With the conspicuous absense of the the Xi'an food stall at the Flushing food court, and finding the noodles at the downstairs Ramen King stall not up to par, I've ventured onward to find my fix of handmade noodle soups. There's a little stand in the Mayflower Plaza food court (40-48 Main St) where the noodles look so fresh and irresistible. No english signage, but I was told "beef noodle soup" and I gave a thumbs up. While the Xi'an noodle soup is still my gold standard, this one lived up to my expectations. The noodles were the best part, slightly chewy and about the width of thick linguine. The stewed beef chunks were tender and not too overpowering with 5-spice as I've found in some other places. The broth, was just slightly lacking, but all put together, a good bowl of noodles. Towards the rear of the Mayflower plaza food court is a Taiwanese noodle shop, where it looks like they also make their own noodles. I haven't tried this one yet, but it also looks promising. Also within this food court is one of those 3-entrees-rice-soup buffets that look far better than most. There are also two sichuan stalls, an ice dessert and tea stand, and a sushi stand.
AA (or it could just be A) plaza is really a sidewalk window/counter just next to the LIRR station on Main St. Maybe this place has been here for a while, but for some reason, I'd never noticed it before. There's about 8 people making dumplings, fried noodles, and a few fried things for cheap and quick eating. Nothing looked all that appealing except for the steamed buns. The guy selling them was yelling out "xiao lon bao" and it piqued my interest, since soup dumplings aren't best eaten standing up or on the run. They're 4 for $1. And what it really is is a cross between a steamed bun and a soup dumpling. The wrapper is really made from that thick airy steamed bun pastry, but the filling is more like the pork soup dumpling. The liquid in the filling gets soaked up in the bun, and it's pretty good. Not a bad payoff for a buck.
The grill man (aka the Octopus Man) is slipping. I'm more or less partial to the grilled corn. Instead of starting with a fresh ear, he's starting to preboil them and then grilling. The problem is that the corn is completely overboiled, preventing any charring on the grill, and making the kernels way too soft and mushy. I guess I'll just have to stick to getting elotes (mexican corn) in Corona from here on. I'm very disappointed. The rest of the grilled items from the grill man appears to remain intact, so all you octopus aficionados, don't fret.
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