Saturday, May 12, 2012

eating in queens

Here comes the next stop on our NYC food tour...only three months after the first installment!  Better late than never?  

Oddly enough--and it seemed to strike New York residents as especially odd--we stayed exclusively in Brooklyn and Queens the first 2/3 of our week-long summer trip.  We didn't even make it across the water to Manhattan until the last two (food-filled) days.  Those photos will be coming along, hopefully soon.  It's not necessarily that we didn't want to go to Manhattan, but there was already so much to see and to eat in Long Island's boroughs.  So, without further ado, Queens!

Long Island City

We spent one hot day in LIC and managed to swing by M.Well's diner for brunch between "Warm Up" festivities at MoMA PS1 and just before the diner was scheduled to move from its location at that time.  (Not sure what the status is currently.)  M.Wells had just been named in the Bon Appetit list of Best New Restaurants in 2011.  So, it was justifiably very busy, but worth the wait.  All our food was amazing.  Would definitely seek it out again when we return to the city.

adorable diner car interior 

egg-sausage sandwich with cheddar, pickled jalapenos, and tomato

fish & chips 

simple, but rich hamburger 

custardy maple pie 


After seeing Serious Eats writers repeatedly gush about the food courts in Flushing, I knew we had to go.  We took the long train ride out on a miserably rainy day and felt almost like we had left the states completely, the smells and sights were so fully Asian.

Here's a photo of the lovely food court at Flushing's New World Mall.

Here's a small corner of the food court where we actually ate something: Golden Shopping Mall's food court.

At the experts' insistence, we sought out Xi'an Famous Foods' cold skin noodles, a Chinese dish--and a combination of textures--like none I'd ever experienced before.  Hand-cut noodles with plenty of bite, cucumber, onions, and cilantro sit in a tear-jerkingly spicy sauce that's soaked up by spongey cubes of wheat gluten.  I want to go back to try stir-fried skin noodles, plus everything else on the menu.

Later on that evening, in sheer, wet exhaustion, we stumbled into a shabu shabu place called La Mei.  The kind couple sitting near us recommended the all-you-can-eat-in-two-hours option.  Even though we weren't all that hungry, we couldn't pass up the chance to dip a ton of different things in scalding pots of broth.  Seasoned buffet-goer Matt broke down during the last leg of our eating marathon, but I got a second wind when the fresh udon noodles showed up.  Oh man, I want some right now.

just some of the many things we tasted: fish balls, beef, napa cabbage, corn on the cob, pork blood rice cake, lamb, whitefish, cuttlefish, shrimp, spinach 

tasty little straw mushrooms

Check back for food tours of the Lower East Side and midtown Manhattan!

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