Today, during a visit to Flushing to check out the scene, I wandered into a few of the little mini-shopping centers in the ground floor of several buildings along Main Street around 41st Ave/Rd/Dr. To my surprise, in these buildings I found loads of very authentic-looking stalls selling regional Chinese specialties, including one guy with Shandong dumplings, another with Sichuan snacks, and another with Fujian dishes. I had already had breakfast, and had plans for lunch, so I was not in a position to try anything to check out the flavor, but I did order a shaobing from one of the breakfast stalls for only 50 cents and it could just as easily have been bought on the streets of Beijing (albeit for 1/10 the price).
The only problem with some of these places is that no English menus were in evidence, so if you cannot speak/read Chinese you may not fare too well, but if you can, or know someone who can, it seems that these places could well be worth a gamble. The prices are ridiculously low, the cooks are from the areas whose cuisines they peddle and they offer a range of dishes not easily found in more established places. As I get a chance to try them out, I'll post my findings.
If anyone else has been to these places, I'd love to hear about your experiences.