Flushing Food Crawl

February 26, 2017 § Leave a comment

Finally made the trek out to Flushing, Queens during a week off from work to sample some of the cheap, delicious ethnic food on offer. Wes (possibly the only white man in all of Flushing that day) and I started at Ganesh Temple Canteen, a cafeteria-style establishment in the basement of a Hindu temple, and helped ourselves to an enormous buttery Pondicherry dosa filled with potatoes, onions and spices as well as a spicy onion uttapam, both paired with sambar and chutney for dipping – perfect for the rainy, grey day ahead of us and just $7 for each dish.

Next, we walked back to the main thoroughfare in Flushing and began eating Chinese food in earnest. Our first stop was Golden Shopping Mall, a collection of food vendors off Main Street, where we dug into a giant bowl of hand-pulled noodles and beef from Lanzhou Handmade Noodles (again…just $7). So fucking good and made me realize how much I’d missed this kind of down-home Asian comfort food. Perfectly tender beef, super flavorful broth and addictive condiments in the pickled mustard greens and fiery chili oil.

Next, we wandered around for a bit to make room for our next meal and got lost in JMart, a giant Chinese supermarket with huge fish and meat counters, aisles and aisles of Asian condiments and one of the biggest selections of exotic fresh vegetables and fruit I’ve seen. The best part, though, was the small outpost of New Flushing Bakery, with its insanely good Portuguese egg tarts, slightly caramelized on the surface with a crazy flaky, fall-apart crust.

And because we are fatties, we then walked the few blocks from JMart back to Golden Flushing Mall and got a couple seats at Tianjin Dumpling House. For $6, we got a dozen of the lamb and green squash boiled dumplings (again, with a ton of chili oil), a combination I’d never seen before but really enjoyed. Normally, I like my dumplings pan-fried but these reminded me of the boiled pork and scallion dumplings that my mom always made at home growing up – guess it’s a Northern Chinese thing?

Needless to say, we were feeling stuffed from all the starch and meat we’d already eaten and decided to make a stop at Fang Gourmet Tea, a tranquil oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the street, for a charcoal roasted oolong tea tasting. The shop owner was super friendly and patient with our tea ignorance and after some browsing, we each ended up buying a tin of oolong tea that cost way more than all the food we’d eaten during the day.

After more than three years of living in Manhattan, was so glad that I’d finally made it out to Flushing (and to be honest, the train ride out there wasn’t even that bad) and couldn’t believe the amount and quality of food we’d gotten for so cheap. Really need to make sure I make an annual or semi-annual pilgrimage out there, especially when I’m missing food from home.

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Spring approaches…

March 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

and all I want to do is sit outside and eat pastries all day. Please take me back to Paris.

Alice’s Tea Cup

December 22, 2011 § 3 Comments

Christmas is the time for kitsch. Laura and I celebrated the end of her first round of college finals by embracing everything cute and corny at Alice’s Tea Cup, where the food and ambiance come together to create a really enjoyable and relaxing experience. The restaurant/tea shop itself is excessively decorated and eye-poppingly colorful, especially in the storefront area, but the actual dining room is more toned down, with old wooden spinning tables (machines removed of course) and mismatched tea settings which add to the place’s charm.

Alice's Tea Cup

We started with a pot of Alice’s Tea, their custom blend of Indian black Vanilla with Japanese green tea and rose petals, which was “smooth and subtle.”

Alice's Tea

Laura indulged in some of their Scones Benedict, with two poached eggs over a split savory scone healthily smothered in rich rosemary hollandaise sauce and served with a side of crispy potato hash. As soon as she broke into that first gooey, golden yolk, we knew we were in the right place for breakfast.

Our breakfast spread

Scones Benedict

But nothing, not even potatoes and yolky eggs, could deter me from the enormous lemon poppyseed glazed scone served with raspberry preserves and clotted cream. It was one of those moments where something so seemingly simple turns out to be so frikkin’ amazing. I spent most of breakfast just focusing on the scone (which is big enough to be breakfast in itself) and pretty much ignored my very good cornmeal and blueberry pancakes with maple syrup.

Lemon poppyseed scone with raspberry preserves and clotted cream

Cornmeal pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup

So buttery and flaky, the tart lemon tasted so delicious against the thick, dreamy cream and sweet, fruity preserves, and it was a perfect accompaniment to the hot, only slightly bitter tea. It was hard to walk pass the pastry counter on the way out without getting some more scones to go, and I was still dreaming about them this morning. Next time, I think I might just get their small pot of tea and 2 scones for $10 and spend all morning eating crumbly bite after crumbly bite.

Pastries and scones

Alice’s Tea Cup
102 West 73rd Street
New York, NY
212.799.3006
http://alicesteacup.com/

The Quans go to Washington

April 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

There’s only about 3 weeks left in the semester, and to help me through to the final stretch, my parents and youngest sister Jackie came down this past weekend to keep me company during my Easter break. At first I was a bit nervous since the weather didn’t look too good, but Friday, it was sunny and clear and we spent the entire day downtown at the National Mall and Smithsonian museums – American History, National Gallery (of course) and Natural History.

My parents left all the eating up to me, and I have to say I planned out a pretty damn good itinerary. We had a lovely light lunch at Teaism which was fast and cheap, but the bento boxes and other food were surprisingly fresh and tasty. Jackie really liked the mango lassi and the salty oat cookies (which I could eat with the tea alone), and I loved the little pot that the tea came in. The adjacent tea shop next doory wasn’t open at the time, but I think I might go back there to get a Mother’s Day gift or something. I could see how people go there day after day for lunch; there are so many different choices, so many possible combinations.

We started on campus, which was absolutely beautiful because all the tulips and flowers had already started blooming. Plus, mom and dad had to get the requisite shot of them in front of Healy Tower. My parents really enjoyed the National Gallery, especially the large rotunda on the second floor with the giant marble columns. I don’t think my mom realized that there were so many important paintings in DC, so she was pretty impressed with the Monets and Van Goghs housed upstairs. There was also a temporary orchid exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, so if you’re in DC during the next month or so, I’d recommend stopping by there as well. All Smithsonian museums have free admission! One reason why I really love going to school in DC. Free culture!

Finally, we had dinner back at Jaleo in Penn Quarter since my parents had never tried Spanish tapas before and Jaleo was one of the first restaurants that I had reviewed for The Hoya. I have always loved Jose Andres food since then, so I thought it would be a special treat for them to try a lot of his small dishes. Everything we ordered was delicious, especially the classic tuna salad ensaladilla rusa and the semolina cake for dessert, which had a lovely light texture, paired with the cinnamon ice cream.

So that concludes the first day while my family was down here. We spent the rest of the night at my mom’s college friend’s house in Fairfax, VA where a bunch of them got together and just drank cocktails and ate snacks while reminiscing about college life and passing along gossip about other classmates. The next day we went to Old Town Alexandria and had some of the best seafood of my life, but that’s for another day’s post.

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