10/27/17 1:12am

7 Queens Restaurants That Deserve a Michelin Bib Gourmand

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

The knishwich. It’s a beautiful thing.


2. Ben’s Best
I’m glad to see that Lower East Side institution Katz’s Delicatessen remains on the Bib Gourmand list, but Queens has a venerable deli, also. It’s called Ben’s Best, and while it’s not quite as old as Katz’s it’s every bit as good with a pastrami that owner Jay Parker likens to “cotton candy.” 96-40 Queens Blvd., Rego Park, 718-897-1700

3. Awang Kitchen
The menu at what is arguably the best Indonesian spot  in New York City features all manner of delicacies, including bebek goreng sambel ijo, a succulent fried duck with roast green chili sambal, and tempeh mendoan, fritters that made me a fan of fermented soybeans. Be sure to check the extensive specials board which features dishes from all over Indonesia. 84-05 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst, 347-492-9264

4. Shun Wong
Before it became the best neighborhood in New York City for Southeast Asian cuisine Elmhurst was a Chinatown, and it still is. Cantonese classic Shun Wong has wonderful roast meats, soups, and noodle dishes. I’m partial to their Hong Kong lo mein. 81-25 Broadway, Elmhurst, 718 -779-3330

Marani’s dairy kitchen churns out the decadent Georgian cheese bread known as khachapuri.

5. Marani 
Play upstairs downstairs at this kosher Georgian, which has the distinction of having a meat kitchen upstairs where you’ll find kebabs and khinkali—aka Soviet xiao long bao—and a dairy kitchen that specializes in the decadent cheese pies known as khachapuri. 97-26 63rd Rd., Rego Park, (718) 569-0600

6. Khao Kang
With a steam table that includes from crispy pork with fish sauce to fiery jungle curry this Thai answer to the rice and three recalls the good old days of Sripraphai. It’s a staple on my tours of SEA Elmhurst. 76-20 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst, 718-662-8721

Geo Si Gi’s soul warming kimchi gamjatang.

7. Geo Si Gi
The Koreatown that runs eastward along Northern Boulevard for more than 70 blocks is vast, so vast that I call it K-tropolis. One of my favorite spots Geo Si Gi, specialises in the soul-warming pork spine casserole known as gamjatang. 152-28 Northern Blvd., Flushing, 718-888-0001

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