Tiny, crunchy, sugar-dusted pastry twists, filled with a dab of jelly, are a hound-worthy treat at Monika, a grandmotherly Polish deli in Jackson Heights. “Really good,” says Jim Leff. “They had a flavor I’ve never experienced before in this nabe … it made me disoriented for a minute until I could regroup and identify it. It was butter.” In the refrigerator case, look for soups, bigos (pork-sauerkraut stew), and other prepared foods from Brooklyn’s dependable Old Poland.
A block east, Aqui Colombia makes fine alfajores (caramel-filled cookies) in the yellow, crumbly style, not the lardy, shortbready style. For the latter, Jim recommends neighborhood Peruvian restaurants like Don Alex.
The nearby Aires del Sur bakes first-rate Argentine-style empanadas and sweets. Special pastries, especially anything with dulce de leche, are a good bet, ladymurasaki advises.
Monika Polish Meat and Deli [Jackson Heights]
80-10 37th Avenue (near 80th Street), Jackson Heights, Queens
Aqui Colombia Antojitos Bakery and Enterprises [Jackson Heights]
81-08 37th Avenue (at 81st Street), Jackson Heights, Queens
Don Alex [Jackson Heights]
95-04 37th Avenue (at 95th Street), Jackson Heights, Queens
Aires del Sur [Jackson Heights]
77-07 37th Avenue (between 77th and 78th streets), Jackson Heights, Queens