Continued my day in Jamaica/Ozone Park, Queens… I realized I had only spent an hour there. So to fill my time, I walked west underneath the above-ground subway tracks along Liberty Ave, past two subway stops. It seemed to be less Caribbean/Guyanese and more Hispanic.

I found one newly opened Trinidadian restaurant that didn’t look like they’ve been getting much business. I saw that they had Aloo Pie $1.50 on the cardboard sign in the window, to which I ordered. The nice lady asked me how I knew about Aloo Pie. For one thing it was on the sign in the window and I noticed it at all the other Caribbean restaurants in the area because it was one of the cheapest things. So I kinda played it off like I knew what Aloo Pie was. She pulled out a long fried bread from the sports cooler behind her and cut it open like a hot dog bun. With the bread spread open naked, she asked “How do you want your Aloo Pie?” Busted. “Um… I really don’t know what an Aloo Pie is.” “I’ll make it nice for you then. You like spicy?” A resounding “Yes!” She slopped on some Aloo chickpea & potato curry, then some spicy and sweet chutney sauces. The lady continued to asked where I was from, what was I doing in the neighborhood and why am I buying an Aloo Pie. It was hard to explain to someone who’s probably never heard of a food blog, why I would travel deep into Queens to explore for the sake of food. She probably thinks I’m a nerd.

The Aloo Pie is like a spicy mashed potato sandwich. Right up my ally, right? It had some Indian and Caribbean flavors to it. I quite enjoyed. Half way through, I noticed that it seemed to have some kind of taro root or other starchy vegetable embedded in the fried bread. It was not just a hot dog bun with curry slopped on no more. It became complex and interesting because of that secret pocket. I want to say like how there used to be those hot dogs that have chili or cheese stuffed inside the wiener, but not really like that. It’s just more work than I think it should be, but I like it.

Trini Flava’s Restaurant – 105-05 Liberty Ave. Ozone Park, Queens NY 11417

About The Author

Jason Lam

Food blogger since 2008. Hair model since 2003.

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5 Responses

  1. Bhopal

    Well isn’t this a nice surprise! I started reading your blog a couple months ago and I’ve visited almost daily since then on my downtime at work. I was out for almost a week due to a nasty cold but I get back to my usual browsing routine today and what do I see? You been reviewing places around my way.

    I’m Guyanese and live right off of Liberty Ave. on 129th St. I’ve only lived in the area for about a year now but because of proximity and also having penchant for food discovery myself, I’d say I have a pretty good grasp on what’s good and what’s not so hot in the area.

    The places you did visit (Trini Flava’s, Sybil’s, & Anil’s) are all OK but not exactly places I’d recommend for someone experiencing Guyanese-Caribbean cuisine, although I admit I go to Anil’s once a week for their ‘doubles’. I think this happens to most people visiting the area because the best food surprisingly comes from the bars that line Liberty Ave. I’d wager that their take out and delivery business is as profitable if not more than their beer sales.

    I definitely recommend New Thriving Restaurant for ‘Guyanese Chinese’ food. A simple chicken fried rice is a cut above the rest nearby. They recently opened up a second location not too far from the Lefferts Ave. train stop. For the more traditional Guyanese dishes like curries and baked goods, sadly no place really compares to home. If I did have to recommend a place I’d go with Singh’s Roti Shop.

    Love the blog, keep the good reviews coming!

    Reply
    • chinolam
      chinolam

      I almost grabbed a beer at Singh’s. I wish I stayed for some food. I’m curious about the origins of Guyanese Chinese. If you have some insight, please let me know. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Bhopal

        For that you’d have to look into how Guyana’s population is comprised of what it is today.

        I’m no historian so:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guyana (take a look at the 2nd paragraph under history)

        Basically indentured servants from some parts of Europe and Southeast Asia came to Guyana as indentured servants in the 17th-18th Cent. Through the years, the descendants have fused together some aspects of their culturally different lifestyles, including the food.

  2. kenny

    i love aloo pie i live in florida and ther is a trini place down here …i eat there like every weekend ..but i get my aloo pie with shrimp

    Reply

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