Posts tagged dumplings

Yi Lan Halal Restaurant

Sam has a car and decided we needed to drive to Flushing to eat Chinese food. Cool with me. We looked at the Village Voice 10 Best Chinese Restaurants in NYC (…which coincidentally, Sam had just shot the cover for the Voice). We picked #1 Yi Lan Halal Restaurant. Why not? Go for the best on the list.

We picked the Lamb Dumplings (20 for $6), Beef Tongue and Tail with Brown Sauce ($16.95) and Sea Cucumber with Scallions ($17.95). The Lamb Dumplings were amazing and a good deal. The other two dishes, I don’t know. Maybe overpriced for what I thought it would be looking at the restaurant. The tongue and tail meat were tender. I just didn’t like the thick browns sauce too much. And the Sea Cucumbers were so difficult to pick up with chopsticks. So slippery, gelatinous and swirmy.

If I go back, I’d stick with the cheaper options like the dumplings and noodles. I just didn’t realize Sea Cucumbers would cost that much. But when we went to the Chinese supermarket across the street, they were expensive. So were the bullfrogs surprisingly.

Yi Lan Halal Restaurant – 42-79A Main St. Flushing, NY 11355

Sam had also shot my headshot this weekend. I’m available for private events.


Tio Wally Eats America: Thanksgiving in Tulsa

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma
N 36° 07.893’  W 95° 48.956’  Elev. 747 ft.

Before I get accused of lying about being in Peculiar on Thanksgiving Day I want to confess: I lied about being in Peculiar on Thanksgiving Day.

The truth is the cast and crew of the SS Me So Hungry awoke in Atlanta and eventually landed in Herculaneum, Missouri on Thanksgiving Day. You’re no doubt familiar with Herculaneum. It’s north of Festus, just south of Pevely. And for dinner we had nothing; we got a large Vienna Roast coffee and a glazed donut at the QT for $1.81 the next morning.

Friday night we made landfall in Tulsa where we had the good fortune to use and abuse the hospitality of our friends Linda and Lewis, and pig out for a couple of days on their leftovers. And, boy, were they good — the people and the food!

Evidently a bit of rivalry had taken place between their son and future son-in-law which culminated in a turkey-cooking competition. One of them deep-fried a bird, while the other smoked his fowl. Much to my dismay there was a marked absence of spatchcocking (or, if you prefer, spattlecocking) of any poultry that day.

While both claimed victory, I thought the smoked one was a little better although I have no idea why. Both were tender and tasted like, well, turkey. Linda thought the smoked bird was a little too sweet — something about injections and brown sugar and such — but I couldn’t taste it. I thought they both tasted great.

Along with the leftover Competition turkey I had great dressing and really scrumptious yams. But the best was yet to come.

For dessert they had it all: Pumpkin Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Pecan Pie, Cheesecake and German Chocolate Cake. I’d hit a mother lode! Unfortunately I was too stuffed to have any dessert that night.

Then the next day tragedy struck: the Lemon Meringue Pie had disappeared before I was able to snag a piece. Dropping to my knees in despair, I asked “Can a greater misfortune possibly befall one who has beheld, with his own eyes, the pie?” Don’t answer. By the way, it really was a photo-worthy beauty.

Another real treat they had in their refrigerator were Pickled Asparagus Spears. They were thin spears, slightly spicy-hot and had both great flavor and texture, tender and crispy simultaneously. They reminded me of, and were every bit as good as, those Spicy Pickled Blue Lake (Green) Beans I love so much. They said they liked them with beer. I could see that. They’d also make the ultimate Bloody Mary garnish.

If that weren’t already enough, Saturday night Linda made Turkey and Dumplings. Real dumplings! Unlike the bogus dumplings the Pennsylvania Dutch are so famous for foisting on the unsuspecting, Linda made the real things: succulent little doughy balls in a super creamy broth. Sort of like slightly undercooked biscuits in gravy. Unbelievably good.

All in all we’re pretty grateful our belated Thanksgiving dinner(s) worked out so well. And Lewis, bless his heart, hid away the last piece of pumpkin pie especially for me. The only downside, could there possibly be one, is that Skippy didn’t get to eat his Phil.

And so we roll.

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Khyber Pass – Afghani Restaurant

We went to Khyber Pass, one of my favorite East Village restaurants that I never ever go to. It’s surprisingly never crowded at this place. I don’t know why. The food is great.

I ordered the special of the day Mahicha Palow (Lamb Shank) $18. It came with two big shanks. Very tender meat. I love the Harissa spicy sauce on the table to go with it.

Vegetable soup came with the entree. There was a dollop of sour cream in it. I liked it.

Justin got the Mantoo dumplings $11. Dang, these were good. Why doesn’t anyone eat here?

I remember leaving a large umbrella there years ago. I came back a week later and they still had it. I think one of the chefs was using it. But they still had it!

Their sign used to say “Afghani Restaurant” a long time ago. I wonder if they took that down because tourists are scared of terrorists?

Justin told the waitress she had a cute smile. I think I was a little drunk.  But that doesn’t really explain anything.

Khyber Pass Restaurant – 34 St. Marks Pl (btwn 3rd Ave & Astor Pl) New York, NY 10003

Golden Fried Dumpling

Yesterday I headed out to Downtown Brooklyn for the World Science Festival – Innovation Square. Stopped to get a bite first at Golden Fried Dumpling in the area. They have $1 for 4 Dumplings and stuffed Sesame Pancake Sandwiches.

I had both. Pretty decent with some vinegar and the thick chili paste on the table. They were kind of similar to Vanessa’s menu, except, I think the turnover (at least on the weekend) is slower. So they were already made by the time I walked in. The Sesame Pancake Sandwich just needed to be assembled with thin slices of pork belly.

I was plenty stuffed for only $3. A real good deal. Not many places like this, unless you are in Chinatown.

Golden Fried Dumpling – 192 Duffield St (btwn Willoughby & Metrotech) Brooklyn, NY 11201

I had fun at the World Science Festival – Innovation Square (at Metrotech Plaza/NYU Polytechnic). Saw some pretty cool things like a panel on indie video game making. That kind of inspired me. I want to make a video game now.

I had a beer at Luciano’s next door so I could use the restroom. Then 30 minutes later I had to go again because of the beer I drank before. So I drank another beer to use the restroom again …and the cycle continues.

Lady Octopus

Sam told me how he used to go to Lady Octopus for fried seafood in the neighborhood –until the older Korean lady insisted that he will get a Chicken Cutlet Sandwich next time he comes in. Sam hasn’t been back two years since, because he really didn’t want a Chicken Cutlet Sandwich …or perhaps he didn’t want to be forced what to order.

He’s not the only one that has had odd interactions with Lady Octopus. The Yelp reviews are hilarious …calling the her the “Soup Nazi of Williamsburg.” A must read.

I finally went to try it …for the experience. Every time I had gone before, it was Sunday and they are closed. I kept forgetting that. I wanted Sam to come along to see if she would make him buy a Chicken Cutlet Sandwich two years later, but he wouldn’t answer me.

I went in with a smile, but anticipating the worst. Then I was totally surprised how nice and cheerful she was. No problem at all. She offered me condiments and made sure I had everything I needed. She was even humming a song.

I ordered the Fried Fish Sandwich ($4) and the Fried Vegetable Dumplings ($1.75). The sandwich was alright. It was like a more plumped up Filet-O-Fish. There was a small bone in it, which makes me think it’s not some processed frozen patty. So that was reassuring.

The dumplings were pretty good. Crispy skin. Although I’m not sure if it was really vegetarian. It kinda seemed like pork filling, but that didn’t bother me. I would have ordered pork dumplings if I saw it on the menu. Maybe they have both kinds and I did get a pork. Or maybe that pork isn’t really pork.

The Fish Sandwich was even better when I dipped it in the dumpling soy sauce.

People started coming in when I was finishing up. I thought “Oh shit. Here’s some hipsters and some black people. Okay, now something crazy is gonna happen.” But she was so nice to them …maybe because they were nice to her. It was the total opposite of the Yelp reviews. Maybe it goes to say that a smile goes a long way.

Lady Octopus – 495 Lorimer St (btwn Grand St & Powers) Brooklyn, NY 11211

Nasha Rasha Russian Restaurant

Sam took me out to lunch because I won a sports bet. We went to a relatively new Russian restaurant in our work area –Nasha Rasha. From the outside, I thought it was a little too intimidating for a lunch spot. But on the inside, it’s sorta kitschy with neon red communist signs, walls of vodka and cute waitresses in folk uniforms.

They also have a decent sounding lunch Prix Fixe for $15, which turned out to be pretty awesome. Came with soup, salad, drink and entree. The Borsch beet soup was great. Olivier Salad (famous russian salad of potatoes, vegetables & bologna& mayonnaise) was decent potato salad. The drinks were awesome. Sam had the Kompot and I had the Uzvar. Both fruit drinks. Both delicious. I haven’t drank fruit drinks since Hi-C.

Then the waitress brought out our dumpling entrees with these big Russian dolls on top. I didn’t know what was going on when they came out. Cool presentation. I recommend the Pelmeni over the Vareniki. The meat texture was better. Vareniki filling was cat food like. I ate it all because it tasted good with the melted butter at the bottom of the bowl and sour cream. Maybe I like cat food.

Very filling all in all. I’m glad I won. The bill came in a neat box.

I’m trying to think of a good way to finish this post off. All I can I think of is that time Rusty and I let some Russian girls stay over because they Myspaced our band page. Now that I look at that old post, I guess it was a little racist. But it’s probably fine. They locked Rusty out of his room.

Nasha Rasha Russian Restaurant & Vodka Bar – 4 W 19th St (btwn 5th & 6th Ave) New York 10011

Himalayan Yak Restaurant

This Ramen and Friends adventure took us to Himalayan Yak in Jackson Heights, Queens. Got to taste a bunch of things. I liked the Sha Bhaley meat patties and their hot sauces. Different hot sauces that I don’t know how to describe, but they were different and all hot. And the goat Sha Momo Dumplings were right on.

The group seemed to think it was hilarious that the Himalayan Exotic section of the menu had American Cheese in the dishes. I got the Ema-Datsi (The fiery Bhutanese national dish!!! Long green chilly in a american cheese sauce served with rice). It was sure spicy. I had to stuff my mouth with their breads to cool me down.

Himalayan Yak – 72-20 Roosevelt Ave. Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Uncle Zhou Restaurant

A Ramen and Friends adventure at Uncle Zhou in Elmhurst, Queens. My favorites were the Triple Delight Dumplings, Big Tray of Chicken and Pancake sandwich. I really needed to wipe my mouth with the pancake bread after the Spicy Crispy Rabbit. The Sichuan Peppercorns in there knocked out my tongue all numb. It was an interesting sensation that I curiously kept coming back to try …but really difficult to eat.

I think I paid around $11 at the end of the check split. Really cheap for all I ate.

Uncle Zhou – 83-29 Broadway Elmhurts NY
Ramen and friends’ post