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Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I noticed today that Ched Rudy decided to add ham croissants to the repertoire. They are delectable! A bit of onion, some thinly sliced tomato and some...you guessed it...ham. The quality of the croissant is excellent. It's a perfect snack. Strangely enough, I happened to be at Payard over the weekend and although the eclairs DO look very similar in their slender elegant way, I have to say Rudy's are much better. I appreciate the fact that they are not nearly as sweet.

1 day ago
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Best St. Joseph's Day pastry (sfingi di San Giuseppe) in NYC?

Thanks for the Robicelli recommendation. I'm a staunch traditionalist with my sfingi and believe D'Aquila's to be the best, however I looked at Robicelli's Facebook page after reading his post and saw the photos of their sfingi and they look absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely partake next year! Grazie Mille.

Mar 25, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Ramen restaurant in Flushing

There is Hashi Ramen and Izakaya on 192nd and Northern right down the block from Pier 1 Imports, but you would need to take a bus from the 7 train, and it's really not worth it. I've eaten there a few times because I work very close by, and although it's fine for a quick lunch, it is not destination dining by any means. The ramen has a cup soup taste for sure; we're not talking bones simmering for hours here. The pork belly one with an egg is decent if you really need to sate a yen, but I personally wait until I can get to Minca, Ippudo, or Hide-Chan in NYC. Also looking forward to MU in LIC.

Mar 19, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Mu Ramen LIC

Still haven't been to Mu. I've enjoyed reading this thread. How long can the three of us expect to wait on a Friday evening?

Mar 18, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

Food court is not destination dining by any means. Not yet at least. It's nice and warm upstairs and fairly clean, however the dining options are just so so. I know the owner is trying to bring in some more vendors. I was happy to see the Korean stalwart Song Family Foods represented and I told the lovely El Salavdoran girl who was preparing the noodle soup at the Chinese kiosk that she should think about a pupusa kiosk especially now that El Rancho has aclosed and so many El Salvadorans shop there.

I was there again today and the eclairs were so outstanding as always. I think I like them so much more than others because they are tailor-made to an Asian palate. Not too sweet. Intentionally so. I'm not Asian, but I don't like things cloyingly sweet . It works for me!

Mar 16, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I go in the mornings so the coffee is always fresh then. I love the beans they are using. Two words: pistachio croissant. Trust me on this one. I have been buying their entire inventory every morning and giving them out to neighbors and friends because I love them so much and I want to guarantee the longevity. They are THAT good. As is the pistachio eclair. I am completely obsessed.

Mar 09, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I go in the afternoons around at about 1pmish. After 8 pm it's BOGO. The chocolate cake is very ordinary. The eclairs and croissants are anything but.

Mar 08, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

The coffee is also soooo smooth. Finally got the name. Reminds me of Phlly's Colombe D'Or.

Mar 06, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I am blown away more people haven't been all over this. It's outrageous. Best thing the neighborhood has seen in a decade at least in the way of confections. Wish this guy could've bought the old Stork's and had an actual brick-and-mortar. I have absolutely no idea how long he will be here, but I plan to take advantage for as long as I can. Last night, I took a walk there during the snowfall. Noticed this sign. Ended up getting a hell of a lot more than the three eclairs I had anticipated on!

Mar 06, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs
1

I am looking for a photo of Lum's Chinese restaurant in flushing.

Lum's BBQ beef appetizer was a favorite of mine as a young child! A very vivid memory of my youth. You will have more luck if you join the Facebook group "you know your from Flushing if..." ( the "your" is spelled that way). There are about 6300 members and photos such as these are posted all the time. Good luck!

Mar 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

This stuff KILLS all those places. It's Payard in my backyard ;)

Mar 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

Definitely an OMG situation. The stuff is SUBLIME. I wrote about this on my Facebook page and then sent an email to my non-Facebook friends, and about a dozen have gone today and have thanked me. Those almond and pistachio croissant shebangs. Epiphany. The coffee beans they use are outstanding,too. I thought Colombe D'Or, but when they showed me the bag it was an Italian brand that begins with a "C" I believe. Really smooth. I am so scared for myself considering the proximity of this place to my home!

Mar 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

Went back again this afternoon. The proximity to my home can only be a bad thing and considering I just ran my first seven minute mile this week, the timing of this all is just too bizarre!

Mar 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

So this morning, I decided I needed to have do miao, or baby pea shoots, for a dinner I am making to officially bid adieu to the lunar new year. I decided to run out to the New Age Market down the block (site of the former UA Quartet theater) to pick them up very early because I have a busy day with friends and work. As is always the case there, a lovely man approached me and asks if there is anything in particular that I need, any product requests, or any suggestions for the supermarket. This, you should know, is a retail space that has changed hands many times over the last four years. The present owners are trying to make it into more of a Whole Foods layout-wise while maintaining better than average quality and rock bottom prices to make both its Asian and Caucasian clientele happy.

I decide to compliment this man, Peter, on how he has brought outposts of Mama Lee and Song's Family Food to the supermarket's food court and the upstairs eating area he has built etc. And then I casually mention how gorgeous the pastries are that are being sold at the front of the store and how when I had seen them last week and asked about them, no one had seemed to know much about them. I told him the eclairs look exactly like those served at Manhattan's Francois Payard's, and what he said next is when things got to be very interesting: "That's because they are."

Say what?! One thing leads to another, and I am told everything is made "in house" above the supermarket in a state of the art bakery. Within moments I am following him to the back of the store, up the stairs and to the second floor. Doors are flung open, and I find myself far from the bustle of Northern Boulevard in an impeccable, commercial kitchen where there is a charming Frenchman in chefs whites smiling at me. It seems like but a moment that we chat, but when I look at my watch I see an hour has passed, and this is what I have learned and why you should RUN not walk to taste these confections.

The chef is Rudolf Merlin. "Rudy" as he prefers to be called. He has trained under Payard and has been lured from Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace where he has been the executive pastry chef for quite some time to Flushing, Queens by these supermarket moguls who hope to create a pastry brand to compete with Paris Baguette and Tous Les Jours. Trust me, Peter and his family have Big Plans to expand New Age Market and are already ground breaking on other sites. Rudy is test running his confections here in this particular supermarket. He was supposed to go to Malaysia or Hong Kong, but this offer enticed him and so here he is every day making croissants and eclairs and tarts and cakes tweaked to the palates of Flushing's clientele. And no one seems to know about him...yet.

Everything we tasted was sublime. Really. I love that they are offering mini versions of his eclairs so people don't have to commit to buying the full priced larger ones. Rudi and his charismatic and dynamic personality and gorgeous FRENCH accent made my whole day! As it's just begun. Sadly, you most likely won't even see him if you go in because the pastries are sold in the front of the store and he is all the way upstairs in his hidden kitchen laboratory. Go and try an eclair. The French coffee is outstanding too! You can even commission a cake if I am about to do for my husband's upcoming birthday. A crisp layered Napoleon or dark chocolate mousse as the chef suggested. I overheard an El Salvadoran woman as she was buying her treats, "Que Rico! La calidad es increible!" And I agree unequivocally. Decadent and incredible quality.

I think maybe I don't need even to go to Cannelle anymore. I can be here in under two minutes. This whole little experience was so surreal. Check it out!

Favorite savory zongzi in Flushing?

Lwong, if you are continuing to follow, these are the **best** zongzi. Made by a sweet poh poh in Brooklyn, hauled in a train to her renowned physician daughter's office in Flushing and then delivered to me on he good doctor's way back to Sands Point. Yum! 30 of them without the egg yolk just the way my chowpup likes them! I think your extensive zongzi response to me is on another thread I had begun writing about the same time. Hoping you will still see this. Wish there was a tag option.

Mar 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Jongro Korean BBQ Franchise to Open in Former McDonald's in Murray Hill Shopping Center

Just noticed the signage go up today on my walk to the library. Should be interesting. They are planning to open in Bayside and Fort Lee by the end of the year as well.

Feb 27, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Cajun Korean on Northern in Douglaston?

Seems to be a trend here in Queens. I was driving down Northern toward Union street and on the same side as the Flushing Y a couple of blocks up there was what looked to be a huge grand opening for a Cajun Korean restaurant. Big awning with Cajun something or another written across it. Just found it on Yelp: O Crab. Haven't been yet, but will be down there to check it out very soon.

Feb 27, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Mr. Nilsson Restaurant in LIC

Our CSA always advises us to use the tops! Carrot top pesto and "gremolata" etc. They are very tasty!

Feb 27, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Mr. Nilsson Restaurant in LIC

Thanks for this excellent review! I will be sure to check it out in the coming weeks.

Feb 26, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Most Sumptuous Crab dish in Flushing?

I have. Love it!

Feb 19, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Most Sumptuous Crab dish in Flushing?

I generally go to Canton Gourmet and get the crab rice and the largest Dungeness crab possible from the tank and have it prepared salt and pepper style. I'm bringing a true crab aficionado to a lunch next week and am wondering where my fellow 'hounds would steer me.

Thanks in advance.

Wishing you a healthy and prosperous year of the goat/sheep/ram!

Lisa

Feb 19, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Cajun Korean on Northern in Douglaston?

Love Crazy Crab, but just the Burmese stuff.

Feb 15, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Cajun Korean on Northern in Douglaston?

Anyone been? Spotted it today for the first time. Itz Fire. Was imagining bulgogi muffeltta and shrimp and grits with gochuchang etc but a cursory look through some Yelp reviews looks like it might be more wings-centered.

Feb 14, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Flushing Chinatown "Jian Bing" Street Vendor

Video couldn't be uploaded but here's the photo.

Feb 06, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Flushing Chinatown "Jian Bing" Street Vendor

I had one today in the newly located Corner 28 on 40th Road. I will try to upload the video. It was delcious and used a big hunk of fried wonton in the center.

Feb 05, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs
1

Easter Sunday Brunch/ Lunch Suggestions?

Yikes. Wasn't planning on suits or hats. Dinner jackets for the men but casual chic sort of thing. Like we'd dress for Galtoire's during any weekend but some pastel shirts thrown in there if we're lucky.

Feb 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Easter Sunday Brunch/ Lunch Suggestions?

Thanks so much TaTee! This was just a sort of information I was seeking. Haven't been to Antoine's since my first visit many years ago. I will definitely have a look at the menu. Same for Muriel's and Arnaud's. My loving-year-old is very excited about the vintage cars. Between this and the Pelicans game, we definitely picked a good time to come :) Now just to hope we get to second line it at least once on this trip! Blessings to you and thanks again for the help.

Feb 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Easter Sunday Brunch/ Lunch Suggestions?

I can barely contain my excitement. Headed to my beloved NOLA for Easter break with my husband and 11 year old and my mom and dad as we are treating them to a long weekend in honor of my father's 70th birthday. What better American city in which to celebrate life itself!

We know your beautiful city fairly well and have eaten everywhere from Cochon, Bayona, and Herbsaint to Galatoire's, Bon Ton, Drago's, Liuzza's and everything in between. All the touristy stuff and so many of the local faves thanks to advice gleaned over the years on these very boards.

I was thinking Commander's Palace for Easter brunch just for the iconic factor and the fact that it would put us in the Garden District for a stroll. Completely booked though. I have a back up at Galatorie's at noon but am wondering if there is anywhere else you would consider appropriate for a lovely Sunday brunch/lunch? Something classic and memorable, not necessarily fancy or formal etc.

Thanks in advance,
Lisa

Feb 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

American Style Breakfast in Flushing

Also Kane's on College Point Blvd, but like Pop's it is not Asian. It's a local institution though.

Jan 29, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Help in Selecting a Queens Venue for my Alma Mater's 30th Anniversary

Always a pleasure to hear from the great Lwong. Thank you for the detailed response. I am going to stick to my students' zongzi which is bestowed to me seasonally. The quality is so high. And they are made with love which I can honestly taste in each bite. These days I've been getting a lot of lobakgao flecked with seaweed and tiny dried shrimp. The chowpup likes this sliced up and pan fried for breakfast as well, but nowhere near as much as his beloved zongzi. One student brings us bags of zongzi from both his maternal AND paternal grandmas. One wraps them pyramid style, the other in rectangular packages. One stuffs them with pork belly, taro and peanuts, the other with braised pork and shiitake mushrooms.My son is very opinionated about his zongzi and prefers the latter without the peanuts although he is happy to have any at all.

I am not a big fan of Mulan. I have hosted a couple of banquets there as well as attended a few weddings and have never been impressed. All style no substance, I feel. And even the style is waning a bit from the last I saw.

Wishing you and yours a most auspicious new year filled with lots of deliciousness!

Jan 28, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs