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What dish from which restaurant do you crave most often? What's the runner-up?

Oh yeah, it's a great dish. Haven't had it at Grand Sichuan St. Marks, but have really enjoyed it at various Queens places.

Speaking of Sichuan, I could eat Lan Sheng's cold sesame noodles every day and Spicy & Tasty's Home Style Lamb every other day.

Aug 04, 2015
Polecat in Manhattan
1

What dish from which restaurant do you crave most often? What's the runner-up?

It's all those peppers. They're a dark master, like someone standing at the back of a dark alley.

You know you shouldn't, but you approach them anyway.

Aug 04, 2015
Polecat in Manhattan
1

What's good at Kung Fu besides the XLB

Erica,
Re the vegetarian chicken: if you yelp this restaurant, photo # 41 - at least on my I-phone app - shows you what the dish looks like, so next time you can just point to it behind the glass counter up front.
P

Jun 09, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

What's good at Kung Fu besides the XLB

Will do, Erica and Stuart. It's on my list to try.
P.

Jun 02, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

What's good at Kung Fu besides the XLB

I've found noodles - specifically soup noodles - to be a weak link here.
P

Jun 02, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

What's good at Kung Fu besides the XLB

Hi Erica,
Haven't been in a while so don't have the menu in mind. I pointed to the dish behind glass and liked it. Always assumed it was listed as a tofu dish but the waiter pointed it out as being listed as chicken.

Will check it out next time I'm over there.

Wine chicken is also good, as is the sliced beef with the spicy sauce that isn't so spicy. Have you tried those?

P

Jun 02, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Gui Lin Mi Fen - Flushing

Yeah, downtown Flushing is brutal. That block alone is crawling with eateries. It's very easy, on top of that, to miss the place.

The food is good but different, which means it's not in everyone's comfort zone - that makes it even tougher.

Been meaning to try the smoked fish bowl; will try and get there soon.

May 26, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Eim Khao Mun Kai: A Hainanese Chicken Rice specialist sets up shop in Elmhurst

No, Miss M. Haven't had it to go, but my wife - who has been dreaming about this dish - asked the guy and he said they wrap it. They might separate out the pooled liquid though, to keep it from getting soggy en route.

Give it a go. They do an excellent job wrapping the Khao Mun Kai, in paper, SEA style, so you may be in luck.

I'd do my best, though, to eat it on site if you can manage it. It's a scene-of-the-crime dish- so damn sinful you don't want to be caught red-handed with the stuff.

P

May 09, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Eim Khao Mun Kai: A Hainanese Chicken Rice specialist sets up shop in Elmhurst

Fun fact: a google image search for kuay tiew lui suan brings up a Thai version of Vietnamese summer rolls.

Trust me- that's not what they're serving here.

P

May 08, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Eim Khao Mun Kai: A Hainanese Chicken Rice specialist sets up shop in Elmhurst

Just tried a noodle dish here called kuay tiew lui suan. The folks here started serving it about a month ago.

Broad chewy chow fun, ground pork, garlic, sprouts, cilantro, lime, a little sugar, chili seeds...hot, sour, pungent, sweet, sexy, pleasure, pain, more pleasure.... Did I mention pleasure...?...

The chicken rice here is decent, the ginger rice better, the sauces even better still, but these noodles are the reason to come here. From anywhere.

P

May 08, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

Sorry. See now that you specified "plain." Oops
P

Apr 20, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

La Boulangerie in Forest Hills makes excellent focaccia. They do Rosemary as well as tomato. Onion too, I believe.

If you get there early enough, you can give it a test run- they use it on their smoked duck and mozzarella sandwich
P

Apr 20, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

What's good at Kung Fu besides the XLB

Amongst the cold dishes, there is a braised tofu dish - listed on the menu as something along the lines of mock chicken - that's very nice. The sliced beef with "spicy sauce" (not spicy at all, actually) is also a winner.
P

Apr 07, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Thai Town East Crawl

An eatfest to be sure. I can't say that's my thing - my stomach would be doing handstands after about two of those stops - but you capture a very exciting food scene that continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

I consider myself lucky to be a short distance away from Elmhurst, so I can hit up these places on a regular basis. It's great to see some more specialization happening, such as Pata Paplean, Plant Love House and the Hainanese Chicken joint. I'd love to see a wok-fried noodle place open up, along the lines of the Pok Pok Pad Thai place. I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen, sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, thanks for the nice writeup and photos, and have an antacid tablet, on me.

P.

Mar 20, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Street Foods in Queens

The Chinese skewer vendor, who is sometimes on the corner of Bway and Whitney in Elmhurst, serves up my favorite street food of this kind right now.

She's always in a baseball cap and army pants and,when she's there, she's there well into the night.

Her fat-on, bone-on pork chops on a stick are a sight to behold.
P

Mar 07, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Gui Lin Mi Fen - Flushing

Thanks for this post.
Had the Authentic Guilin today, the one listed last on the menu, broth on the side. Springy toothsome rice noodles topped with crispy, fatty pork - delicious and crispy like a rind or fried wonton - thin-sliced "pot roast" (like a dark roast beef with the same texture as beef brisket in pho), scallions, roasted nuts and pickled veggies. Naturally, lots of mixing required to get a bit of everything with each slurpfull. Lots of strong, savory flavor, at its best when the nuts mix in with the veggies. I found this to be more filling than Pooki did, but then perhaps he had less toppings(?). Overall, this has a unique taste and aura compared with other neighborhood options and makes for a good contrast with, say, the ja jiang Mian at Joyfull Yummy House or take-your-pick at Xian/Biang.

I'm looking forward to trying the smoked fish guilin bowl.

Thanks again, Pooki, for another excellent Flushing find.

P

Feb 20, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs
1

Serious Eats: Where to Eat Chinese in NYC

Glad to see Teado mentioned. Not too thrilled about the inclusion of Fay Da.
P

Feb 17, 2015
Polecat in Manhattan

Asian Taste 86 in Elmhurst--Mostly Indonesian

Can't say I fully agree. Although my last visit was in summer of 2014, the Kwey Tiao Jakarta I had at JV was very good.

Agree completely about Asian Taste. Have had some good dishes there. Have also not been since last year.

P

Feb 13, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Liang's Kitchen - Closed?

I'll miss the big wall photos of the WW2 tiger fighter planes, as well as the TV always showing food shows.
P

Feb 04, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Liang's Kitchen - Closed?

I also liked the location and will miss this place.

Re Ok Ryan, referenced above, tried a few decent noodle dishes, but nothing spectacular.

Across the street from Ryan, hard by the trestle, is the underrated Catherine Bakery. They do good small tea cookies.

Catherine is, perhaps, Ryan's better half....

P

Feb 04, 2015
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Family Day in Flushing...Looking for Baked Char Siu Boa and Bakery Recommendations.

Tried a good pot of tea at Prince Tea House the other day. Their cakes and pastries looked good. I'll be returning soon to try them.

This sit-down place is a nice alternative for tea and dessert other than chain bakeries and food courts.

It's also pleasantly off the beaten path, on Prince, near the corner of 37th.

I've also liked the Dan tat at New Flushing, but have found that the crust often gives way and can't hold under the weight of the filling. I go for Portuguese style

P

Dec 29, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Plant Love House - The New Elmhurst Thai spot with the delicious Nom Tok Noodle Soup, plants and an overall groovy feeling

Plant Love House is the newest Thai restaurant in a neighborhood where they seem to cropping up faster and more frequently than ever before.

The Thai name, according to at least one Yelp review, is something more overtly romantic, or even, dare I say, sexual. I’d noticed PLH a few weekends ago, while strolling the hood. It opened in the crooked narrow storefront, on Whitney Avenue, formerly occupied by the Himalayan joint and, before that, two hand-pulled noodle and dumpling places. On that day, there appeared to be more actual plants in the window. Today, there was only one, a large standing potted number just inside the doorway. On the door are written several house rules, printed in block letters right on the glass, all stuff about loving and living in peace and harmony with one another. Okay by me.

The limited menu is printed on paper, with specials written in funky lettering on a blackboard. They did a nice job of decorating the place, and creating a nice, open space for dining. I remember it was much more cramped when Lao Bei Feng occupied this spot. Now it’s downright airy, bright, even flowery.

When I walked in, at around 1pm yesterday, the staff of four women were eating their lunch, and I was the only customer. I ordered the Nom Tok noodle soup, printed in English as “Pork Blood noodle soup.” They offer a small bowl for five bucks ($4.95), but you can pay three dollars more for the bigger portion, as I did. I also opted for a small bowl of pork cracklings, which cost an additional two dollars.

I’ve had my share of nom tok noodles soup, at several venues, and a lot of it has been good, damn good even. Pye Boat Noodle and Zabb Elee come to mind as places that do this dish well. Plant Love House’s bowl, though, might be the best I’ve had yet. It certainly was the spiciest - no contest there. The broth’s heat, in addition to lip and tongue- searing, also cleared my sinuses. I dared not reach for the condiments rack, and that's a first. To be honest, the heat was a notch or two above my comfort zone. But the overall flavor balance – sour, sweet, a tad savory – in addition to the spice, truly won out. Rounding out the proceedings were, of course, thin rice noodles, slices of pork, especially flavorful pork meatballs and a crunchy, green leafy vegetable. Add in those pork cracklings, and you have a party going into the wee hours. Once they hit that broth, I could actually hear them popping. The first thought that came to my mind was rice krispies with milk added, but then, reminded of that firey heat, I couldn’t help but wonder if the cracklings weren’t crying for help.

Overall, this is a first-rate noodles -in -soup dish, a terrific mix of full, balanced flavor and texture. The refreshing house-made longan juice cooled me down. Early Yelp reviews of this joint – there are about five right now – are positive; they talk as much or more about some of PLH’s dessert specials as they do about the main menu items.

Plant Love House has what I'd estimate to be about ten to fifteen menu items right now, centering on noodles and salads/yums. In keeping with a very positive and encouraging trend, they are emphasizing a few down-to-earth dishes over the types of mega-menus we've become accustomed to in more full-on restaurants. The chefs cook what they know, the staff is very nice and helpful, everybody's happy, and, needless to say, there's lots of love in the room.

I see myself returning here soon.

Credit where it's due. Joe D got here before me.
Here's his writeup:http://chopsticksandmarrow.com/2014/1...

As always, there's Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/plant-love-ho...

Plant Love House
86-08 Whitney Ave
New York, NY 11373
718-565-2010

Dec 06, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Chowhound lunch at Zabb Elee in Queens

The dark beef noodle soup, also known as Nom Tok, is one of my favorite Thai dishes.

These guys and Pye Boat Noodle do a very good job.

P

Nov 19, 2014
Polecat in Manhattan

Dumpling Galaxy - Dumplings and more

The pumpkin mochi with black sesame is terrific. This is no knock on the food to say that they're what I came away craving and remembering after 2 visits.

They're that good.

P

Nov 17, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Kao Soy--new Thai in Red Hook

Have had and enjoyed Chao Thai's version, at both locations. Chicken is especially fall-off-the-bone tender.

Looking forward to trying this place

P

Nov 13, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

I work a short drive from Nan Bei Ho, which is supposed to be linked to the long-departed Flushing original. It is Taiwanese.

I've eaten there and/or gotten take-out about half a dozen times since they opened, about three to four years ago. The first dish I had there, a braised sliced fish, showed promise.

Since then I've had a slew of forgettable Taiwanese specialties, including a rolled beef pancake that was greasy as hell.

I love this kind of food, and would be going there much more often if these guys did a better job.

P.

Nov 07, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper Hot Pot Closed!!!!???

The place is now called Hot Kitchen Sichuan Style (in English, anyway), and has a more extensive menu I believe.

I've now been here twice.

The first time it was to try the Qong Quing Spicy Noodles, which weren't bad. I'd been craving both soup noodles and the ma la flavor, and this delivered both, along with a generous helping of beef slices. The beefy broth was spiced up with chili oil. On the whole, good, not great.

When my wife saw the photo, she had to try it, so I returned with her and tried the shredded pork with peppers. Again, nothing to shout about, but okay. I've had better.

To put this in perspective:
1. I tried two dishes. There are many more.
2. This is Flushing. That means that Spicy & Tasty, Chen Du Tian Fu and Lao Ma Ma La Tang, not to mention many others, are right around the corner. If this place were in Forest Hills, I'd already be shouting from the rooftops about how great it is.

P.

Nov 07, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

New food court in Flushing

" Nothing new & exciting caught my eye."

This was my impression as well. Upon first glance, the New York Food Court, right down to the name and decor, is pretty much a carbon copy of the New World, but with less variety.

There's tons of noodle joints, some Sichuan, liang pi, bing, hot pot, etc - they're going with the tried and true.

I hit up Stall #7, Lao Si Ji (the English name: Chicken Noodle), and got the House Special Chicken Noodle Soup with hearts and livers. The noodles were hand-pulled and tasted exactly like Lan Zhou and a million other places. The organ meats added very little.

On Friday at about lunch time, the court was about three quarters full, so I don't think there will be a foot traffic problem. People can park and shop nearby at Sky Foods, then be here in minutes. The Taiwanese noodle and fried chicken/pork chop specialist - I think it was stall #8, with a cartoon steer lit by neon, was doing the most business.

I might eventually hit up the "Crispy Pancake" specialist. It's about the third stall on the right as you walk in, #3 I believe. They're still setting up and might be open by tomorrow.

P.

Nov 07, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

E-Pie in Flushing: Sweet, Savory Xianbing and More from Eastern China

Believe everything you've heard about the beef xianbing. Upon first bite, juice shoots out of the other end at light speed in a jet stream. It's like a cheap parlor trick. I was working a conference at the Sheraton, and couldn't chance stains. Just try addressing potential clients and fellow professionals with beef xianbing all over yourself. Unless you have a towel-sized bib handy, keep this thing at arm's length at all times. From start to finish, juice drips every which way. The beef is very moist and has a strong, savory flavor. I also had a red bean pie, which, I agree, is decent but no more.

I took my own advice and downed my E-Pies at the Bland Playground with a cup of strong coffee. Just me, the pidgeons, a few early morning workers, a straight-on view of the Long Island Rail Road and savory beef juice running up my sleeves.

I ask you, is there any other way to dine?

P.

Oct 24, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs
2

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

Haven't been to Gu Shine in ages.

I wouldn't go here ahead of Liang's or Main Street Imperial, but Mama Lee's is certainly better than Nan Bei Ho, which is just up the street.

Back when that place opened, I had a very good sliced fish dish. Everything I've had since has been lackluster and mediocre.
P

Oct 22, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs