I finally made it to Flushing. The chinese food heaven has been begging me to visit and gorge and I finally obliged. As expected, it was an overwhelming, gluttonous and delicious experience.
I had a brief idea of a few places I wanted to hit. We started at White Bear for wontons in chili oil. These babies came 12 for $4.50 and were really fresh and tasty. The store was no more than 4 or 5 crowded little tables in front of a white counter and wall behind which we saw the dumplings in the making. The skin on these suckers was the perfect thinness to just hold them together on their respective journeys to our mouths. The meat and cabbage filling was a little salty and very moist and the oil, onion and scallion mixture deceivingly had just a bit of heat.We left White Bear and headed down Main St. towards the Golden Shopping Mall. On the way we hit up a street side window with lots of goodies on display. We decided on a large pork bun for $.75. This was like a huge bready dumpling with really nicely marinated pork and scallions on the inside. The bun was steamed and fried to add a bit of a crunch to the outside.
We surveyed the scene in the basement at the Golden Shopping Mall before deciding on Chengdu Heaven, the first stall on the left when you enter from Main St. We picked a $4 noodle dish with "chef's special sauce" from the images on the wall. The firm and thick noodles were bathed in peanut sauce, chili oil and soy sauce and finished off with sesame seeds. With all of the toppings mixed together these were spicy and peanuty-sweet. Yum.
We finished our little tour with a taro bubble tea from Chatime and a $1 cumin-beef shish kabob from the barbecue cart on 41st ave. On the way home we took the car to the Assi Plaza and stocked up on fresh raw bulgogi beef, Thai sweet chili sauce and fresh lemongrass. We also hit White Bear again for a bag of frozen pork and leek dumplings.
Everything we had was really nice and cheap but there were so many other little snickels that I just didn't have the stomach-room to try. Knowing exactly what spots to hit was a bit daunting, but it was fun to explore and figure it out on our own. For loose advice, Serious Eats and the New York Times have helpful maps. A follow-up trip to Flushing is definitely warranted.
White Bear: 135-02 Roosevelt Ave., #5, Flushing.
Chengdu Heaven: Golden Shopping Mall basement, 41-28 Main St., Flushing.
Assi Plaza: 131-01 39th Ave., Flushing.