My pal Joel has forgotten more about Thai food and culture than I may ever know. A week ago he took a break from the wintry land of Boston to spend a day with me and some other Thai food nerds in Elmhurst eating at as many Thai spots as possible. We hit half a dozen Thai Town favorites, including Plant Love House and Paet Rio.
Joel and I started out bright and early at Sugar Club, where he was keen to breakfast on “toast soldiers” and kha-fai ron, strong coffee with sweetened condensed milk. The owner presented us with two orders of kai kra ta, the Thai equivalent of a Denny’s grand slam, two sunny side up eggs, sweet pork sausage, chopped pork loaf, and ground pork. It came with toast. And for dessert more toast, with sweetened condensed milk and pandan for dessert. All the toast we had that morning was excellent, but none of it was the aforementioned toast soldiers. (more…)
One of the coolest things about pizzerias in Queens is ethnic hybridization. Sometimes it takes the form of outright fusion—witness the falafel slice—and sometimes a separate cuisine coexists with the pizza. The latter is the case at Tu Arepa Pizza Café a spot that sells slices side by side with such Venezuelan specialties as cachapas and arepas.(more…)
Marani’s chicken tabaka, crunchy and garlicky as all getout.
The running joke about the Uzbek kebab places in Rego Park is that they’re all pretty much the same restaurant. Sure some might have slightly surlier service than others or make a specialty of chebureks, , but they’re all basically about grilled meat—beefchicken, and lamb–on flat swordlike skewers. So I was intrigued when I heard about Marani, a relatively new Georgian joint.
Ever since I read about the decadent adajaruli khachapuri being served at Brooklyn Bread House in Sheepshead Bay and at Oda House in the East Village, Georgian food has been a feverish blip on my radar. So I was especially excited to learn of a restaurant right in my neighborhood that served the mythical cheese and egg bread. (more…)
With the exception of Chinese skewers and anticuchos the last time I had meat on a stick was more than a decade ago. The details are hazy, but I’m certain the meat in question was of the souvlaki variety, essentially a kebab with a hunk of bread impaled on the end. Lately I’ve been passing by Souvlaki King an Astorian purveyor of sandwiches—and you guessed it—meat on a stick. Yesterday I finally succumbed to the siren call of smoke and meat at the stand on the corner of 31st Ave. and 31st St. A red siren sits atop the stand, silently flashing. As it spins it conjures up images of brothers George and Kostas Tsampas as souvlaki EMTs, or better still super heroes. (more…)