Flushing Food Tour, 2009

February 25, 2009

Ah…New York City. I would move there just to experience all the food. My friend, Linda, inspired by this article in the New York Times that came out last summer, masterminded a plan to hit up as many Flushing food stops as possible in one afternoon without causing our stomachs to explode. So about eleven of us ventured out into Queens on Saturday to test the limits of our distended stomachs.

Our first stop was Xi’an Famous Foods, located in the Golden Mall off of Main Street. The Golden Mall is like a really cramped food court. It’s located downstairs and is crowded with six or seven different places to try. Don’t go there expecting fine dining–expect to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the people next to you, on stools that look like they’re made for children, and to eat off of folding tables that might collapse at the slightest bump. Reminded me of Taiwan. But the food is delicious. We stopped at Xi’an Famous Foods mainly because it was the only place that could accommodate us at that given time. The owner goes by Mr. Liang Pi, after his famous liang-pi cold noodles. He seemed kind of pushy at first, telling us what to order, but he turned out to be really friendly, and I was really happy with what we got.

Clockwise from top left: Liang-pi cold noodles, lamb cheek, lamb “burger”, and lamb spine. We each paid $6 (seven people total) for everything (including 4 lamb burgers at $2 each, and some bottled water too)

Our next stop was the Xinjiang Barbeque Cart on 41st and Kissena. There’s so much smoke billowing from the cart it’s hard to get close and place your order. Two guys stand by the cart grilling up skewers and blasting hip hop music from portable speakers. You can choose from three different proteins: lamb (the most traditional), beef, or chicken, and whether you want them spicy or not. $1 each.

Next on our itinerary was the Peking Duck Sandwich stall. I LOVE Peking Duck. And I think my love for it partly stems from the fact that my parents never really made it, and we never got it at restaurants. I was always afraid to ask for it because I thought it might be too expensive. Anyway, each sandwich was only $1. (And as my friend, Akshay put it, “a dollar well-spent.”) I had to get two. And they were excellent. I love duck meat, especially with the oily skin. So fatty, but so so good.

Clockwise from left: Peking duck bun, my friend Linda stuffing her face, the peking duck stall.

Stop #4: White Bear for wontons in hot sauce. I question why the awning on the outside said “White Bear Ice Cream Yogurt,” but I do not question the tastiness of the wontons. There was not enough space inside to seat all of us, so we took our order to go and hit up the food court in the Flushing Mall to enjoy our goodies.
digging in.

We couldn’t very well just bring food from the outside and take up the food court seats without contributing our patronage to the mall itself. So…

My friend, Richard stopped at a stand in the mall and picked us up some of these custard-filled cake thingies.

…then we had dumplings and kimchi.

So time for a little dessert. The S&C Shaved ice stand is located in the food court at Flushing Mall. $3.25 for a big bowl of shaved ice and your choice of 4 toppings. You can choose from fruity toppings as well as the sweet bean/peanut variety that Asians love so much. We made one mostly fruity and one mostly beany
After a brief respite (and a bathroom break), we headed over to the Nan Shian Dumpling House for some Xiao Long Bao (Soup dumplings). These were pretty amazing. I managed not to let any of the soup spill out when I bit into the skin…which is no small feat. We got an order of scallion pancakes, which were quite good as well.

We were supposed to head to the Happy Beef Noodle House right next door afterwards, but most of us were getting pretty full by then, so we decided to cut the tour short. But no Chinese food tour is complete without some bubble tea. So off to Ten Ren on Roosevelt!

I ordered the red bean milkshake, which was surprisingly less sweet than I was expecting. Generally bubble tea is way to sweet for my liking.

And that brings an end to the Flushing Food Tour. We went out later that night to Happy Ending Lounge to celebrate Linda’s birthday, and at the end of the night (when we were finally hungry again), we stopped at the Creperie for some delicious late night drunk food. I ordered a savory crepe, with prosciutto, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes. It hit the spot.

Everytime I visit NYC, it turns into some sort of eating marathon. And I love it. I’m looking forward to the next one already.

Oh, and if YOU would like to go on a self-guided tour of the culinary offerings of Flushing, here is the map and listings we used. But certainly don’t limit yourself to it!

(Source: New York Times)

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