New York – Flushing, Queens (Day 1)

October 17, 2017

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The first day of this adventurous weekend, we decided to head to Flushing.  Flushing is an area in Queens known for the Asian communities within it. (Most of the places that we visited only accepted cash, so please keep in mind a stop at the ATM before attempting to try these places!)

To get there from Bronx, we drove south across the 678 bridge (which is a cashless toll bridge).  Parking in the street is an option, but do keep in mind the hours on the signs along the streets.  We decided to park in Flushing Commons, a parking garage located on 37-39 138th St @ 38th Avenue.  We recommend arriving early in the day (like 9:30am-10:00am).  We paid less than $20 for a whole school day’s worth of being in Flushing. This garage will pack throughout the day, and it is located pretty central to a lot of famous places in Flushing.

Our first stop was the New World Mall.  If you haven’t heard of this place, it will be a challenge to find video footage of their food court because of how protective the restaurants are of their image and talent.  But experiencing this mall in person is one of the most fascinating experiences a food lover could go through.  The mall has shopping options in the upper levels, but the food court is located on the lower level.  We started our day off with a bowl of cold noodles–supposedly the best cold noodles in this area.  When walking off the escalator to go to the food court, this is the food stop in the far back right corner.  Here is a picture of our cold noodles (only $5!!):

The second food stop we had was the Golden Mall.  This is a difficult stop to come by; we walked by it twice before finally realizing the entrance.  What I loved most about this place is how it is hidden; but once it is found, it is a whole new world that you are entering into.  Different food vendors in each corner and a bit crowded, but we ordered a bowl of dan dan noodles (again, $5) that was satisfyingly enough.  Here is a picture of the noods:

We intended on trying X’ian Famous Foods, which is known for being in Golden Mall.  But we realized that it was moved to a new location; only a block away from Golden Mall.  During our journey to X’ian Famous Food, we stopped at CoCo to get bubble tea.

We ordered two lamb burgers (pictured below) to go along with bubble tea:

This delicious tiny pouch of greasy, spicy goodness was a special moment.  We decided to eat our burgers and enjoy our bubble tea at the Queens Botanical Garden; about half a mile walk south of Flushing.  Beautiful environment, beautiful food, and beautiful company=beautiful memory.  Here is a snap of that moment (yes, Brad is pretty):

After sitting and walking through the garden, we started the hike towards one more food stop before completing our time in Flushing.  A trip like this is not complete without having soup dumplings, and Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao was calling for us.  Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao was about a half mile walk south of the garden; just enough to burn off the lamb burgers and make room for a little bit more food.  This place is tight and crowded, but it is was all worth it for when our food came out.  When coming to a place that serves pork soup dumplings, it is a tradition for us to order stir fried green beans with it.  Although the green beans were a great appetizer, the dumplings were the real star here.

It is hard to put into words how elegant and perfect these dumplings were.  Whenever eating dumplings, we always have to compare it to our favorite restaurant near our home (check out post: “Shanghai Taste”), and Kung Fu’s dumplings set the bar even higher.  Picking these dumplings up with your chopsticks can be compared to buying a new pillow at your local IKEA or popping a newly unwrapped Ferrero Rocher into your mouth: complete satisfaction.  These dumplings were not intimidatingly huge.  The taste of the broth was clean and not (temperature) hot.  Each bite was just a pocket of flavorful juice with enough pork to make your dumpling experience a content one.  Words and a picture could not suffice how memorable this meal was, but here you go:

To end our time in Flushing, we made one more stop before heading back to our Stayce mobile.  And that stop was at the World Bookstore.  No, we did not have this sudden need to purchase a book or to sit down and read; but rather, we were craving just one more cup of bubble tea.  Yes, you read that correctly: bubble tea.  In a bookstore?  Yes.  In fact, this is one of the few bubble tea places in the United States that is “authorized by Mr. Tsung-Ho Tu, inventor of Taiwan’s Tapioca Milk Tea.”  Yes, you read that correctly as well.  This bookstore offers bubble tea that was approved by the man who CREATED bubble tea.  For those who love and adore the bubble tea from a chain, the tapioca used in this tea is not as sweet as those.  But it is still delicious and refreshing to know how bubble tea is supposed to taste by the tongue of the creator himself.  Had to take a quick snap:

Thank you for reading our post on our first day in New York City.  This was a great first day, and we could not thank our friend enough who allowed us to stay in their home.

Come back soon for another post about what we did later on that evening.

Always hungry,

R & B

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