Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flushing Streeteats: Dirty but Delish

Last Sunday after a nice walk in Flushing Meadows Park Hubby and I went to Flushing to get some treats for our dehydrated stomachs.

Our first stomach is of course bubble tea. We parked towards the end of Main Streets, so walking up we hit ShareTea. They actually share it with a shoe store, so I guess as you sip your bubble tea you can grab some booties as well.

Their menu wasn't as extensive as some of the other bubble tea joints in the hood, which is a good thing because I'm always pouring over the menu and indecisive over which one to get.

Thankfully, this was an easy decision because they had a sale of 2 for $3, so we just got two green milk bubble teas. I didn't want bubbles in mine but the lady said you can't customized. Oh well, I was just trying to save them and my mouth some trouble.

The tea came in a pretty little sealed cup, and to my surprise actually tasted pretty charming as well. You could actually taste the hint of green tea intermixed with the sugary milk mixture, and the bubbles were tender and al dente, not hard to chew.

I've always wanted to try the place under the Main Street bridge for their really super uber cheap scallion pancakes and fish sticks. So we got exactly that - a spicy fish ball on a stick and some spring rolls. The fish balls hit the umami spot - it was soft, tender, full of juicy flavor with a kick of spice. Too bad we only got one because Hubby devoured it in 5 secs flat. The spring rolls were full of carrots and minced pork, which I guess were pretty good had I been a fan of spring rolls. We saved the scallion pancakes for our next Flushing outing.

But I did grab a giant sesame encoated flat scallion pancake bun. It was hanging out a couple of vendors down, and there were a sincere interest in these. So I got one for $1, and bit into it. Surprisingly, you could see the bits of scallion pieces inside, which was full of delish salty scalliony flavor. Too bad that only lasted 1/5 into the bun. Towards the end there wasn't much flavor so I had to save it to eat with some kimchee at home.

Then walking back we stopped by the infamous $1 peking duck roll joint. There was a little sales window outside the busy - I mean real busy - store that sold some dim sum and of course, their infamous peking duck roll.

There were lots of puffy glutinous things, but we resisted for the duck roll.

You Tiao

But of course I couldn't resist the golden pieces of poofed dough deep-fried in a thick cauldron of oil and lard (called you tiao, literally translated as oily stick). Delish. Two sticks for $1. 

Duck in a Bun

This is a probably what inspired David Chang's Pork Bun empire, except at a mere fraction of the cost. Even though they have a sample, they make it fresh in front of you. I really liked the spruces of green onions that jutted out alongside to a thick layer of duck and sauce. Plus the serving lady was one of the nicest I've ever met in Chinatown, explaining to me very patiently what each thing was. 

After our street eats we stopped by a Chinese supermarket to pick up some groceries. Even though I don't need to cook anymore for Hubby since his company has free lunch. Yes, ladies and gents, there are free lunches on Wall Street.

I'm always amazed at the incredible selection of seafood in Chinatown. If I could stand the smell, I would spend hours pouring over the various exotic creatures that live inside the sale bins. Like this creature pictured above - anyone have any idea what this is?

I was also amazed to see that the clams were actually breathing! It was my first time seeing live clams whose shell actually open and close depending on how "alive" they are!

When we got back home, first thing was first - try the honey duck feet!

Looks pretty gruelsome but tastes pretty good. Can't really taste the meat at all because there isn't much, so the most you can get outta these suckers is to suck on it for the flavor. The flavor mind you is quite intense with a deeply marinated honey soy sauce glaced over it. Must have taken quite a while to cook these. I've had similar ones in Taiwan where they actually put a sugar glaze (go figure, Taiwanese cuisine embraces sugar) on top of it and then freeze it until it's like a popsicle. I couldn't really taste anything after it's been in the fridge for so long, so that was kind of disappointing. But this one I'll bet is quite authentic in taste, so I actually enjoyed it.

You Fan 

The oil rice tasted pretty good as well. I liked the bits of imitation duck meat and the shitake mushrooms embedded inside this bed of soy-sauced glutinous rice. It actually doesn't taste as strong as the ones in Taiwan, because this was without the glaze on top. 

Sideway Portrait of the Modern Duck Feet (sounds like an exhibition at Moma, doesn't it?)

We also feasted on the $1.99 watermelon we picked up at the grocery store. It was pretty fresh, but not that sweet. Looks like I'll have to work on my watermelon knocking skills to test out the ripeness more.


**** (4/5 stars)
Flushing street eats, Queens (not an actually place, just the street eats in Flushing in general)

Motto: Dirty but Delish

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