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Flushing walking food tour + restaurant recommendations please (researched)!!

As promised, I returned for foodie crawl part 2 yesterday and made some new discoveries. The xiao long bao (soup dumplings, written simply as "steamed pork dumplings" on the menu at Nan Xiang on Prince Street were moaningly, exquisitely good. They're made to order, so the soup inside will definitely burn your lips and mouth when you open the first dumpling, but it's so-o-o-o-o worth it for the rich broth that pours into your spoon and mixes with the dark vinegar and strands of ginger. The purses of dough could not be more delicious or enjoyable in their texture: I ate the whole entire order, all by myself, and find I'm dreaming about them today. The food at other tables also looked very good, so next time I hope I can drag a few friends there with me and try more.

White Bear: just as all the posts directed, I ordered the #6 wontons in hot oil. They were made fresh to order and took a while, and while the quantity was significant, the flavor was nonexistent. No heat, no sesame, nothing but the saltiness of the pickled vegetable scattered on top. I LOVE wontons in red/hot oil, and I was so enormously disappointed by this long-awaited version.

Ten Ren Tea: the best bubble/tapioca pearl tea I've ever had. Ten Ren is serious about their tea, and every drink was carefully made with ladles of tapioca pearls and jiggers of milk or syrup to flavor the tea. They are one of the most reasonably-priced bubble tea parlors, I've found, and the space is clean and bright.

One last "tip:" SkyFoods supermarket, at the end of Roosevelt Avenue (@ College Point) might be the best supermarket I've ever been in, anywhere. It is the size of a football field with high, wide aisles, and if you're looking for anything Asian and comestible of any particular brand, you will likely find it here. All I needed was a translator/tourguide, and I would have stayed for hours.

Indiefoodie - did you go to Flushing? Please report back if you did!

Jan 26, 2013
Travels4Food in Outer Boroughs

Flushing walking food tour + restaurant recommendations please (researched)!!

I did something of this very sort yesterday, and while the food quality varied, I had SO much fun. It was just me, so my choices were somewhat limited, but here's what I tried and what I thought:

Corner 28: I started here because I found it right off the 7 train on Main Avenue. I thought the buns were terrific: the bread is insanely fluffy and fresh, and there's not much that's more comforting than eating a steaming, fresh peking duck bun on a cold day.

New World Mall: I'll give it a big thumbs sideways. It's basically a mall food court, only most of the stalls are Asian, so the quality is so-so. I did go to Tian Fu (stall # 24) and pick out ingredients for a dry stir-fry, and while it was fun and I highly recommend adding rice cakes, it was so salty I could barely get through the first few bites. They may have sprinkled MSG or salt on top, though, because some of the under-layer was less saline.

Kung Fu Tea was excellent - I had a taro milk green tea, and it was complex and delicious.

White Bear was closed for the day.

I'll be heading back for another "crawl" next Friday, so I'll report back with more. Thanks so much for all the research - I stand (and eat) on the shoulders of giants!

Jan 17, 2013
Travels4Food in Outer Boroughs

Pho Mai Bridgeport CT - Opinions?

This place is Vietnam Palace, and we went there a couple of days ago. The spring rolls were underwhelming - no lettuce or mint with which to wrap them, and more of a Chinese spring roll wrapper than the bubbly rice-based one I'm accustomed to. The Pho, however, was excellent, in my opinion. Beefy, rich, little beads of fat along the edges of the voluminous bowl, but also redolent of star anise and whatever else makes it slightly sweet and richly savory at the same time. I got the "dac biet," which had an huge tangle of rice noodles plus all the meats - tendon, tripe, brisket and flank - all of which were delicious and clean-tasting. As I hoped, it was served with a pile of mint, basil, sprouts and lime wedges, plus sriracha on the side. I loved it and am eager to return many times as winter settles in CT.

Best Korean restaurant

I assume you've already gotten the g.c., but the owners of Dok Suni also own Do Hwa on Carmine Street, and I like it much better - I think the food quality is superior, and it's a cooler and more comfortable setting. I also just read about Jup She at 171 Grand Street, but I can't vouch for that one...yet.

Apr 16, 2010
Travels4Food in Outer Boroughs

Best Korean Spicy Squid with Vegetables?

Just wanted to say thanks for the CDG rec - I went last week, and it was very, very good. They serve a hot stone rice bowl with spicy squid that didn't have quite enough of the red pepper sauce for me (and they served it with a very salty, soy-based liquid on the side), but I simply asked for more and they gave it to me. Maybe they made it less spicy for non-Korean tastebuds? At any rate, the panchan were very fresh, particularly the kimchi and the tofu, and I very much enjoyed my meal.

Apr 16, 2010
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Matzo Brittle

This can be made with saltines throughout the rest of the year, and it really, truly is addictive. I've never used brown sugar, but I like the idea. It's nearly fool-proof as long as you don't over-cook the caramel-cracker mixture. Also, once you've turned off the oven and sprinkled on the chocolate chips, you can stick the pan back in the oven for a minute or so to help the melting process along.

Apr 16, 2010
Travels4Food in Recipes

The Best Carts?

You can still have a ton of food fun for not a lot of $$. I second the banh mi sandwich suggestion: they're simply not to be missed. My favorite is Banh Mi So 1 on Broome Street between Bowery and Elizabeth - get the Dac Biet and tell them how spicy you like it. It will set you back $3.95 and is very likely to be the best sandwich you've ever had in your life. Also, on Mott Street north of Canal on the east side of the street is a tiny restaurant called Wing Wong that has spectacular Chinese roast meats over rice with a garlic/ginger puree for only about $5, I think. You can sit down, get free tea, and enjoy really delicious roast pork, chicken, or duck. Their dumpling soup is delicious and cheap, as well.

Mar 14, 2010
Travels4Food in Manhattan

I HAVE FOUND THE BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT IN NYC!!!

That's so interesting: my favorite's always been Pho Tay Ho, which is in Bensonhurst - 2351 86th Street. Have you been there? How do these two compare for other folks? I have not had better food than at this humble restaurant, and it's also incredibly inexpensive. Their avocado shakes are also outstanding.

Mar 13, 2010
Travels4Food in Outer Boroughs

Malaysian restaurants in NYC

While I'm not sure the repeated gwailo references were necessary (for better or worse, gwailo patronage keeps Malaysian restaurants open in Manhattan, and I for one am grateful for that), this thread was really helpful. I prefer the chendol at Nyonya to that of New Malaysia, but I felt like an insider finding this alleyway restaurant, and their squid Malay style was spectacular - a riot of really fresh, interesting ingredients that definitely included Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce). There was a leaf in the mix that looked like a cross between basil and mint, but had an almost candylike complexity - pandan leaf, maybe? At any rate, I will try some of the other dishes next time I go. Thanks for the tip!

Mar 13, 2010
Travels4Food in Manhattan

The Best Ojingeo Bokkeum - Korean Spicy Stir Fried Squid - in Manhattan?

Hi, all - this may be my very favorite dish in the world, and I've had it at Kunjip, Han Bat, Dok Suni, and a few other places, but would love to know others' favorite spots for this. Thanks!

Mar 05, 2010
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Coconut M&M's in Westchester?

Coconut M&Ms taste like suntan lotion with a candy coating. I thought they were awful.

New to Fairfield, CT from Manhattan - your favorite restaurants?

I moved about a month ago, but have been commuting back and forth for about a year. Here are some of the places worth checking out:

Frank Pepe's pizza is outstanding. Truly, mouth-wateringly outstanding. I think it's around Exit 22 off 95. Try the white clam pie and a traditional with fresh garlic and any other toppings - the edges of their pies are irregular (rather than being perfectly round) and nicely charred, and they slice the pies randomly, so you can grab big or little slices as your appetite demands.

Sakura of Japan in Westport on Post Road is excellent, though pricey.

Pho Mekong, a tiny hole in the wall on the right side of the Post Road as you're driving from Fairfield to Westport is outstanding and very cute - I really want to support them more. Vietnamese/Thai food.

Westfair seafood - also on the Post Road - someone called this place a "divey little gem," and I absolutely concur. Fantastic fried seafood, good steamers.

The Black Duck in Westport - best steamers and Clams Casino I've ever had in a restaurant. Lobster roll looks fantastic, all in this fun, very casual spot on the water in Westport. The place was reviewed on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Quattro Pazzi - very solid Italian, great wine list, not too expensive by Fairfield standards.

Thanks for posting this question - I can't wait to try others' suggestions!

3 best farmer's markets in Manhattan?

I concur that the GAP market on Saturdays is terrific. I live in upstate NY now, and I still miss that market. Go early for more fish choices @ Blue Moon - they sell out quick. I know you said besides Union Square, but the Saturday market has a vintner I also love and miss, though at the moment I can't remember the name.

Aug 20, 2009
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Where is the Best Dim Sum in Manhattan? [Moved from The Best board]

Thanks to this site, I've been to Chinatown Brasserie and Dim Sum GoGo in the past two weeks. I'm almost saddened to say, C.B had it all over DSGG - the flavors were much more complex, the ingredients fresher. It was almost twice as expensive, but so delicious it may have spoiled me for traditional Chinatown dim sum. It was also fun to sit outside and sip a rhubarb bellini while waiting for our various dumpling selections. Everything we ordered was delicious - not a disappointment in the bunch. The sticky rice in lotus or banana leaf might have had my least favorite flavor overall, but it was still very high quality.

Jun 09, 2009
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Spring garlic

They're not the same thing as scapes: scapes are this very thin, green, tubular part of the garlic greenery - picked from the middle of the stalk, I think - that you can chop up and eat, whereas spring garlic is the entire stalk - you pull it out of the earth as you would bulb garlic. Scapes are delicate and wonderful used in place of garlic and should be arriving at farmers' markets soon - you'll see a basket full of these long, pig's-tail curly, green, tubular things with a bit of a single leaf stalk at the end. Hope that helps.

May 22, 2009
Travels4Food in Home Cooking

Num Pang reports?

I tried the Duroc pork sandwich and was...underwhelmed. For $7.20 I got a double-fist-sized sandwich with a heavy, unctuous filling offset slightly by the sprinkling of julienned pickled carrots and fresh cilantro. I liked neither the pork's flavor nor its texture. I might at some point try another sandwich, but give me a $3.95 banh mi from Broome Street any day.

Apr 14, 2009
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Where do you go for Malaysian cuisine?

Nyonya is my favorite, as well. Try the whole red snapper with Thai sauce, pearl noodles, hainanese chicken over rice, the curried chicken with rice, and DEFINITELY order the chendol with your dinner: it's the best part of eating Malaysian food.

Mar 26, 2009
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Best Korean Spicy Squid with Vegetables?

I'm a little addicted to this dish, I'm afraid, and while I've tried it at many restaurants, so far one hasn't really stood out from the rest. Been to Han Bat, to Dok Suni, to Kunjip, Do Hwa and Woo Chon - of the bunch, Dok Suni and Do Hwa were the best, though I've not been to either in awhile. Would love the wisdom of the group on this one.

Feb 24, 2009
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Romantic Dinner Near Fairfield, CT?

My (new) girlfriend lives in Southport, CT, and we're looking for a place to eat on Valentine's Day. Cost does not matter, but food quality and ambiance do, tremendously. Also, preferably a place where the service falls on the friendly rather than the affected side. She's not as adventuresome an eater as I, so probably we'd want to stick with American, Italian, or Asian, though I'm open to other suggestions. Thanks, all!

BTW, any restaurants or food links for this area are welcome.

The Number One BEST Thai Restaurant in NYC

Are you looking for something with ambiance? The best place - Sripraphai - has none, but the food is outstanding. It's also very cheap, so you'll only impress someone who loves authentic holes-in-the-wall (personally, that would be my kind of evening), but it's a fun adventure and the food is truly unparalleled. If you want fancy Thai, you can go to Spice Market, though they're more Pan-Asian, I think, and honestly the food isn't as good.

If price really doesn't matter and you've got some time on your hands, get on a plane to Bangkok, then transfer to a plane to Phuket, and go to Patong Seafood. They'll let you pick out your own squid and crabs and cook them in the most flavorful curry you've ever imagined.

Jul 26, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

great pernil in Brooklyn for large party

El Castillo de Jagua on the corner of Flatbush and Park Place. Cheap and SO good!

Jul 13, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Ting grapefruit soda - preferably Jamaican grocery...

Anywhere on Church Street around Parkside Avenue in Brooklyn, Christie's Jamaican Patties on Flatbush Avenue around 8th Ave., and probably any Golden Krust (there's one on 14th St. between 6th and 5th Aves in Manhattan).

Jul 13, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Best Cupcakes in Tri-state area

You know, you'd think it wouldn't be that difficult to make a phenomenal cupcake - don't overcook the cake, put some good icing on it. Batch sucks - the cake is too dense and the flavors aren't as good as they sound. Magnolia's icing could rot my teeth in one bite. Citarella's on 6th and 9th actually has terrific cupcakes if you like buttercream icing. I don't care for Crumbs at all - I don't think their cupcakes have any flavor. Two Little Red Hens in Brooklyn used to have outrageous cupcakes, but I think they're under new ownership - the cupcakes are dry and flavorless.

Jul 13, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Best Birthday Dinner for a foodie couple

Either Momofuku Ko with the $50 wine pairing or The Tasting Room, though I'll admit I've not been there since it moved to it's new and bigger location. The tasting menu at Babbo is wonderful, too - I think the key is to stretch yourself by having a meal that offers a range of experiences in one "meal."

If you're thinking of taking a few people with you, Peking Duck at The Nice Restaurant in Chinatown is also delightful.

Jul 13, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Best Muffins?

Will you travel to Brooklyn? Blue Sky Bakery on 5th Avenue has the best I've ever had, and I'm a major muffin researcher. They're baked fresh all day, so chances are you'll get a peach-raspberry or orange-carrot fresh out of the oven. They're tender and fluffy and outrageous.

Jul 08, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Batch

I went last week and was so vastly disappointed! I got two cupcakes - the all-chocolate and a lemon-yuzu. The lemon cake was so dense it seemed either a) stale, b) incorrectly mixed (i.e. twice the flour), or c) like someone else's idea of a good cupcake. The chocolate flavor had a chemical tinge and the only good flavor came from the three tiny chocolate candies on top. Total on the 2 cupcakes came to $6.80, which I was accepting based on the premise that they would be delicious. But I threw them both away after two bites.

Jul 08, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

When and where for Heirloom Tomatoes?

I moved upstate from NYC a couple years ago, and until then I got my fix at the farmer's markets, particularly the market in Union Square. The earliest tomatoes come in from NJ and I don't think they're quite ready yet, but the weather's been garden-perfect, so there should be an amazing crop this year. Start looking in a week or two, and the markets will have them until first frost, whenever that might be.

The best heirlooms I've had from the markets are the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, which are round (not pear-shaped), a lovely soft orange color and so sweet you almost can't believe you're eating a tomato; and brandywines, which are more of a beefsteak size and vary in color from a pinky-red to a striated green and deep pink. Enjoy!

Jul 06, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

ISO mochi ice cream other than Mikawaya

On the west side of Mott Street about 3 doors down from Haagen Dazs (heading south on Mott - if you hit Mosco you've gone too far) is a tea house that serves 3 mochi balls in a serving - one green tea, one mango, and one vanilla, and I think they're wonderful - good ice cream, great mochi texture.

Jul 06, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko wine pairing

I went last night for the first time, did the $50 pairing at the hostess' recommendation (the $150 pairing would have been lost on me), and profusely enjoyed all but one wine, a very turpentine-y pinot noir. When I told her I didn't care for it, she upgraded me, free of charge, to a Rioja for another dish.

I had a wonderful time. I am small and not much of a drinker, and by consuming a fair amount of water and pretty much licking the bowl on most of the dishes, I walked out a little high but with all my faculties. There are two sake-like beverages, a DELIGHTFUL ale from Maine, a sparkling blush, a very dense white, two dry reds, and one sherry-like dessert wine. It was a pleasure all the way around.

Jul 05, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan

Insomnia Cookies

Is a new bakery at 50 West 8th Street, serving various types of cookies and brownies. Regular-size cookies are .90 each, giant cookies are $2, brownies are a dollar each and then, I think, .29 for each possible topping (nuts, chips, m&ms, etc.). I tried their peanut butter, chocolate chunk, and white chocolate macadamia, and here were my thoughts:

All warm, soft, golden-tan in color, and salty/sweet. Peanut butter cookies are usually very disappointing for me, as I am a pb fanatic and they're usually not peanutbuttery enough for me. These, however, had a lot of pb flavor, and the pb chips they used were not bad. They were also the least sweet of the three, which made me like them more.

The chocolate chunk had tons of dark/semi-sweet chocolate chunks that pulled like warm chocolate taffy when I broke pieces off. The chocolate was not the best quality I've had, but there was a substantial amount. This cookie was a little too cloyingly sweet for me, but I very often find that to be the case with cc cookies.

The white chocolate macadamia was heavenly. The white chocolate chips added a creamy, buttery complexity to the cookie flavor and texture, and there was a subtle coconut flavor, as well. Rich but not overpowering, studded with macadamia pieces (though there could maybe have been a few more of these), I really savored this one.

All in all, I'll look forward to returning when I'm in the mood for cookies again. The service was a little uneven, but all you have to do is pick 'em and pay for 'em, so it doesn't so much matter. Oh, and they have 4 different milk options in a mini fridge (chocolate, skim, 2%, and whole, I think).

Apr 22, 2008
Travels4Food in Manhattan