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  • Flushing's Chinatown (9)

    Discover a variety of Chinese (and Korean, etc) food on Main St, Flushing - last stop on the #7 Subway line. This is the second Chinatown in NYC, probably because downtown NYC was not big enough to hold all these new restaurants. Good references: [l:http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/07/29/dining/20080730_FLUSHING_INTERACTIVE.html NYTimes Flushing Interactive] graphic which also has a nice printout to take when visiting, and which links to the [l:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/dining/30flushing.html main article], which also has more tips from the readers in the article's comments section. A later article describes [l:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/dining/10chine.html Dongbei cai, or the food of the Northeast], the area was known earlier as Manchuria. The absolutely great things in this area: Sichuan food - spicy-hot with tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper ma-la experience, awesome lamb burgers with cumin and green chilies (in the Golden Mall, a collection of fast food restaurants in the basement off Main St - details in the NYT article), peking duck in snack form on a small pancake (fantastic Peking Duck, and sold at a window in a restaurant on the street), all sorts of dumplings, and the street stalls with $1 skewers of grilled spiced-meat ("Mongolian Barbecue?"). Finish off with bubble tea. And if you want to avoid eating out on the street, visit the Food Court in the Flushing Mall which has most of the similar foods. Best items here? 1. [l:http://xianfoods.com/ Xi'an Famous Foods] at 41-28 Main St Golden Mall Booth #36. It is confusing to find, enter the basement mall, take the left, cross two/three food booths, take a right, and this place on the left, probably the second/third store on the left. Just follow your nose and look for the sandwiches - their web site has pictures of their food. [Sep 2009] They are now in multiple places in Downtown Manhattan too! Those are easier to get to, still, worth visiting the original location to get a true Chinatown experience and better food (I think). NYT says: "His lamb stew is infused with fresh green chilies and cumin: stuffed into hot, griddled bread rolls, it makes the best sandwich in Flushing." ... "In the food court of the Golden Mall — a grand-sounding name for a basement warren of folding tables — is a man who goes by the name Shi Liangpi". Also good here: "his signature dish - liangpi, a dish of cold noodles in a sauce that hits every possible flavor category (sweet, tangy, savory, herbal, nutty and dozens of others)... in addition to four different sauces, and mountains of bean sprouts, slivered cucumbers and sprigs of cilantro. " My best choices: "N1" - Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles (around $6), and "B2" Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger (around $3). [Prices as of Nov 2011, Flushing location.] Pictures: [l:albums/travel/new-york/flushings-chinatown/xian-famous-foods-41-28-main-st] and the new sit-down restaurant [l:albums/travel/new-york/flushings-chinatown/biang-restaurant-41-10-main-st]. 2. The Peking Duck from the street window at the Corner 28 restaurant, picture present below. 3. The unassuming Spicy & Tasty restaurant at 39 07 Prince Street, just a block or two up from the Main St Subway station. Good Sichuan food - nice and spicy. 4. New World Mall at 40-21 Main St, and another entrance next to Macy's on Roosevelt Ave, right outside one of the subway entrances. This is all brand-spanking new , as of 2011. The mall has a enormous food court at the basement, with a huge variety of Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese etc food. If you like hot-pot - there are multiple restaurants selling hot-pots! This Mall also has the excellent and huge grocery store J-Mart which is also worth a visit. 5. The Flushing Mall at 13331 39th Ave, Queens, NY. Three blocks from the Main St station. The lower level has the food courts - again, here too some menus are in Chinese only but there are pictures to order by. And you can eat in the mall which is good in summer, avoid the street heat and smell!. The food in this mall's food court is certainly unlike any other shopping mall in the US. And of course, it is a mall so has restrooms - certainly one thing that cannot be found on the street or in the Golden Mall. [Nov 2011] Still worth a visit, though I heard this place might be going away? The only problem - many places in this are of Flushing have menus in Chinese only.

Absolute Bagels - 2788 Broadway, New York

Absolute Bagels - 2788 Broadway, New York

2788 Broadway (between 107th and 108th St) - near Columbia U / Upper West Side NYC.
Phone: +1-212-932-2052 and +1-212 932-2105

These bagels are the best in New York City and therefore in all of the US. Perfect combination of chewy exterior and light interior. And they taste great too. Of course, people who like their bagels dense and chewy may not appreciate these bagels, but try these once and you might just change your mind. My second choice bagel place in NYC is Russ & Daughters at 179 East Houston Street, near Chinatown. Have tried all the usual other well-known places, but Absolute Bagels has the best bagels.

Mornings - especially weekends, be prepared for long lines. And if you want sesame bagels, arrive a few hours before closing - they may run out. This is important for me since every few months or so I buy a dozen plus eight bagels from NYC to carry back to Boston - really a downer when they run out of bagels. Best to call if you are going to get there late afternoon or evenings.

Unlike Montreal bagels, NYC bagels are pretty big. Which actually may be what allows them to freeze very well. They easily last 3-6 months in the freezer, and thaw out nicely, and still taste great. No need to slice them before freezing too, in fact, they are better off not sliced beforehand. Montreal bagels are good too, but they just don't freeze well - they don't taste as good after a stint in the freezer, have to eat them fresh.

Absolute Bagels Price: $12/dozen bagels (2012). They also have a small seating area, and also offer the usual toppings - cream cheeses, salmon, etc.

Biang! Restaurant - 41-10 Main St

Biang! Restaurant - 41-10 Main St

From their home page: Biang! Restaurant:
"While Xi'an Famous Foods is great for fast and casual dining, we wanted to present our food in a chic venue with full waiter-service, and that is how Biang! came to be."

More info at these pages: Flushing's Chinatown and Xi'an Famous Foods

Xi'an Famous Foods - 41-28 Main St

Xi'an Famous Foods - 41-28 Main St

41-28 Main St, in the underground Golden Mall, Flushing, Queens, New York.

More info: Flushing's Chinatown.

Unknown Singer in 59th St Subway NYC

Unknown Singer in 59th St Subway NYC

Picture from the video of a singer in the NYC Subway. More details at Unknown Singer in 59th St Subway NYC

Flushing's Chinatown

Discover a variety of Chinese (and Korean, etc) food on Main St, Flushing - last stop on the #7 Subway line. This is the second Chinatown in NYC, probably because downtown NYC was not big enough to hold all these new restaurants.

Good references: NYTimes Flushing Interactive graphic which also has a nice printout to take when visiting, and which links to the main article, which also has more tips from the readers in the article's comments section. A later article describes Dongbei cai, or the food of the Northeast, the area was known earlier as Manchuria.

The absolutely great things in this area: Sichuan food - spicy-hot with tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper ma-la experience, awesome lamb burgers with cumin and green chilies (in the Golden Mall, a collection of fast food restaurants in the basement off Main St - details in the NYT article), peking duck in snack form on a small pancake (fantastic Peking Duck, and sold at a window in a restaurant on the street), all sorts of dumplings, and the street stalls with $1 skewers of grilled spiced-meat ("Mongolian Barbecue?"). Finish off with bubble tea. And if you want to avoid eating out on the street, visit the Food Court in the Flushing Mall which has most of the similar foods.

Best items here?
1. Xi'an Famous Foods at 41-28 Main St Golden Mall Booth #36. It is confusing to find, enter the basement mall, take the left, cross two/three food booths, take a right, and this place on the left, probably the second/third store on the left. Just follow your nose and look for the sandwiches - their web site has pictures of their food. [Sep 2009] They are now in multiple places in Downtown Manhattan too!

Peking Duck - Snacks

Peking Duck - Snacks

This is one the best tasting items around - a small white pancake with Peking Duck, and a dab of sauce. At 40-28 Main Street. The Corner 28 Restaurant seems to be extremely popular too. The duck snack is sold at the window at the centre of the picture, which is to the left of another window selling other food.

Scallion Pancakes

Scallion Pancakes

Side-walk vendor taking up a half-a-block on Main St, under the LIRR Station, around Main Street and 41st Avenue, off Kissena Boulevard.

Fried Dumplings

Fried Dumplings

Great Fried Dumplings, Zhu Ji Guo Tie is the name of this small place, I understand.

Supermarket

Supermarket

Fruit, meat, fish - and frozen dumplings.

Quickly Bubble Tea

Quickly Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea.