01/30/14 1:44pm

If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll do the right thing.

This Sunday marks an event I have been eagerly awaiting. And I’m not talking about Super Bowl XLVIII either. Heck I’m barely sure which teams are taking to the gridiron. No I am referring to an event that has much more significance to me this frigid winter than a mere football game.  I’m talking about Groundhog Day people. I’m sure hoping that Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow because I’m not sure I can deal with six more weeks of this brutal New York City winter.

The good folks over at Rave Review Original Culinary Spirits™ are offering the little fellah some incentive to do the right thing in the form of a recipe that would make a delicious Super Bowl treat for later that day if the Groundhog sees his shadow and tries to bring us more of this nasty winter. And heck even if he doesn’t see his shadow I’m going to be sure to share this recipe with my pal Baron Ambrosia, who has eaten more than his fair share of small game. (more…)

01/24/14 12:49pm

Tuesday was as fine a winter’s day as any for a food tour.

What do you when duty calls and your battlefield is in the grips of a polar vortex? Well if your duty is to give food tours of America’s tastiest Chinatown, you soldier on. Which is precisely what I did Tuesday  morning when I showed a couple around Downtown Flushing. There was no way I was going to cancel on them, particularly since they’d travelled from Buffalo, a burg notorious for snowfall. To submit your delicious and/or snowy  finds to Photo Friday simply tag your Instagram photos with #CMSHUNGRY. And while you’re at it, check me out on Instagram, joedistefanoqns.

12/18/13 12:20pm

Photo: Dave Cook/Eating in Translation

With the official start of winter just days away my mind turns toward sandwiches served in far warmer climes, specifically Trinidad. To celebrate Saturday’s Winter Solstice why not visit Richmond Hill’s Trini Delite and treat yourself  to a Maracas style bake and shark ($8). The sandwich takes its name from Maracas Beach where many vendors sell the local delicacy. Trini Delite offers it only on weekends, so expect to wait on line. The deejay/CD vendor  playing the hits of Soca Elvis and other  artists will keep you entertained as your appetite builds. (more…)

11/25/13 10:21am

This Tibetan soup smells like stinky French cheese.

“Have you had it before?” the waitress at Phayul asked when I ordered the tsak sha chu rul ($3.99), or “beef and Tibet cheese soup.”  The note of concern in her voice was in no small part due to this dish’s rather pungent bouquet. I nodded my assent and waited for the bowl of what smells not unlike a Tibetan tallegio to arrive. (more…)

01/22/13 12:19pm
Which came first the chicken or the shredded omelet?

Which came first the chicken or the shredded omelet?

It’s hard to say which of the many, many bowls of samgyetang—Korean chicken ginseng soupto be had in Flushing’s sprawling K-town is the best. The way I look at it is, the one that’s in front of me billowing chicken vapors toward my feverish brow while the broth still bubbles is the very best at that moment in time. This belief certainly held true at Bang Ga Ne a spot on Northern Boulevard where I stopped in for a $14.36 bowl of the medicinal soup on the recommendation of my friend Dian.

Chicken ain't nuthin but a bird.

Chicken ain’t nuthin but a bird.

Topped with shredded omelet and green onion the presentation is one of the more elegant ones I’ve seen. Beneath that flourish find an entire baby chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, garlic, Chinese dates,  and of course, ginseng. Be sure to add in some of the sea salt and pepper, as the broth itself contains little if any seasoning. Some places also use chestnuts as part of the stuffing, Bang Ga Ne does not. It was not missed at all. The broth was soothing and warming and the chicken itself was delicious. At the end I was left with a pile of chicken bones and a somewhat clearer head.  It was the very best bowl of samgyetang I have had this winter. I have a feeling it will not be the last.

Bangane 165-19 Northern Blvd., Auburndale, 718-762-2799