Tag: Chinatown

  • Sugar Shock

    “I don’t think these stir fries are really stir-fried,” observed my companion. “I think they were assembled from pre-cooked ingredients just prior to serving.” True or not, that would account for the absolute lack of flavor in “three chili chicken” ($17), which arrived lukewarm. The glistening heap lay atop one of those pedestalled stainless-steel serving […]

  • Beef Unbound

    The Vietnamese admiration for beef is boundless. It’s partly a legacy of French colonialism, as you’ll discover when the giggling waitress wheels the barbecue up to the table to whip up your bo nuong vi ($11.95). As the blue flames lick through the perforated grill, she grabs—of all things—a giant gobbet of butter and rubs […]

  • Nip and Squirt

    A few years back, New Yorkers often returned from Chinatown with chins glistening and grease splattered on their shirts. They’d fallen in love with Shanghai soup dumplings, noodle reservoirs bulging with greasy gravy, ground pork, and—if you were lucky—a few shreds of crab. Known more properly as xiao lung bao, these “tiny juicy buns” were […]

  • Pedigreed

    There was a rustling at the end of the room, where, eyes flashing angrily, a golden phoenix squared off against a golden dragon. Suddenly, a door swung open and a waiter appeared, bearing an orange pumpkin on a silver tray. Weaving between families massed around large tables, he approached. Like the phantom horseman of Sleepy […]

  • One Amazing Sandwich

    Assembling last week’s piece about Christmas in Chinatown, I propelled myself eastward along Kings Highway one moonless night. My intention was to hit every Chinese restaurant in Homecrest, sampling carryout dishes so I could make knowledgeable recommendations. Suddenly I stumbled on a dazzling pool of light spilling onto the sidewalk. Arriving at its source, I […]

  • Chop Suey Christmas

    December 25 dawns and you’re totally burned-out. You’ve endured zillions of grating TV commercials, looked away in disgust from innumerable billboards, and spied enough Santas and elves to make you reach for your buggy whip. What you crave is an oasis from the Death Valley of Christmas, a place to silence the carols ringing in […]

  • Getting Gooey

    Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is poised to become the city’s foremost Chinatown. Whereas five years ago it was confined to Eighth Avenue between 50th and 65th streets, the neighborhood now extends north beyond 40th and tumbles west down the slope to Fifth Avenue, a region of small row houses on tree-lined streets, much cheerier than the […]

  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

    Little Italy bottomed out in 1985, when there were only three Italian eateries left on a two-block stretch of Mulberry Street, and the neighborhood’s engulfment by Chinatown seemed imminent. Nowadays, Little Italy is booming, and there are dozens of restaurants. The painfully similar menus flaunt southern Italian fare, though they often put on northern airs. […]

  • Hot Chile Love

    A little over a year ago, I reviewed an unusual Sichuan restaurant aimed at Taiwanese patrons. Spicy & Tasty was located on the outskirts of Flushing’s Chinatown, a walk-down establishment in a seedy strip mall with not much in the way of signage. As the name suggested, the menu was spicy, almost unbelievably so, including […]

  • Meatball Hero Worship

    Ask somebody on the street, “Who invented the hero?” and chances are the respondent will credit Italian American immigrants, who modified a torpedo-shaped French loaf, freighted it with cold cuts or leftover meat-balls, crammed it in a lunch pail, and carried it off to work. But wait a minute! Halfway around the world, the hero […]