Friendship BBQ

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“Queens borough be the back drop,” flushing in particular. A neighborhood teeming with restaurants who draw from the far east. This is where you can find Friendship BBQ. Spice is front and center here and plenty of it. We came here on a Sunday, so I wasn’t in a rush to grab a beer. However, I did have one, as the cuisine (from Beijing I believe) is hot, and suds pair well.

The menu is expansive, variations on the theme of chili flakes. We ordered a ton of stuff, guided by my friends who grew up overseas in China’s mainland. Skewers are a must have, lamb in particular, and they come in different sizes. We got both large and small. My two favorites were the lamb with tendon, and a raw beef skewer we tried that you dip in, if I my memory serves me correctly, a soy based sauce.

We got a hot pot type skewer dish as well, that had different vegetables and meats. Every skewer was submerged in the a spicy hotpotesque broth. I’d skip this, as some of the skewers fell flat, though others were ineresting (like the mushroom one) the price is a good reason to think twice.

One of the stand out dishes, and my pick for the number one or number two spot was a simple dish of cucumbers dressed with garlic and chili flakes. This dish really shines, with bright crisp notes from the cucumbers, that make a great contrast to the chili flakes that heavily garnish the dish. This is a definite must have.

Beyond that we tried the conch, which was ok but also quite pricey. I would stick to the basics here, skewers, vegetables with chili flakes, and a beer for good measure. They also have some interesting dishes I’d yet to see, so feel free to order the chicken skeleton, let us know how it is.

Hi-Collar

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A friend of mine suggested I visit this sake bar after its recent opening. I decided last night would be a good time to try it, so me and another friend went to check it out. Originally my intent was to sample a few of the sakes on offer, but was pleasantly surprised by the beer selection and decided I would try one of these first.

Hi collar is a classy place, but easy on the wallet, I found pricing to be reasonable. We tried the Yonayona Ale and an IPA, both really tasty. One of the things I particulary liked is that beer is served in chilled brass cups which serves the duel purpose of keeping your beer chilled and making you look cool. I would imagine its a similar feeling drinking out of a goblet of some sort, but I can’t remember having ever done that.

After the beer we sampled an unfiltered sake which was surprisingly smooth. When you order a glass, your sake comes in a small carafe, and they give you two shot glasses. Of course this is typical and great for sharing. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to selection. Though I didn’t sample the food, it looks really good, authentic Japanese dishes. The bar tender also told me that the space doubles as a coffee shop during the day which I thought was a clever idea and use of the space. Definitely worth checking out for a drink in a laid back quite atmosphere. Also a great place for a date.

Photo by Third Wave Wichteln via Instagram