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.

PLEASE NOTE MOTORBOAT AND THE BIG BANANA IS NOW CLOSED

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…)

07/01/13 10:28am
Bhutta (Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob). Photo by Anne Noyes Saini.

Photo by Anne Noyes Saini.

The food vendors at Mumbai’s Juhu Beach could teach the world a thing or two about corn on the cob.

Grilled over coals until the sweet kernels are nicely blackened and then rubbed with lime juice and a potent mixture of spices, corn on the cob (bhutta in Hindi) is a popular street food in India. It’s an irresistible combination of sweet, tangy, smoky, and salty-spicy flavors. (We love you, elotes, but bhutta is better!)

Like most New Yorkers, I have neither a grill—nor a place to cook outside. (Fire on a fire escape, anyone?) Instead, I grill corn on the cob over the gas range in my kitchen. (more…)

06/24/13 10:41am

Punjabis know a thing or two about beating the heat. (Summer temperatures in that region of northern India typically hover above 100 F.) Doodh Coke and shardai are two refreshing, chilled drinks that Punjabis on both sides of the India-Pakistan border guzzle when temperatures soar.

Doodh Coke. Photo by Anne Noyes Saini.

Photo by Anne Noyes Saini.

In Punjabi (and Hindi/Urdu), “doodh” means milk, and doodh Coke is exactly that: milk mixed with Coca-Cola (or Thums Up cola, if you want a fully Indian experience).

In Lahore, where my father-in-law grew up (under the British Raj), this creamy drink with a sweet, fizzy edge is a popular way to break the Ramadan fast before the iftar meal. Lahoris have also invented several variations, in which Coke is replaced by 7-Up or Mountain Dew (yes, really). (more…)