Yesterday I went on a fascinating crawl of South Indian and Pakistani hot spots in Jackson Heights with Suketu Mehta. Mehta was raised in Bombay, but grew up in Jackson Heights. He had many valuable insights about the neighborhood’s history,which will come in handy for the book I’m writing, “Queens Cuisine Along the 7 Line: World’s Fare.” Plus, he turned me on to the sev puri at Bombay Chat. I’ve taken many a tour group to the Tibetan/Indian spot for chaat,but we always get the pani puri. He also showed me the proper way to eat a paratha, with butter, raita, and pickle.
It was a hot one, almost as hot as Bombay. By the time we got to Taste of Lahore, a newish Pakistani spot on Northern Boulevard, none of our threesome felt like eating a thing. Mehta had the brilliant idea of getting a special kulfi faluda ($5). With ice cream, basil seeds or tapioca pearls,rose syrup, and noodles it’s the frozen dessert that eats like a bowl of noodles. And it’s one of my favorite things to have when it’s blazing hot. Lahore’s is the best I’ve had. It’s scented with saffron and topped with pistachios, and riddled with teeny tapioca pearls. Plus, there are plenty of noodles to suck up through the straw.
After Mehta’s pal Marina took the above shot they asked me where I got the the T-shirt I was wearing. “I made it and I sell it on Zazzle,” I replied. If you want to score one, then click on through. I hate to break it to you, though, I’ll still have more Queens gear than you. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll head to Jackson Heights for another kulfi faluda.
Taste of Lahore, 73-10 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights, 718-779-6700