taken Queens by storm in places like Pye Boat Noodle, Pata Paplean, and Plant Love House I took great pride in ordering my food Thai spicy. Whether larb, curry, or som tum the resulting chili pepper overkill from uttering those two words invariably left my lips burning and nose running. These days I rarely ever utter the words “Thai spicy.” The bowl of noodles that goes by the name Summer ($12.95) currently being served at Plant Love House is far more incendiary than any dish I ever consumed during my Thai spicy days. (more…)

05/04/15 10:12am
BOHIO3

The frio frio man’s new flavor tastes like a tropical vacation via Corona.

There’s no surer sign for this Queens kid that spring’s here and summer’s around the corner than the emergence of the frio frio man, a Dominican shaved ice vendor, in the window of El Bohio Grocery. Bottles of fruit flavored syrup—tamarindo, naranja, limon, coco, and frambuesa—line the counter along with a 75-pound block of ice. By the time I arrived on a sunny late afternoon last week the glacier had been whittled down to about 25 pounds by the shuss shuss shuss of his scraper. If Benfaremo is the Lemon Ice King of Corona then this gentleman is surely Corona’s El Rey del Frio Frio Dominicano. (more…)

06/25/14 12:35pm
MUFF

Ain’t nothing better than a muffuletta!

Summer is officially here and that means beach time. It’s also my favorite time of year to pack a sandwich and go on a road trip, or in my case a fishing trip. A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to go out on Long Island Sound for an evening of fishing. It was my first time, and I was a little bit nervous especially since I’m not the world’s greatest swimmer. So as I often do I took comfort in food, in this case a muffuletta sandwich that my buddy Dave had made for each of us. (more…)

07/19/13 11:19am
Limbu pani is refreshing and spicy.

Limbu pani is refreshing and spicy.

The other day I tried out a couple of plates in Himalayan Heights from Jeff Orlick’s Ambassador Program. It was an incredibly, incredibly hot day. So I was gladdened to see a sign in Gangjong Kitchen that read “Beat the heat: Limbu Pani, Lassi, Changkhol Shake.” ‘What’s limbu pani?”, I asked Jeff. “It’s a spicy lemonade, really refreshing,” he said. So we each ordered one. (more…)

07/12/13 10:00am
Matt Gelfand and Tyson Ho prepared Eastern North Carolina BBQ.

Matt Gelfand and Tyson Ho prepared Eastern North Carolina BBQ.

Last night Edible Queens celebrated its relaunch with Summerbeat in Sunnyside Gardens Park. The event’s theme “Eat meat, drink beer,” echoed that of the magazine’s summer issue, which includes some great articles about local butchers and brewers as well as my new column, At the Table. It was a very special evening on many levels. For one thing summer has always meant cookouts. Over the years the cookouts in my life have grown in scale from backyard grilling to the smoking of hogs, but the aroma of roasting meat in summer remains as welcome to me as the sight of the first fireflies of July. (more…)

07/10/13 12:58pm
Soft shell crab amid a sea of pickles and greenery.

Soft shell crab amid a sea of pickles and greenery.

Now that I’ve made my first visit of the year to Rockaway Beach I can’t seem to get enough. As eager as I am for the waves I’ve even more stoked to support the neighborhood’s vendors and restaurants. That’s why this week’s Sandwich Wednesday is devoted to a dynamic duo of seafood sandwiches that can be found on the boardwalk.

First up, the soft shell crab po boy ($9) from Motorboat and the Big Banana. My favorite way to eat soft shell crabs is salt baked as they are prepared at Great N.Y. Noodletown in Manhattan’s Chinatown, but when I saw the soft shell crab po  boy on Motorboat’s menu I was game to try it. And I am glad I did. A meaty specimen rises like a dorsal fin from waves of pickled onions and a sea of greenery. It’s a crunchy, messy, and thoroughly satisfying sandwich. With a bag of Zapp’s potato chips ($2), it’s as fine a pre-tanning lunch as any. (more…)

07/08/13 1:35pm
That line’s for Rockway Taco not DiCosmo’s Italian Ice.

That line’s for Rockway Taco not DiCosmo’s Italian Ice.

With New York City’s early summer heat in full effect I took a trip to Rockaway Beach yesterday afternoon. I haven’t been to Rockaway since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, but could no longer resist the pull of cooling, restorative sea air. Plus the bus ride down Woodhaven Boulevard, which turns into Cross Bay Boulevard as it enters Howard Beach—land of Lenny’s Clam Bar and New Park Pizza—is one of the most pleasant in Queens. By the time the Q53 hits the Cross Bay Bridge with the vista of Jamaica Bay spread out on either side I feel as if I am en route to a minivacation. The trek to what some have called the Irish Riviera always ends in the same way: A stop at DiCosmo’s Italian Ice before boarding the bus back to civilization. (more…)