Cantonese restaurant

How to Plan a Sweet and Savory Snack Tour Using Rinsing

Friends and tipsters sent me links recently, suggesting Flushing is once again booming as a restaurant destination, after a deep shutdown due to the pandemic. I rushed over there on train 7 the other day, and found that many outdoor food shelters had appeared, especially in the northwestern part of Roosevelt and Prince. Most of the food courts have reopened (alas, my favorite in the basement of the Hong Kong supermarket remains dark). But perhaps most importantly, there appear to be twice as many stalls and storefronts selling street snacks as there used to be.

The Dough Club pop-up

A green donut with puffed rice on top.

Matcha with Rice Krispies was my favorite donut

The tips that intrigued me the most were the ones touting what you might call “fun” food. Two new donut vendors were among them, offering tire-shaped pastry approaches that I had never seen before. One was located in the Queens crossing food court, a winding space with entrances on 39th ave and 138th street and very interesting vendors (although the place looks like a hallway inside).

Sharing space with the Japanese Taiyaki ice cream stand, famous for its fish-shaped ice cream cones, the Dough club describes itself as a mochi donut pop-up, referring to donuts made with rice flour and tofu. The resulting pastries are surprisingly light and bouncy. These are delivered in the “pon de ring” style (popularized by the Mr. Donut chain in Japan), each donut made up of a chain of small spheres, like a donut made up of easy-to-share donut holes.

But the most remarkable thing about Dough Club donuts is the wild decoration. The icings are in designer colors and the toppings are festive. The six choices, which can be taken in a box for $ 16.52, or individually for $ 2.75, are named Purple Pebble (glazed yam ube), crispy matcha, black sesame coconut, cookies and dreams (frosting with vanilla and Oreo breadcrumbs), miso caramel bacon, and charming berries (strawberry and white chocolate).

The one I liked the most was the matcha, which had crunchy rice sprinkled on top and a slightly bitter, medicinal taste, suggesting it would make a great breakfast to wake me up. Some friends that I shared the donuts with later were a bit disappointed with the flavors (the ube wasn’t really “yammy,” one said, and I had to agree) , but everyone was delighted with their appearance.

These weren’t my last donuts of the day. Not far on the block of Roosevelt Avenue between Main and Union streets, I looked for Ugly Donuts and Corn Dogs, a narrow stall flanked by racks of handbags and scarves. Ordered by touchscreen on the counter, and your choices include four flavors of donuts and six types of “ugdogs”. About $ 2 each, the donuts are all based on a single precursor: a twist of fried dough shaped like one of those ribbons worn to commemorate charitable causes.

A white and blue lighted sign above the entrance and a discount clothes shelf to the right.

Ugly Donuts & Corn Dogs sits in the middle of a transportation hub

A box with printed fabric inside, beaten francs on a stick on the left and three twisted donuts on the right.

A selection of corn dogs and donuts

These donuts are rarely eaten plain (although I did, and when delivered hot from the grease, they were some of the best of their type). Instead, they’re usually dipped in powdered sugar, granulated sugar, or injeolmi, a Korean soy powder with an indescribably funky taste. I ordered three, including this last one, which made my nose crinkle as it added salty notes to what was essentially a sweet dessert. But I continued to eat.

The Korean Corn Dogs ($ 3.49- $ 6.49) were what we expected: a frankfurter covered in rice flour paste, making the exterior extremely crispy. Sometimes things like cubed potatoes were incorporated into the dough, and the finished product was often rolled in sugar and scribbled with a choice of sauces, including gochujang, mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise.

These were great too, using beef and pork sausage of a better shade than some of the other Korean corn dog places I’ve tasted on the Lower East Side and Midtown. I refuse to roll my dogs in sugar and prefer regular mustard as a garnish. Still, the idea of ​​incorporating the dough with cubed potatoes is great, like a hot dog with fries, only better.

I have always liked the idea of ​​eating my dessert at the start of a long meal; I had already accomplished this by drinking several donuts first, and now I was ready to move on to savory dishes. I had noticed that many small dining establishments had reopened or had recently appeared in this bustling block of Roosevelt. Half a dozen seats featured dim sum in particular, which appears to have migrated from large Cantonese banquet halls to small food courts and small storefronts with little seating.

A plastic tray with white noodles under tiny pork chops.

Rice noodle rolls with pork ribs

My eye had fallen on Dim Sum Garden Express, which advertised steamed rice rolls in addition to other delicate snacks. Buns come in a wide range of varieties, but many, like the one with chicken feet, are not as easy to eat as those filled with the usual toppings like shrimp and ground beef. I especially liked the one with miniature pork ribs ($ 6.50) in the standard viscous sauce, although disentangling the bones did take some (nice) work. Green peppers stuffed with shrimp paste were another favorite.

A white liter container with wontons and noodles visible through its plastic sides.

Perfect Polar Bear Wonton Soup

Heading west, I browsed through the new outdoor dining speakers around Prince Street and found them to be very stylish. I was looking for a bing – a Beijing favorite street pastry made of a round wrapper baked on a pan like a pancake, coated in egg, then folded over a crunchy cracker, shredded cabbage, multiples savory and incendiary sauces, and, in my case, a hot dog, which is a common garnish on the streets of the Chinese capital.

On the way, I ran into White Bear, the Cantonese dumpling favorite. Finding it open, after a pandemic closed, I couldn’t help but order the wonton noodle soup ($ 7) knowing it would be okay with the other stuff already in my stomach. It was exactly what I was hoping for, the puffy dumplings with a regular pork filling and the pale wheat noodles as soft as they get.

My final destination, Followsoshi, was located in Corner 28 food court, an offshoot of a famous Taiwanese restaurant on the corner of Main Street. The guy at the window was twirling a stick through a thick paste on the hotplate. I ordered my bing ($ 7) and watched, fascinated, as he built the one I ordered, adding almost a dozen ingredients in all, before folding the wrapper, Cut it in half and place it in a paper pouch. Can I finish it all? Well, I almost did, then I added it to the leftovers that would feed me and a mate all the next day.

A round pancake on a grill with all kinds of toppings.

The ingredients inside this bing are garnished with hot dogs

Two folded pancakes filled one on top of the other.

The finished bing, ready to eat

135-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, NY 11354
(718) 961-2322

136-17 39th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354

13684 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, New York 11354

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