Dispatched by the wife to Auburndale to get some kimbab for dinner, I was on my way to Song's Family Food when I happened upon this place, about one block east on Northern Boulevard. I thought, what the hell, let's give the competition a whirl.
I'm not sure how long Rolly has been around. I pass by here all the time and today was the first time I've taken notice. They seem new, but, hey, I could be wrong. It's a small joint, not much bigger than a storefront, with about five tables, take-out counter, wall menu including full-on items such as bibimbab and even various types of ramen. The kimbab cover the standards - spicy tuna, squid, spam, kimchi and cheese - but no one was going to stop me from trying the pastrami and ssambab versions (along with a spicy tuna for good measure).
These guys also serve gigantic rice balls, the size of soft balls. Soft as they are, you could break windows with these things, hold up gas stations, plot world domination. They're huge. The nice guy behind the counter tried warning me off of the "bomb" rice ball. "It's too spicy", said he. I wasn't having any of it, but also ordered the crab stick version for balance.
In all, I took home a small truck load of food for just over 22 bucks - not dirt cheap, no, but not unreasonable. We dug all the kimbab. The spicy tuna was decent, on a par with Song's, whose version gives you more tuna, but the pastrami and ssam, which is steamed pork belly, really punched forth with great flavor. The rice was also quite good, good body, good flavor, which makes a difference. One gets so used to mediocre H-Mart variety kimbab, that it's easy to forget how good it can be.
On to the balls.
The "bomb" was covered with dried seaweed and filled with pickled jalapenos. They came tumbling out with each spoonful. There was heat, yes, but nothing like what I'd been prepared for. Not that I'm disappointed - the overall flavor was good. By the time we got around to the crabstick ball, we were stuffed to bursting, but it was decent as well.
The rice balls, to be fair, are meals unto themselves. Not unlike Daheen's wangmandoo, one can be more than enough for one person. They're good, but it's the kimbab I'll go back for.
By the way, Song's isn't bad either, so it looks like we have a real kimbab war happening on the Boulevard.
163-16 Northern Blvd
Flushing, NY 11358
163-16 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11358