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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Szechuan Gourmet - Chinese

Szechuan Gourmet ( 135-15 37th Ave. Corner of Prince Street, Flushing (718) 888-9388) serves food that create sensations in your mouth that you probably never had and in the process will break every sterotype you have about Szechuan food. If you think Szechuan food is only about fire caused by dried chili peppers be prepared to find out that heat comes in lots of different ways and does not have to overwhelm all the other flavors in a dish. Not since the Chinnese Communist Provincial government ran Szechuan Pavilion in Manhattan (25 years ago) have I had food like this.

The dumplings all taste homemade. The dumplings in hot sesame sauce have a great flavor that is enhanced by the heat of the chili oil. The same dumplings are available in a mild chicken broth. The cold noodles in sesame sauce are vastly hotter than standard restaurant fare and probably too spicy for most mortals.

The Chineese string bean are long beans with dried chilis and szechuan peppercorn. The anise flavor and heat from the peppercorns give this dish a wonderful smoky taste. The same pepppercorns are in the chicken and peanuts. This is not your standard kung pow chicken. It is a great blend of garlic, scallions, szechuan pepper that makes this the best of its kind we have ever had. Just be careful not to eat the szechuan peppercorns. If you ever wanted to know what it would feel like to have a handgrenade go off in your mouth, just chew on one and you will get the idea.

Other wonderful dishes include goba crust pork (a sweet sizzling rice dish), mushroom casserole, shredded pork with yellow leaks and salt and pepper shrimp.

A few words of warning, the red pepper system on the menu is not very accurate for describing heat so be prepared for some adventures. Most of them are very pleasureable but watch out for the Ants Climbing Trees. This is dish was a favorite of our late cousin Josh ( a great lover of hot, exotic food) and we ordered it in his memory. This stuff is definitely in the burn you twice category but it really makes your lips tingle.

If you are adventurous, your spirit will be rewarded at Szechuan Gormet.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Silver Pond - Chinese

The Silver Pond (56-50 Main St, Flushing) for great fish and seafood. Peking duck like you have never had it.

Gourmand Restaurant - Chinese

Gourmand Restaurant - 136-14 38 Avenue, 718-886-8896. Excellent dim sum and very unusual dishes. The pork soup buns are excellent. Shrimp and garlic sauces produces moans. Watch out for the live fish and seafood. The prices can be staggering ($49.00 for a pound of fresh shrimp).

Joe's Shanghai - Chinese

Joe's Shanghai (136-21 37th Ave, Flushing) for the best steamed crab meat buns in the world.

New Lok Kee - Chinatown Chinese

For old time Chinatown food, New Lok Kee (36-50 Main St. Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 762-6048)is the way to go. Whatever Chinatown style means to you, wonton soup and roast pork or mussel casserole and snails in black bean sauce, this is the place. Many of the waiters (and their sons) came from the original Chinatown restaurant so you will feel very comfortable. New Lok Kee satisfies your cravings until 5:00 AM.

Little Lamb Family Restaurant - Mongolian

Little Lamb Family Restaurant specializes in lamb dishes and Mongolian Hot Pot. 36-35 Main Street, 718-358-6667, The boiled lamb dumpling, lamb with scallions and Salt & Pepper Shrimp are out of this world.

Peoples and People - Shanghai Chinese

For Shanghai style breakfast food, Peoples and People(the awning now says "No. 1 East Restaurant) restaurant is the best. It has moved from 38-02 Prince St. to 41-27 Main St. (next to the public library) Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 460-8686. The breakfast food is available through mid-afternoon. The fried dumplings and steamed meat balls (actually a soupy bun with pork filling) are delicious and unlike any you have probably had. At dinner, try the Black Pepper Scallops. Also, try the shredded pork with dried bean curd and an order of scallion pancakes. The owner showed us how to split open the pancakes, slather the inside of the pancake with hoisin sauce and fill it with the pork and dried bean curd. What a great sandwich!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Waterfront International Enterprises - Liaoning Province (north of North Korea)

For something completely different and wonderful, try Waterfront International Enterprises (40-09 Prince St. Flushing 718-321-1363). Be prepared for a sequel to the Katz's Delicatessen scene from "When Harry Met Sally." (Remember "I'll have what she's having."? Meg Ryan eat your heart out.) The mixed sweet dish (chunks of taro, sweet potato, and apples in hot sugar candy syrup that are plunged into cold water at the table to form a cold, candy apple like shell around hot, sweet centers) induced moaning that was no act. The food is from the Liaoning Province (north of North Korea). Everything we have had here has been great but unlike any other Chinese food we ever tried. We have enjoyed Jelly fish with scallions, Crispy fried pork with orange flavor, crispy lamb with chili pepper (crusted with whole cumin seeds), Dried tofu with fresh chilies and Country style green bean sheet (nothing like what it sounds like; cold sesame noodles but with fetticine like, translucent noodles, shrimp, pork and shredded cucumber like vegetable). If you are really lucky, you can get some of the buns that the kitchen staff makes for themselves. The buns are a deep fried bread stuffed with minced pork and something like sour cabbage. Many visits will required to even scratch the surface of the huge menu. Soups, dumplings and a wide variety of noodles were being savored by other diners who looked very happy. This food will really warm you from the inside out.

Piccola Venezia - Italian-Istrian

There is a fabulous Italian-Istrian restaurant, Piccola Venezia 42-01 28th Avenue, (718) 721-8470, right near Astoria Blvd. Reservations are a must.

La Gioconda - Italian

The Italian restaurant, La Gioconda, has sauce that leaves Italian-Americans muttering "The gravy, the gravy.".

Gum Fung - Hong Kong Chinese

For dim sum on steam carts, try Gum Fung 136-62 39th Ave. Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 762-8821. Dim Sum available at lunch only. The Char Shu Boa (baked pork buns) are outstanding. Huge array of excellent dishes at dinner. Mostly Hong Kong style. On weekend evenings, lots of parties with entertainment that make the main dining room really festive.

TEL (718) 461-7000 · FAX (718) 767-1102 · email:

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