Flushing Food Tour, Round 3
A while back, I was talking to my friend Hungry over at Tasty Eating about food in Flushing… and ice cream at Eddie’s. She mentioned how she’d actually never been to the food stalls, and also how she wanted to try Eddie’s, so we made plans to do a whole walkaround from Flushing to Eddie’s. Are we insane? A little bit. It was awesome, and we happened to pick a day that was excellent in terms of weather – not hot, and just a slight bit of cold (windy, really), so as we walked and warmed up, we never got too hot.
Our first stop was, of course, Flushing Mall, which is slated to close some time next year. The food court downstairs is quite extensive, and though I took pictures of everything, I’m still not entirely sure what everyone got nor from where.
I have no idea who ordered this, but I think it was TT and it may have been a spicy peanut noodle dish.
Beer Boor went with some noodles and… stuff. I’m really hoping the attendees chime in with their thoughts and dishes.
MadJac ordered a pineapple shrimp dish.
I know this was one of Hungry’s dishes, but I don’t know what it was exactly.
This was one of two lamb burgers from Xi’an Famous Foods (it says so on the wrapper). I still don’t like this dish all that much.
I ordered a Taiwanese hamburger (so said the menu) from a stall a few down from Xi’an. It was not what I expected it to be, and I didn’t finish it.
CT also ordered a pork chop over rice, which came with a soup and pickled mustard greens on the side. Though this took the longest to come, at $6 and change, that was easily the best deal on the table (or maybe not? I know my burger was $1.50). That’s a HUGE platter!
One of the things I kept trying to get here but always managed to get there too late – the special mango ice cream which was around $5. TC ordered this, knowing how I kept missing it (thanks TC!) – shaved ice on the bottom, topped with mango syrup, condensed milk, cubes of fresh mango, mango ice cream… maybe there was more stuff. I split this once a long time ago with Blondie, Brownie and Danny, and we had trouble finishing it back then… and now, with easily 8 people, we still had trouble finishing it. Crazytown. I love it though – sweet, decadent, bright flavors that just remind you of a nice summer day… yumm!!!
After we were finished with those dishes, I pushed everyone upstairs to get Korean Chinese Dumplings. We got the “3 kinds” which means there are three ingredients in the dumplings – pork, chives, and cabbage I think – or was it scallions? not sure. It came with the usual sides of chili sauce and a crunchy cole slaw/kimchi concoction that I enjoy greatly.
Unfortunately, though these have been a fond memory for me – I often get to the mall after they close upstairs, but not the downstairs food court – now that I finally got to eat them again, I noted with disappointment that they didn’t hold up to my memory of them. No one was particularly impressed, and I was slightly embarrassed that I’d been drooling and waiting for these, but no one seemed to blame me too much. We moved on.
Of course, I love dumplings passionately, so next up was White Bear, which I comfortably say has the best Sichuan dumplings in chili oil out of anywhere I’ve tried. I’ve tried a fair number of places. The wrapper is delicate, thin, and silky, yielding to reveal a perfectly juicy meat nugget inside that bursts with juices and flavors. The pickled greens on top with the chili oil add a lot of contrasting textures and flavors – slightly crunchy, slightly sour, slightly spicy, and just add up to easily, in my opinion, the best Sichuan dumplings. Maybe even the best dumplings, period; I really enjoy these and can easily inhale one order alone, and then some. (One order is 12 dumplings for about $4.)
At this point, everyone was a little thirsty, so I took them over to Queens Crossing Mall. My other friends had told me about Kung Fu Bubble Tea and raved about the grapefruit, so, though Hungry doesn’t quite enjoy bubble tea, we trooped through Paris Bakery and into the mall itself for our various drinks. I don’t remember thinking this was particularly expensive – maybe $3, about average for bubble tea – and I got a small grapefruit, no bubbles. It was very tart, not sugary sweet, and allowed the natural grapefruit flavor to shine through. It should – it’s all natural grapefruit juice – so I liked this a lot, but if you’re big on sugar, you probably won’t like this.
After that, we bid adieu to TT and CT – who had other obligations – and began the walk from Flushing through Corona, then onwards to Forest Hills.
After a pleasant walk through Flushing Meadow Park, we found ourselves walking north on 108th Street. A few blocks off Horace Harding into Corona, we smelled the most amazing thing, and realized: yep, we’re hungry again, as we faced Empanadas Cafe. I was reticent, and let everyone else troop in and examine the menu of the small, unassuming shop, while I stayed just outside and looked at our surroundings. I drive down this road occasionally and never paid that much attention to this place. Could it be any good?
They offered three types of empanadas- an all natural, corn, and flour casing. I don’t remember which was which, sorry!
Everyone decided to order two each, except for me. I took bites from everyone. Hahaha!
Notice something? Look closely at the top of the empanada. It says chicken! How cute is that? And genius!
Here are two more.
…and another two. Useless pictures since I have no idea what’s in them, haha.
Here’s a beef empanada. I thought it was okay.
I’m not sure what this one was!
This was beef & cheese. I actually really liked this one a lot.
The “hot sauce” that came with each order. I liked this a lot – it was less hot, and more refreshing with a slight kick, very cilantro-y. Within a week, I was creating my own version, which I’ll explain in another post.
The surprise winner of the day? This plantain & cheese empanada. You wouldn’t think – or at least, I wouldn’t think that was a good combo, but the sweetness against the mild savoriness of the cheese was excellent. I was ready to go inside and order my own.
Chorizo and potato. The inside part tasted fine, but I really didn’t like that style of empanada (this was the all natural something or other one). I don’t think I was alone in that opinion for the day.
Our next destination was actually The Lemon Ice King of Corona. Beer Boor had decided to join us when Hungry and I talked about this tour, and had insisted on adding it to the list. I can’t say I was angry about it!
Funny story; these were on display. I thought they looked super perfect, so I took a picture. Turned out they were plastic models of apples; they had the real ones in another display case. Hahaha.
Beer Boor ordered lime, and got cantaloupe for me. I liked mine, though I thought it could be stronger in taste.
Their menu of flavors! Lots of flavors available.
TC stepped up the FBM game and got two – lemon and pistachio. I tried some of the pistachio and was impressed by the flavor, but not the color.
After a brief sojourn to the park nearby to enjoy our ices, watch people playing bocce (bocce ball?), and – well, in a minute, you’ll see – Beer Boor decided to get another ice, watermelon this time. This one was really, really good. I think I’d get this the next time I go!
In the park nearby was this stand set up, selling little treats. Funny enough, they don’t have a set schedule for when they’re there, they don’t have a store front, so I can’t tell you when to visit them… but VISIT THEM.
I bought a few small cheesecakes from them – I don’t even like cheesecake that much, but theirs was outrageous. They make everything themselves, and they had cookies, cakes, Italian pastries like lobster tails and cannolis (which they filled on the spot for you). TC bought a couple, so I imagine he can chime in with how he liked his!
We walked from Flushing to Corona in this installment. Next time: Corona to Forest Hills!