le quartier chinois nouveau
Took a trip out to Flushing, Queens this weekend with my girlfriend, inspired by this NYT piece she dug up. This is “mainland China,” as opposed to the predominantly Cantonese influence in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Absolutely fun way to spend an afternoon. We started at Nan Shian dumpling house (38-12 Prince St). As a certain hilarious piece of self-critical social satire so rightly points out, there was a strange thrill in being the only white person around. After waiting in line for about 20 min we were seated elbow to elbow with the other patrons, and given a small bowl of dark vinegar to contemplate while we waited for the menus. We ordered pork and crab soup dumplings. I’m told these are quite difficult to make, and I found them delicious and very aesthetically pleasing. No credit cards, of course.
After lunch we headed to the “golden mall” (41st Rd. and Main St.) It’s crowded, dirty, and makeshift. Awesome. I loved it. What a trip. We had a big bowl of hand-pulled noodles and beef at Lanzhou handmade noodles, where the menu includes a number of endearing made-up English words. The strong cilantro flavor surprised me, since I don’t normally associate it with Chinese cuisine, but it worked nicely. Definitely check this place out.
Finally: bubble tea. Quickly (41-40 Kissena Bv.) As always, I did wonder a bit about the whole premise of gelatin balls + straw = … but, you know, that’s what it is.