Looking for one great dish, any borough

Will be in NYC Sept 7-9, two nights. Midweek. Old School Chowhound excited by all cuisines, looking for the infinite wisdom of this board. You know the score.

For the purpose of this thread, I am not looking to eat in a great restaurant or even have a great meal. I will happily do both, of course, but I am interested in finding one great dish. Something that rings your bell. Makes you swoon. Can be esoteric as all heck, but does not have to be.

I figure I have two lunches and two dinners, and each of those could mean more than one stop. I can bring home leftovers!

I am already looking through Eating in Translation. There is a lot there that interests me, though there isn’t much commentary. So I turn to you folks.

Thanks so much for your help!


I’m happy to offer commentary on anything that interests you!

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I remember someone once looking for restaurant advice on Chowhound who phrased it as “what/where do you eat when you get back from a long trip?” It made me think about specific dishes I seek out, so I liked it as a line of inquiry.

In no particular order:

  • Unda chicken roll at Kati Roll Company (several locations)
  • Crab and pork XLB at Joe’s (Chinatown) or Kung Fu Litte Steamed Buns (midtown west or east)
  • Country chicken roast at Anjappar
  • Pork bun at Momofuku Noodle Bar
  • Mafaldini at Lilia

I have so many questions…

When I first started thinking about this, I though of going to Lhasa Fresh Food and Cienaga las Tlayudas. But the latter is closed for good.

My first question is, what is the to replacement for Cienaga? Or something close? I see from EIT that Tacos Yuncui, El Tlecuile, and For All Things Good are possible substitutions. What else am I missing?

Second question is… there is a possibility I could stay until mid-afternoon on Saturday, Sept 10tth. Any interesting food festival options on that day?

Tofu with salted egg yolk and crab: looks like there are two places you’ve had this recently, Jiang Nan and Shanghai Eats. Any thoughts as to which you might choose?

If I were to do a ‘food crawl’ in Queens, here are some items I’ve gleaned form your recent postings:
(I am wise enough to realize I can’t eat everything in a day)

Queens Lanka: Pol roti (the lamprais also look v. good)
Lucky Cafeteria, fried radish cake
Dong bei da pai dong, cilantro salad
Sin Kee, oyster omelet
Followsoshi, roasted cold noodles
Boulis Cafe, sour cherry loukamedes
Merguez and Frites
Angel Indian, tawa kaleji, dahi batata puri

Looks like Evi’s Backerei and Nuaa Table are right across the street form each other. IIUC, Evi’s is located in Patti Ann’s Bakery…

More Brooklyn:
Faicko’s Pork Store, bagel-like bread
Rudo Foods, chickpea fritters
Si n Shpi, Albanian, sandwiches
Back Home Bakery, coconut rolls
Pera Zdera, lmab vikend special, but maybe the pork neck is good too ?(served any day)

And I didn’t even go very far back…


Thanks for your response!

The tang bao at Joe’s is 100% swoon worthy.

I am intrigued by the mafaldini at lilia’s and the country chicken at Anjappar. I am guessing that is the nattukozi roast on the menu?

The unda chicken roll looks good too!


May I ask: Where will you be staying? How do you plan to get around?

Will you be eating solo? Plus-one or more?

You mention “two lunches and two dinners.” Are breakfasts also in the mix? That is, when does your food-crawl day begin and end, particularly when you crawl for several days in a row?

I like Kopitiam’s iced Bek -Kopi (iced coffee).

Bek-Kopi (槟城白咖啡)— 5.5 (+0.5 iced)

Penang white coffee, condensed milk

I went after having a big lunch at Old Shanghai, so I couldn’t try any food, but I want to return for the food.

Since you have the liangpi on your list, maybe you’ve perused the recent nyc threads including the flushing crawl.

If you do go to Followsoshi, my favorite bite in that mall on our crawl was the seafood sticky rice cakes from Distinctive thanks to @DaveCook). (I’d get some XLB from there next time too - and @Dean wrote up what else he had there later in the week iirc.)

This is part of a road trip taking my son back to college in Montreal, so I will have a car, but can use ye olde MTA as well.

I will hit NYC on the way back, so I am solo, though I am up for anyone to join in. For almost 20 years I have been organizing group meals for Chowhounds in the DC area, mostly curtailed since the pandemic. I am familiar with how rewarding it can be to have ‘strength in numbers’ when it comes to exploring food options.

Does breakfast really exist? I thought it was a state of mind… Yes, I am interested in eating anything swoon-worthy any time of day. I am really going to try and take it easy with the amount of food I will be consuming on the spot.

I don’t have lodging plans yet. My first thought is close to LGA. I have friends in Manhattan, so it is possible to meet up with them, location TBD.

The last time I did this, I hit four boroughs in two days.


Thanks for mentioning the Chinese name, liangpi, I didn’t realize those were the cold roasted noodles, duh. I have had them plenty of times before in the DC area.

Will check out the sticky rice cakes while there.

I dunno, if I was visiting NYC, I wouldn’t want to leave without eating pizza, a bagel and deli. Current favorites slices are Scarrs, and L’industrie. Razza in jersey city is great and in a lot of top 20 in the US lists. Song E Napule on houston is probably top 5 neo in the nyc. The iconic spicy square at prince st is great. Bagels in no particular order: absolute, black seed, ess a bagel but there are lot of good neighborhood spots depending on where you’ll be. Deli is katz, pastrami queen, maybe Liebman’s (haven’t been in a while). also worth noting is that gray’s papaya is going to close soon.

Using @Saregama method, if I’m away from nyc for a bit I find myself missing the N1 (spicy cumin lamb hand ripped noodles) from xi’an famous.

obviously, we’re not covering a lot of high end dishes like the black label burger at minetta or the mutton chop at keens. Not sure if you’re interested in that list too…


I always have pizza on my mind. Thanks so much for the recs. I have never been all that satisfied with pizza by the slice, though, unless the timing is perfect and it comes right out of the oven. Any insight into that?

I am very satisfied with the access to great deli where I am. As for bagels, I eat them regularly at home and am mostly satisfied. I believe that Flaicco’s in Brooklyn sells an almost-bagel-like-item that looks unusual and tempting, so that is on my list right now.

I also am pretty well satisfied with my Sichuan options. It’s true I haven’t had any cumin lamb in a while, though I live walking distance to a place that used to have a great version. I’ll have to go back to see if it has held up.

I will consider high end, yes, though I am very satisfied with my own burgers… the mutton chop at Keen’s sounds very tempting!

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Scarr’s, Mama’s Too and Upside are all consistently good slice places, because they all do a very brisk business, so nothing sits.


The pizza at the better slice joints has been optimized for reheats. In fact, I have friends who prefer a crisper reheat to straight out of the oven. Having said that, one of the theories on why it’s so hard to find NYC style pizza out of NYC is that the pizzamaker, to stay in business, has to adjust to local palates. Perhaps your experience supports this theory.

xi’an food is different than szechuan and IMO, the draw of N1 is not the lamb, it’s the toothsome hand ripped biang biang noodles.

in any case, seems like you have a good plan, enjoy!

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Nobody is mentioning Little Guyana! For one swoon-worthy dish I would suggest Jerk Pork Fried Rice at Hibiscus Restaurant. It’s better to drive there and it’s in a private house neighborhood with fairly easy parking.

Good to know, thanks!

Thanks so much for the rec, is this the address? 221-13 Jamaica Ave, Queens, NY 11428

I was already thinking of going to Sybil’s, not sure if you know it… I’ve never been.

Check out Foxface sandwiches and Yin Ji Chang Fen rice rolls.

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You’re right, Xian food is different than Sichuan. One of my favorite meals in the DC area is at Northwest Chinese Food in College Park, MD

The next question is: square slice or not? Do some places do one well or not the other?


Try Prince St. or Emmy Squared

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