A wander through Jackson Heights [NYC]

A few of us sampled our way around Jackson Heights.

@DaveCook will upload “good” pics later I’m sure but here are my amateur ones :joy:.

And maybe @JenKalb will take pics of what went home from Kabab king.

969 Kitchen — Onigirazu (“sushi sandwiches”) picked up for later: oyster, shrimp, crab


La Esquina — Mexican-style seafood: we shared a fish empanada & what we ordered as an octopus tostada but also arrived as what we are guessing is fish (similar crumbles to the empanada. The empanada was the winner here, crisp and delicious with a little avocado stuck inside. We schewed the provided hot sauce, surprisingly.


Colombian street vendor — Cheese arepa with condensed milk. We were on the lookout for Venezuelan street vendors, but stopped at the lady frying arepas, and this was a nice bite. The condensed milk drizzle offered was a new combination for me, but tasty.


Fuska Garden cart — Bangladeshi dahi fuska. There are a proliferation of fuska (aka puchka, gol gappa, or what I know them as – pani puri) carts in the neighborhood now, perhaps owing to the write-up and subsequent fame of Tong and Fuskahouse.

We picked the last one down the line (to be kind?) and were not disappointed. A delicious few bites, getting slightly soggier with each one as they should have!


Kazi Pitha Ghar cart – Bangladeshi pati shapta (crepe with sweet filling) . We were drawn to what seemed like a couple of new carts serving not-commonly-found Bengali delicacies like pati shapta and pitha.

This one was especially attractive as it sold things by the piece rather than plate. We need to get back there and sample the rest of the menu; we held back because we wanted to sit down and eat at Haat Bazaar next.


Haat Bazaar – Bangladeshi hot table — Assorted bhorta (mashed, heavily spiced vegetables) platter with rice and dal, Rohu (Indian salmon) curry with cauliflower and potatoes, sautéed tiny fish (maybe anchovies).

Complimentary “chaffee” ie some tea-coffee combination at the end after we turned down malai tea :joy:

The Bhorta platter had 9 different versions: potato, yam, broad beans, cilantro, tomato, squash, eggplant, lentil, and what I think was a second potato but might have been a different root vegetable.


Kabab King – Kababs and other things for later: Shami, Bihari, goat curry, and naan. No pics (maybe @JenKalb will add some later).

OOF. I was very full.


I was corrected by (who else?) my mom — Rohu is like carp, Rawas is indian salmon.


so was it indian salmon (rawas) or carp? It was definitely good and well cooked.
I havent gone through my pictures or eaten the kebab king items yet, but I will say that all of the bites we had were very good and the onigarazu was stellar!
(Jim devoured a lot ofit when I got home) Thanks you and @DaveCook for inducting me into the pleasures and practicalities of the food crawl!


A type of carp (Rui / Rohu)

We had the bihari kebab tonight for dinner with rice, raita and cabbage cooked with 5 spice/panchphoron and onions - no nan. It would have been good. Very intense, flavorful smoky spicing. Thanks so much for the recommendation. Maybe goat curry tomorrow night (or the kebabs.

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I had the onigirazu for lunch today, and it was lovely. Might have been better a bit crunchier with the tempura fresh, but the other crunchy bits compensated. Well-filled and balanced (though I made a mess about halfway through hahaha).

I adored that behari kabob. It was a revelation for me.

Adding the Bihari kabab and naan from Kabab King


Wow, patishapta! Did the filling have coconut?

I believe the filling was jaggery and coconut, yes, although the only word I recall clearly from Kazi’s description was “jaggery.”

We’d actually crossed the street to check out a different cart that offers pati shapta, then ultimately bought one from Kazi (on the sidewalk) and his partner. Their menu features at least a half-dozen varieties of pitha, including bhapa, chitoi, teler, nakshi, puli, and vapa puli pitha. Haat Bazaar, we later noticed, now displays pati shapta near the register, too.


Wow, all looks amazing! Sorry to have missed it!

The type I was previously familiar with is the one with coconut and jaggery.

To me this one didn’t taste of coconut, but had the texture and flavor of kheer, and when I looked it up later I learned that the other traditional filling is indeed kheer — but not the rice kind, rather what I know as mawa / khoya ie reduced milk solids.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised at their price point if there was some rice in the filling as I seemed to think when I tasted a bite (mawa is a lot more expensive).

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It’s great to see regional Bengali food flourishing in Jackson Heights - kudos to the entrepreneurs who are offering food which will appeal across the board. Phuchka and pithe-puli are favourites of Bengalis from West Bengal in India as well (Bengal was partitioned by the British into the majority Hindu West and majority Muslim East which later became Bangladesh).

I might be mistaken, but I’m not sure Brick Lane/, Whitechapel in London has a similar pocket with multiple options for trying Bengali treats. I might have to go on a little expedition to check.

Glad the pati shapta filling had coconut. Hopefully it was fresh coconut. A lot of online recipes just have condensed milk/jaggery. And dessicated coconut just isn’t the same.

Jim and I shared the goat curry/korma from Kebab King tonight with raita, rice and nan, Too lazy to cook a veg. It was fantastic., tender meat and intense spicing. Could have even had some rose water in it - that was my impression. I think these recipes have been perfected over a very long time!

We had the shami kebabs a couple nights ago and they too were excellent. a creamy mix of dal and meat formed into a kebab and fried. a thin dipping sauce was provided. Very delicate, a lot of technique went into these, too.

thanks @Saregama for luring me into Kebab King!


Glad you enjoyed what you took home!

Is the assorted bhorta platter at Haat Bazaar available as a regular menu item? Or did you order each item individually?

There’s no such thing as a menu at Haat Bazaar, only a display of food, most of it unlabeled. A fellow who stepped around to the customer side of the counter and who patiently explained the distinctions between many items (he is the owner, we later discovered) also accommodated our request to sample the bhortas. I’d expect that it’s available for the asking.

Thanks. I’ve been to Haat Bazaar a few times. They always explain each item until there are two I want. Next time I’ll try asking for a small sample of several bhortas.