Day: February 1st, 2008

Flushing foray

Friday, February 1st, 2008 | All Things, Eats

So engaged over dinner at Flushing’s Spicy & Tasty that I failed to snap even a single photo the entire evening. (The one below was taken at Main and Roosevelt the following morning.) If I had, though, there would be shots of the refrigerated case near the entrance, where it was all we could do to reign ourselves in from loading up on the appetizers alone. After perusing the array of options — rabbit tendons were tempting, but Arctic surf clams don’t seem like a natural choice for a restaurant whose cuisine is based in landlocked Sichuan province — we opted finally for the “Sliced Conch in Red Chili Sauce,” the “Cucumber in Sesame Oil Sauce” and the “Sesame Cold Noodle.”

Fortified with cooling bottles of Tsingtao, we moved on from there to the “Spicy Double Cooked Pork” – a classic regional dish in which marbled slices of pork belly, i.e., uncured bacon – yes?, are boiled then flash-fried in hot, chili-spiked oil, and served over a mound of leeks. Wikipedia traces the origins of the dish to the Qing Dynasty, when a group of Sichuan villagers repurposed their leftover pork in a desperate attempt to create a feast for the visiting Emperor. He enjoyed it so much that “Twice Cooked Pork” became a signature dish of the region.

We knew we had a hit when a quick perusal of the dining room showed the same dish on almost every other table.

And then, because we could not resist, another classic: the “Smoked Tea Duck,” literally in Chinese, “camphor tea duck.” This dish is prepared by smoking a marinated and dried duck over camphor tea leaves and twigs — a process which imparts a dark color to the crisp skin and a strongly, unique flavor to the meat. Another winner, though, by meal’s end, we could hardly manage more than a couple pieces each.

And yet, somehow, there’s always room for dessert at Sweet n’ Tart. And on the ride back into Manhattan, some carefully considered discussions over where to find the best fast food in country. (Hmm, Wendy’s — really?)

Oh, I do love food — both the high and the low.

Main Street New Year


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