A DAY IN FLUSHING
Flushing, New York, is the home of my grandparents and cousins, so my sister and I decided to make a last-minute trip out there this past weekend. Having worked together to get into Chinatown from our separate locations, Sarah and I took a dinky shuttle to Flushing for a delightful day of cuisine and catching up. When we arrived at the shuttle, it was already packed, but we were allowed to sit on the van’s floor on newspapers. For the simple reason that we’re so refined.
A new restaurant named Biáng! which was built by the founders of Xi’an Famous Foods is where my cousin and her husband took us for lunch. The noodle chain has become famous for its hand-pulled, chewy noodles and its spicy sauces. Before going to their restaurant around the corner, we went to the little hole-in-the-wall.
However, the new restaurant is only marginally more premium in terms of décor and not in terms of price. Their more prominent locations feature the same menu as their smaller ones, but they also have an excellent range of teas, snacks, and kebabs, known as chuàn. Look! The persona has the appearance of a kebab! Who says learning a foreign language is difficult?
For our meal, we chose to order the traditional hand-pulled biang biang noodles and several skewers of tripe, chicken heart, and pork intestines. We stayed in the restaurant’s backyard because the main dining area was full, and we were able to enjoy our iced teas (Jasmine, Chrysanthemum, and Hawthorne). One sip of Hawthorne tea is all you need to know. We’ll let you all know whenever we get our hands on a recipe.
It didn’t take them long enough before the meal was served. First to be served were the tripe skewers.
At first glance, it may appear strange, but this dish is delicious and even refreshing on a hot summer day. Those descriptions aren’t enough to describe the flavor of the numbing, spicy, peanut-y cold sauce.
Then came the lamb noodles with a spicy cumin sauce. It’s a sheep! The secret ingredient! The aroma of the herbs and spices! Deliciously chewy noodles that aren’t all the same. They’re well renowned for this dish.
The chicken heart kebabs weren’t exceptional, but they were excellent and worth ordering again. They tasted like seasoned, fiery chili flakes rolled around some pretty lean pork.
The pig intestines, on the other hand, were DELICIOUS. I rarely use the word “scrumptious,” so please take this as a warning.) Having never had intestines before, it was a new experience for me.
We ate everything in sight. They were startled to learn that Beijing does not always surpass Flushing when dining. It’s nice to visit Beijing, but you don’t have to go all the way to China to enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine. New York City’s Chinatown and Flushing neighborhoods and suburban New Jersey have all provided some of our favorite Chinese cuisine experiences.
Before heading to Paris Baguette, where my cousin’s twin sister was waiting for us, we went antique shopping for vases, knick-knacks, and sculptures.
Pastries, cakes, and shaved ices are the specialty of this Korean bakery brand.
We tried our first “kronut,” which is a cronut’s lame cousin.
Since its inception at Dominique Ansel Bakery as a hybrid of croissants and donuts, this sweet treat has attracted considerable media attention. We don’t make sure if it’s the real deal, but Paris Baguette’s counterfeit was excessively greasy. However, the lemon cream filling was quite tasty.
As soon as the Korean kid refilling the fruit tarts came over, he urged Sarah to stop taking pictures of her meal.
On our way out of Flushing, I couldn’t help but reflect on how far the borough had come in the previous decade. In our youth, we dreaded traveling over Manhattan’s Chinatown for the dreary surroundings of Flushing, which was then known as Flushing Meadows-Corona. Flushing is where it’s at, Annie and Amy used to say when we were in high school.
I used to laugh it off as we drove back to New Jersey, but now it’s a little more real to me than before. There are many Asian residents in the area who work hard to ensure that the local cuisine is authentic. The aroma of freshly steamed dumplings, the brilliant colors of fresh cherries, dragon fruit, and Chinese veggies, and the delicious odors coming from the ventilation of a nearby restaurant were all familiar sights and smelled throughout the day.
If you’re planning to visit the area, don’t miss Biang! The cumin lamb noodles and the pig intestine skewers at this restaurant are a must-try. Check out the rest of Flushing. We’d love to hear if you’ve been there previously or if you know of any hidden gems in the area.