Thursday, December 29, 2011

Next Stop: China

My trip to Flushing's Chinatown may be the most realistic destination of my entire tour:  Very little English spoken, menus only in Cantonese or Mandarin, and foods (aka parts of animals) I never even knew people ate.  It was a little overwhelming at first, but it was such a fun way to spend an afternoon!

Lanzhou Handmade Noodle

- Vegetable noodle soup - hand-pulled noodles with bok choy and a fried egg

- Beef noodle soup - hand-pulled noodles with bok choy and beef

- Grilled squid and lamb skewers

Hand-pulling the noodles...what a process!

41-28 Main St
Golden Mall Food Court Basement

Tong Hai Tung Bakery

Baked goods...who knew there was such delicious bread in Chinese cuisine?!

- Pastry with corn and cheese

- Pastry with hot dogs (!)

4112 Main Street
b/t 41st Street & 41st Avenue

Steamed bun stand (No English name)

41st Avenue
b/t Main Street & College Point Blvd

New World Mall food court

- Grilled tofu in chile sauce...on a stick!

Nan Xiang Dumpling House

- Pork and crab xiao long bao (soup dumplings)

38-12 Prince Street
@ 39th Street

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Next Stop: Thailand

What we ordered:

- Chicken Pad See Ew

- Chicken Pad Thai

- Thai Mixed Chicken & Shrimp Dumplings - steamed dumplings with vegetables and potatoes, served with house black bean mushroom dipping sauce

- Corn Spring Rolls - crispy spring rolls stuffed with glass noodles, grilled corn, and minced vegetables, served with plum sake dipping sauce

Worth the trip for...
- The ambiance. Thai restaurants on 9th Avenue are a dime a dozen. But the decor and atmosphere at Room Service set it apart from the rest. Check out that chandelier!

Skip the trip for...
- A slow, relaxed dinner. The entrees came halfway through eating our appetizers. And the check was brought halfway through eating our entrees. What's the rush?!

Room Service
690 9th Avenue
b/t 47th & 48th Streets
Menu Pages listing

Next Stop: Japan

What we ordered:

- Vege Yuba Dip Soba - Soba noodles with tofu and watercress dipped in konbu kelp broth
- Stamina Dip Soba - Soba noodles with pork and chicken meatballs in bonito broth
This dip style is the traditional method of eating soba. The noodles are par-cooked, so you dip them in the broth to finish cooking them to your liking. At the end, they poor hot water into the remaining broth and you drink it as an "after-dinner drink." This drink is said to possess a ton of nutrients, which is why Cocoron's motto is "cocoron - where hearty meets healthy." And people claim carbs are bad... :)

- Shuto - pickled Tuna entrails with cream cheese

Worth the trip for...
- Truly authentic soba. It was hard for me to understand why soba was so special in Japanese cuisine. But after having authentic, handmade noodles (and not the kind they sell in every deli around the city), I get it. So delicious.

Skip the trip for...
- A group dinner. The whole place seats 10 people at a time (3 tables of 2, and 6 seats at the bar).

61 Delancey Street
b/t Allen & Eldridge Streets
Menu Pages listing

Monday, December 26, 2011

Next Stop: Philippines

What we ordered:

- Sinigang Na Hipon - shrimp with green beans, eggplant, onions, radish, and okra in tamarind broth

- Chicken Adobo - marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic

- Lechon Kawali - pan-fried pork belly with liver sauce

Worth the trip for...
Just about everything. Really cool to try dishes with flavors I've never tasted before.

Skip the trip for...
The bare bones atmosphere. But, if the family wants to be more focused in the kitchen than on the decor, it works for me.

Mama Meena's Family Restaurant
94-20 Jamaica Avenue
@ 95th Street
Woodhaven, Queens

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Next Stop: Yemen

What we ordered:
- Complimentary homemade soup

- Agda chicken with sauteed onions and vegetables

- Freshly baked clay over bread

- Lamb segar (minced tender lamb, sautéed onions and tomatoes)and Kilawi(sauteed cubes of lamb kidneys with onions and tomatoes)

Worth the trip for...
- The chicken dish was like warm, flavorful comfort food
- Hard to find clay oven bread like that...cripsy in some spots, chewy in others

Skip the trip for...
- My brother is a daring eater, but said even lamb kidneys were a little too much for him

Bab Al Yemen
413 Bay Ridge Avenue
b/t 4th & 5th Avenues
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Menu Pages listing

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Next Stop: Mexico

New York may be known for a lot of great things, but one of them is certainly not its Mexican food. So, I was excited to learn that the neighborhood of Sunset Park in Brooklyn was predominently Mexican and is known for its inexpensive and delicious food. We spent a good part of the afternoon doing a mini food crawl, and it was so much fun.

Tacos El Bronco
What we ordered:
- Taco pollo and taco al pastor

Truck parked at 43rd Street & 5th avenue

Tacos Xochimilco
Thanks to a tip from my fellow food blogger, NYC Food Guy, we ordered what turned out one of the best sandwiches I've ever had in my life. No exaggeration.

What we ordered:
- Pambazo - similar to a torta, this sandwich is made on bread that has been dipped in warm red guajillo pepper sauce. Then it's filled with potatoes, oaxaca cheese, lettuce, and crema
This photo does not begin to do this sandwich justice. Just trust me, if you ever come across "pambazo" on a menu, ORDER IT!

4501 5th Avenue
@ 45th Street
Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Tacos Matamoros
What we ordered:
- Guacamole with tomatillo salsa and fresh tortilla chips

- Tamale con pollo

- Taco lengua and taco cabeza

4508 5th Avenue
b/t 45th & 46th Streets
Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Worth the trip for...
- PAMBAZO!!! Wish I had brought a few home with me!
- The homemade salsas and sauces from Tacos El Bronco

Skip the trip for...
- Tamale - it needed more flavor
- The guacamole - I think my own version even tastes better!

Friday, December 23, 2011

First Stop: Malaysia

What we ordered:
- Roti Canai - crispy Indian pancake with curry chicken sauce

- Singapore Fried Mee Hoon - wok fried rice noodles in lea & perrin sauce with schrimp, chicken, egg, and bean sprouts

- Bendi Belacan - sauteed orka with spicy Malaysian shrimp paste sauce

- Beef Rendang over rice

Worth the trip for...
- The roti - freshly baked, light and airy
- The Singapore noodles didn't taste so different from a lo mein, but they were a really good version of that!

Skip the trip for...
- The okra in shrimp paste - shrimp paste has to be the most foul-smelling condiment on earth! I think it's still lingering in my nose!

Taste Good Malaysian Cuisine
42-18 45th Avenue @ Broadway
Elmhurst, Queens
Yelp page

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Around the World (Without Leaving the 5 Boroughs!)

With the next week off of work and no vacation plans, I decided to make the most of my stay-cation and at least let my palate feel like I was off to travel the world.

Follow my latest adventures of trying cuisines from around the world...all without leaving the 5 boroughs of New York City! Metrocard in hand, if I can't fill my passport this holiday season, at least I can fill my stomach. As always, suggestions are welcomed!

Afghan Kebab House II African
American - Southern Hospitality
Brazilian - Miss Favela
Canadian - Mile End, Ottawa weekend...Oh Canada!
Chinese - Lanzhou Handmade Noodles, Tong Hai Tung Bakery, Nan Xiang Dumpling House
Colombian - Palenque Colombian Food Truck
Danish - Home of the Danish danish
Dominican - Mamajuana Cafe
Filipino - Mama Meena's Family Restaurant
Finnish - Fresh fish galore!
German - Rolf's German Restaurant
Greek - Souvlaki GR
Irish - O'Lunney's
Israeli - Gazala's Place
Italian - Radicchio Pasta & Restaurant Co.
Japanese - Cocoron
Korean - KalBQ
Lebanese - Naya Mezze & Grill
Malaysian - Taste Good
Mexican - Tacos El Bronco, Tacos Xochimilco, Tacos Matamoros
New Zealander
Norwegian - The real deal in Norway!
Puerto Rican
Russian - The Gorgeous Saint Petersburg
South African - Xai Xai Wine Bar
Spanish - Despana
Sri Lankan
Swedish - Swedish meatballs
Thai - Room Service
Turkish - Taksim
Vietnamese - Saigon 48
Yemenite - Bab Al Yemen