Trip Report - 5 Days Scouring NYC for Awesomeness

I had a long, long list of places I wanted to try in approximately five days of eating around various activities in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. My schedule was fluid and a bit unpredictable. I knew many choices on my wish list would get eliminated by circumstance.

I am so grateful to those who chimed in, and I wanted to eat at all those HO suggestions. Everything I had was at least good, no comment necessary. But some items were extraordinary, so I do have some notes below. Major props to Dave Cook and his encyclopedic Eating in Translation.

Here is what I ate, in chronological order. Highlights are in bold, and exclamation marks (!!) denote a super-highlight, worth the journey.


Song e Napuli – bufalina pizza, montanera pizza, broccoli rabe, gnocchi sorrentina, pomodorini salad

Flushing: (joined by 2 others, including @FlemSnopes)

Shanghai Eats – Scallion pancake with beef brisket, cold sesame noodles, salted egg yolk with pork zhongzi

Dong Bei Dai Pang – Cilantro salad !!, Chicken skeleton salad !!

Sin Kee (Singaporean) – Chai tow kueh !!, SK bacon bites !!

Shanghai You Garden – Crab xiao long bao, salty tofu pudding, millet rice cakes, soy peas with dried bean curd


Patti Ann’s Bakery – savory milk bread with potato and peppers, shoo-fly pie

Jackson Heights:

Kabab King – Bihari beef kabab !!

Angel (Indian) – dahi batata puri !!

Tacos Yanqui (Pueblan) – taco placeto with longaniza and steamed potato

Lhasa Fresh Food (Tibetan) – beef dumplings in soup

Back to Manhattan:

Mama’s Too – pepperoni square slice

Absolute Bagels – sesame bagel with olive and pimento cream cheese !!

More Queens:

Queens Lanka (Sri Lankan) = egg lamprais !!, pol roti

Pera Zdera (Serbian) – ‘hamburger’ with onion/cabbage/cheese/bacon, cheese pie, homemade yogurt. They did not offer a weekend special… sad face.

And back to Brooklyn:

Rodo Food (Nigerian) – suya beef

Wadadli (Antiguan) -jerk pork !!

Faicco’s Pork Store (Italian) – homemade lard bread, olive mix, broccoli rabe and sausage bread

Super highlights that did indeed make me swoon:

Oh, Bihari Kabab, where have you been all my life? Charred, moist, and heavily marinated slices of meat. Essential eating. Thanks to @Saregama for this tip.

Egg Lamprais, steamed in a banana leaf, a hefty mound of yellow rice is topped with four curries: cashew, banana, eggplant, and onion. In the middle is a hard boiled egg and a fish croquette. Alternative to egg is mutton, beef, chicken, fish, vegetables. Was I dreaming? I had to pinch myself.

Cilantro salad and Chicken skeleton salad: what a combo! Chicken salad was a pile of bones that you had to gnaw on to get at any meat. Served cold and rubbed with spices. Cilantro salad was with peanuts and delicate crisps of bean thread that were sweetened. These two plates together formed a masterpiece.

Dahi batata puri, shells were surprisingly rigid to the touch, and larger than I was expecting. Should I really pop them in my mouth in one bite? Oh yes, plus they were served on the perfect ‘sawdust’ to mop up any stray yogurt drippings.

And more:

Hard to imagine better jerk pork. Wadadli is an Antiguan ethnicity. Lots of nice fatty pieces in there as well as meaty ones. I was lured here by seeing the smokers outside, across from Rodo in Bed-Stuy. This is a mobile setup often found at this location.

Beef suya , Nigerian, is a surprising cousin to a Thai beef salad minus the lime. Chewy and juicy and addictive. Rubbed with peanuts.

Homemade lard bread, looks like a bagel, but has the surprise of small dices of ham and pepperoni inside. Softer and fattier than a bagel. Easy eating.

Yes , it’s true that Absolute makes a superior bagel. Still a bit warm and everything I could hope for.

The combo at Sin Kee was also a synergy of great flavors and textures. Apart, maybe not as impressive, but the gooeyness of the chai tow kueh and the crunchiness of the bacon bites were a five star delight. The chili sauce served with the bacon is rich, complex, stupendous.

Serbian Homemade yogurt did not need anything, perfect plain just the way it is. A rarity.


Sounds like a delicious trip! Any pics to make us hungrier?

Egg Lamprais from Queens Lanka. I don’t take food photos much…


I copied your list, as I’m going to NYC soon- appreciate your hard work :wink:

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Let me add some photos to Steve’s post. My wife and I joined Steve for the Flushing crawl part of the trip. We bailed out after the first three stops and are genuinely in awe that Steve ordered four (!) more dishes at Shanghai You Garden after our over-full stomachs had waved the white flag.

We both loved the combination of the chicken skeleton salad and the cilantro salad at Dong Bei Da Pai Dang (I think Steve omitted the “Pai” in the restaurant’s name):

If you (like me) think the best part of a whole chicken is gnawing on the bits of meat attached to the bones, you’ll love the chicken skeleton salad. The wonderful cilantro salad was new to us, and we’ve so far had no luck in finding a recipe for anything like it online or in our cookbook selection.

My wife and I both liked the Chai tow kueh and BK bacon bites from Sin Kee, but were perhaps a touch less enthusiastic about them than Steve (whose palate is, I’ll readily admit, more sophisticated than ours). The crab-based dipping sauce was outstanding.

My wife and met Steve (a fellow resident of Arlington, Virginia) near the end of our 30-day stay in Bed-Stuy. We had hopped around all five boroughs eating during our extended vacation, but the places Steve picked out (with help from many on this board) immediately made our “best of trip” list.

We did not eat at Rodo Foods with Steve, but we did eat there on his recommendation. Beef suya was new to us and was, we thought outstanding, and we have already tried since returning home three days to replicate it at home, with some success (though nowhere near as good as Rodo Foods). It’s served unceremoniously in a takeout box.

We’re already booked to return to Bed-Stuy next August for another 30 days of food and we’ll be watching this board for ideas in the meantime.


Could be tiger salad.

The wonderful cilantro salad was new to us, and we’ve so far had no luck in finding a recipe for anything like it online or in our cookbook selection.

You might have luck finding a recipe for 炝香菜, which Google insists on translating as “soy coriander” or “soy cilantro” but is named instead for the herb and for those golden threads insinuated throughout the salad: crisps of potato.


Thank you, I appreciate that. That’s not it, but it could be a base for trying to reconstruct it. It’s missing peanuts and fried bean threads and I can’t be sure if the dressing is similar.


Thanks much, Dave. That looks very much like it. I’ll try that search.

Ah, okay. I was looking at your picture on my tiny phone screen.

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Dave, I overlooked the caption on your photo and missed that it is in fact from Dong Bei Da Pai Dong. No wonder they look very similar!

I enjoyed googling in Chinese (a first for me), but didn’t find a recipe for anything similar. I did see a talk show in which the host was eating something similar, but that wasn’t much help since I speak no Chinese.

The closest recipe I’ve found is in Carolyn Phillips’ encyclopedic All Under Heaven at p. 323, “Tossed Cilantro and Peanut Salad,” which she identifies as a dish from Northwest China, which fits. It does not have the little threads of crisp potatoes, however. I wonder if that might be an innovation from this particular chef?

Doug, this page …

… seems to illustrate three variations on the same cilantro-and-potato salad. (It’s marginally more clear in translation.) And the menu was very matter-of-fact, listing 炝香菜 with no qualifications, as if the Dongbei customers would know what to expect (just as you and I might if we saw "Caesar salad). I think this is a standard Dongbei recipe, although perhaps a fairly recent one.


Thank you, Dave. It was very nice of you to go to this effort. This is obviously the recipe, although the thickness of the potatoes in the photos is much greater than in the version at Dong Bei Da Pai Dang. It is a little confusing that Google translates the recipe as “Soy Cilantro” when there is no soy listed in the recipe, but I believe you said earlier that is an error on the part of Google Translate.

This recipe does not give any proportions for the ingredients, but I think I can figure those out from the simpler recipe with no potatoes in the Carolyn Phillips cookbook.

Thank you again.


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I don’t know if anyone else is interested in trying this recipe, but I thought I’d put the Google Translate version here:


The practice of soy coriander, four simple steps, delicious and can be used as a snack

May 18, 2021


Hello, everyone!


Xiao Niu brought delicious food to friends who like to eat coriander today!


The food I want to share today is 【Soy Coriander】


[Ingredients] 100 grams of coriander, 200 grams of potatoes


[ingredients] flour, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, sesame oil




[Step 1] Clean the coriander and cut it into pieces for later use.


[Step 2] Peel and wash the potatoes, cut them into long strips, soak them in water for ten minutes, remove and drain, and coat the surface with flour for later use.


[Step 3] Pour oil into the pot, when the oil is 60% hot, put the flour-coated shredded potatoes into the pot, fry until golden brown, remove and drain the oil.


[Step 4] Put cilantro and fried shredded potatoes in a bowl, add two tablespoons of rice vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, half a tablespoon of salt, and one tablespoon of sesame oil, stir well and serve.


In four simple steps, you can make a delicious meal, isn’t it fast!


Friends who like to eat coriander quickly come and try it!


Like and follow me, don’t get lost

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And I see that I’m mostly wrong about the proportions, the recipe mostly gives them.

I learned my lesson from the last time I did a crawl: don’t finish things! If something was merely good, or I could find as good in the DC area, I stopped eating it. My strategy worked throughout my days in NYC.

It was a great experience doing this with you and Toni.


There’s a lot of Chinese delicious food!

It’s hard to comprehend those crisps being potato! Though it’s hard to comprehend an alternative either. They are so delicate, crispy, and seemingly translucent. I see in the photo from the recipe that those do like potato strips, but the effect at the restaurant was on a whole 'nother level, and they transform the dish.

I am not sure how to do that at home. Or how they did it.

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This was hard to comprehend even at the restaurant! My Mandarin is very rusty, so it was all we could do just to get an I.D. from the waitstaff.

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Not finishing things is definitely the right strategy, but it just goes against my “don’t waste food” upbringing, which is hard to break. Yes, it’s really great that the timing worked out so that we were in NYC at the same time.