Tag Archives: New York

Flushing’s New World Mall Food Stalls: Not Your Mother’s Food Court

By now, the Flushing malls, with their compact food booths from which emerge some dazzling regional Chinese dishes, are a well-known stomping ground for the culinarily curious.

The New World Mall, which opened last year, is hidden on the lower floor of a nondescript office building on Flushing’s bustling Main Street, the predominantly Chinese area’s teeming commercial hub. Enter the building, and the first floor holds few surprises. There’s a wireless provider and a Haagen-Daz ice cream shop. Very humdrum.

 

Making pork and scallion dumplings at Tianjan Food, New World Mall, Flushing, Queens. Photo: Laura B. Weiss.

 

But if you ride down the escalator, which is planted straight ahead of you just after you walk inside the building, you’ll encounter a mad riot of neon signs and mobs of hungry locals.

New World Mall, Flushing Queens. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

Yes, it’s a food court with booths stationed around the edges, the center filled with long tables. Except this spot is lined with roughly two dozen stalls serving up all manner of Chinese, Korean and Japanese delights. It seems that every family living in or around Flushing’s Chinatown—the second largest in New York after Manhattan’s—has descended on the place. There are families with children. There are teenagers huddled around tables. Elderly people pick at their steaming bowls of soup noodles.

 

Hand-pulled noodles with crispy duck at Lan Zhou Hand Made Noodles, New World Mall, Flushing, Queens. Photo: Laura B. Weiss.

 

Recently, I roamed around the mall, scarfing down savory hand-pulled noodles with fried duck at Lan Zhou Hand Made Noodles; the broth was savory but not earthy or deeply flavored enough for my taste. Then I tried feathery scallion and pork dumplings at Tianjin Food, easily the lightest and most flavorful I’ve eaten outside China.

 

Dumplings from Tianjin Foods, New World Mall, Flushing, Queens. Photo: Laura B. Weiss.

 

I finished up with a steaming bowl of congee, a Chinese porridge that’s often eaten for breakfast; sweet chunks of pumpkin floated just beneath the glistening surface.

If you want to try some Asian food dishes in familiar surroundings, the New World Mall provides a gentle introduction. And, of yes, the food court boasts clean bathrooms for that necessary pit stop before you head home.

How to Get There:  Take the Number 7 train or LIRR to Flushing/Main Street.

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Food and Things Changes Course

Happy New Year to all! Yes, I know Food and Things hasn’t been too active lately.  But now I’m back and I’ve decided to change the blog’s focus.  West Side Rag is covering the Upper West Side, including the food scene brilliantly. (I’m one of its columnists.)  So it’s time to move on and cover the wider world of food–everything from culinary travel, to events, to recipes, to new blogs, apps and cookbooks.

So that means I’ll be writing about food adventures around New York—and around the country. I’ll cover food stall finds in Flushing, Queens and fried chicken joints in Memphis. Chef Renee Marton’s recipes will continue to appear on Food and Things. Plus, I’ll be posting about my own cooking adventures, mishaps, stumbles and all.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback. For a daily dose of Food and Things, follow me on Twitter @foodandthings.com.

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Vareli in Morningside Heights is a Welcome Addition to the Upper West Side Dining Scene

Vareli, Morningside Heights, NYC

If you don’t mind wading through clots of soused Columbia Students, Vareli in Morningside Heights is a nice spot for some of the best food on the Upper West Side.

The restaurant, which specializes in Mediterranean-themed small dishes dishes and tapas, is situated on the ground floor of the building that also houses that long-time Columbia drinking spot, The Heights. So if you want to avoid the weekend scrum, best to try this place on a weeknight.

Inside, the decor is plain but the food makes up for it.  It’s very good and it’s consistent. I ate at Vareli’s about a year ago and had a delicious meal then too. Friday night, I selected roasted baby beets with kefalograviera cheese, pine nuts, and pickled onions and red beet coulis. The salad was tasty but the texture was a bit mushy, not what I expect from a beet salad.

Then, I tucked into some of the best grill octopus I’ve eaten anywhere. Unlike many versions of this dishes which can be tough and rubbery, this  preparation was tender, moist and flavorful. It was helped along by Moroccan olives, serrano peppers and a bed of labneh yogurt.

My hubby chose pan seared scallops. He’s very fussy about his scallops.  Mostly, we only eat them on the North Fork, right off the boat.  But these were remarkably tender and delicious.

Entrées are mostly in the $20 range. Small plates are in the single digits or low teens.

Vareli

2869 Broadway, New York 10025

(Btwn 111th & 112th St)

212 678-8585

 

 

 

 

 

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Milk Bar to Open on Upper West Side

Momufuku Milk Bar, NY. Photo by crunch1977 via flckr.

I love the Milk Bar’s pistachio layer cake. But the last time I was there, they didn’t have it any more. Maybe they’ll bring it back for their Upper West Side opening, scheduled for a September, says the West Side Rag.

Not familiar with the Milk Bar?  It’s part of the David Chang empire and consists of outposts sprinkled throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Milk Bar features soft serve concocted to taste like cereal milk. I was never a huge fan of cereal milk and I don’t like it in my ice cream. But if you scoop up every last drop of milk from your cereal bowl every morning, then this is the treat for you. Other baked goods include the Compost Cookie® and Crack Pie®.

Click here to view Milk Bar’s menu.

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Take the Zabar’s Lobster Salad Poll!

Want to voice your opinion (or is it outrage?) at the Zabar’s lobster née crayfish salad scandal?

Here’s your chance. Go to the West Side Rag to vote for your favorite new name for this now-notorious seafood concoction.

Zabar's lobster salad is really made with crayfish. Photo: West Side Rag.

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