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