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Outer Boroughs

Flushing Feeding Frenzt, Part I

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Flushing Feeding Frenzt, Part I

galleygirl | Nov 17, 2002 09:46 PM

I visited the Outer Boroughs last weekend. After I begged to go to the House of 100 Dumplings, Flushing Food Court, and Gum Fong for Dim Sum, Abbylovi decreed we should have a Flushing Food Day...

Just after the crack of noon, we found ourselves eyeing the carts at Gum Fong with Eric Eto and WrayB, fully recovered from indulgences of the night before..It's tough when 4 seperate hounds are ordering, but some order was maintained, and then an unearthly quiet descended as we honed our snail-sucking skills...These were undoubtably the hit of the meal, and a totally new experience for me...The black bean sauce that they were skittering around in took on a more complex taste from the residual snail-juices, and thinned it down, something that made it easier to get a grip on them and forage with those little toothpicks..Worth all the effort, as well as the scraped tongue gained perfecting my suctioning technique...(Clearly, I will have to practice more)...I was warned off ordering the clams in black bean sauce afterwards; Eric said they'd pale in comparison.

My other favorites were the Green Vegetable and Shrimp Dumplings..The peppery taste reminded me of the sweet-pea leaf dumplings that I had at Yank Sing in SF, but these had leek or Chinese chives added. Eric and I couldn't agree on the greens, but we did agree that they were delicious, and got another order..I also liked the aformentioned Bunny dumplings, filled with shrimp, and their giant dough "turnover", filled with veggies and seafood, in broth...We didn't get to investigate the custom soups and stir-fries in the back, we were still trying to pace ourselves at this point. I thought Gum Fong was very good, but I wonder about it being NY's best...It seemed about the same level as Boston's best....(You guys'll have to come up and put us to the test!)

The problem with Flushing is, there isn't enough crawl space, because all the chow-options are too close together...Before I knew it, we were at a Korean/Japanese Bakery at the corner of 39th Ave and Union St., and Eric was selecting some treats that looked boring, (I'm not a flakey pastry fan) but tasted heavenly..The redbean-paste filling of the first was amazing smooth, dense, and intensely sweet..I kept asking for one more bite. The second one was much cuter, it looked like a flattened chestnut, and was filled with what I learned was a traditional, sweet, heavy, chestnut paste filling...It was true decadence.

As I passed them back to Eric, I became aware of the plethora of Korean places we were passing...One was a dumpling place, with the chef showcased in the window, a la Mandoo in Manhattan...One had a long list of barbecued specials in the window..Others highlighted stews...I really couldn't get over it; I kept asking them why no one was diving in and charting them block by block..I know, I know, you have one favorite and stick to it, but it seems like an ever-evolving Korean wonderland...

We DID steer into a Korean church on Northern Blvd, with a sign that said "BAZAAR", and "kimchi" and had a picture of a head of cabbage..There were tables full of big, plastic bags of Kimchi, and people seemed to be getting soup from somewhere out back..A woman was cooking big, kimchi pancakes, and we headed there..We were treated like honored guests; everyone was supremely concerned that we have a good time, and checked to make sure we knew what chopsticks were..We didn't quite keep up our end of the bargain, however. Since we had just eaten, we could only manage to split one skillet-sized pancake, for $3..But, oh, what a pancake....Yellow soybean meal (I think) full of kimchi and whole scallions. That's it..As fresh and pungent as it comes, it was the only thing that could perk up those flagging appetites...But I've longed for more, since...

We continued on to the Flushing Food Court, to sight-see, but could consume no more than Pearl tea.

On the way back, we swerved into, and drooled appreciatively, at Jahnchi Jahnchi, the most extensive selection of prepared Korean food I have ever seen..WrayB posted about this somewhere down the board, and it's the solution to instant dinner...The full platter of cooked giant squid, complete with dipping sauce, still haunts me for $5..Ready-made selections of Bibimbap vegetables just needed your rice cooker to make them a complete meal, and the platters of pre-fried fish, in pieces and whole, had me reaching out, then crying in dismay when I realized we could be crawling for hours, and I had no meals left to fill...It's at 138-28 Northern Blvd, 718-461-3030, and I have never seen a selection like it...

After a quick drink at the Flushing Sheraton, (did you know there are NO bars in Flushing?), we met HLing, her sister, HsiaLing, TomMeg, and a friend of theirs from Tai Kwan Do class for *TA DA*--House of a Hundred Dumplings!!! We love this; I wannah bring up a field trip of Boston Hounds! Much has been written about it, and everything was true..By the time we left at 8 on a Saturday nite, there was a line out the door..I lost track of all the dumplings we ate, but my favorites were the boiled version of #65, Pine Nut and Egg yolk, which I would have never tried if not for Hsia-Ling..The crisp fattiness of the pine-nuts was an amazing combination with the richness of the ground egg yolk..Superlative! At #2 was the #42,Chive with Fresh Squid; so tangy with chives, and rich with squid, that it would have been THE perfect dumpling if we had ordered it panfried..I think the crisp saltiness of their panfried skin would have been the perfect match for the flavorful filling...

BTW, they do serve beer, that famous Chinese brew, Corona... :)

Of course then, HLing decided it was time for dessert....

TO BE CONTINUED......

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