Fu Run

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I recently went out to Fu Run on a day off from work. I had wanted to try these lamb ribs I saw on the food network. Though this wasn’t the exact place I saw on the tube, you know “Queens borough be the back drop” and this place got pretty good reviews. So there I was, sitting across from the Bland Houses (a housing project in flushing) flipping through the Fu Run Menu.

Fu Run has a large menu, and a lot of offerings, I was surprised. Who knew you could order jelly fish so many ways. Beyond the less mainstream items, they have some more generic dishes, chicken and beef variations. We had come for the lamb ribs, one order of which you’ll find is plenty of food for two people, so we ordered these. These are really good, and I would definitely get them if you come. As you can see in the photo they have dry spices on the top. Piled high spices and fennel seeds pair perfectly with the lamb making happy patrons. These are really rich, so I would suggest getting a cola to wash them down. The only other item we ordered was a pancake filled with beef, fried, also good.

I enjoyed the food tremendously, or whatever. I would mention that the service was poor, it was the end of the lunch shift and I always cut wait staff slack, because I’ve been there. However, if your of some noble lineage and aren’t used to being ignored, I recommend staying home at the palace.

Fette Sau

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Stumbled upon this BBQ mecca by accident on a trip to Bk. Definitely glad I did, it truly is amazing. Its packed all year round so be prepared to wait about 15|20 minutes in line. There isn’t a wait staff, just a counter where they weigh stuff out, I like this.

I suggest going when its warm out, because more seating opens up outside, and who doesn’t like beer and BBQ in the sun. One tip I have, besides gorging yourself with the great slow cooked meat items, is to get the burnt ends baked beans. I’ll go on record saying these are the best beans I’ve ever tasted. They are a must try item.

Talde

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I’ve been by Talde twice. The first time I stopped by was after watching a Timescast about dumpling places in NY. After seeing the pretzel dumplings they’re pumping out, I knew I would have to go and check this place out. It just so happened that I ended up cat sitting in the same neighborhood a few weeks later, so I stopped over for some take out.

You have to try these dumplings, they’re outstanding. Basically next time you want dumplings, make the bee line for their front door, bzzz bzzz.

Talde really brings it, and I would say they’re certainly king in the Asian fusion area. The dumplings are a must have app, but on my first visit I also got the Hawaiian sliders which you’ll also find pleasing to the palate.

When I visited most recently, I went for dinner. They’re not open before five most days, and we went on a Friday. It would be best if you booked reservations beforehand, otherwise its quite a long wait. We ended up sitting at the chefs table, a counter next to the kitchen. It was cool, but I would rather have been seated at a regular table, and you will too.

We split the Soba noodle dish and the pork shoulder entree. The smoked pork shoulder was excellent, real tender. As far as the Soba noodle dish, I would try something different next time. They’re are a bunch of interesting noodle choices, and it was daunting decision. I think I would go with the Pad Thai next trip, looks and sounds awesome The last thing I would mention is that we got the banana leaf sticky rice, it was good, next time I’ll reach for the everything roti though. Add in a beer in the mix and you’ll be set.

Basically, go here.

Photo by Wally Gobetz Via Flickr

Sake Bar Decibel

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I hadn’t been to this bar in years until a friend took me here the other day. This place is really awesome, the perfect spot for some sake after dark. Blink and you’ll miss it, as there is no sign, and its in the basement of a building on 9th street. Once inside you’ll really feel like your in a true NY bar. Graffiti covers the wall from floor to ceiling, don’t be shy if you want to break out your Molotow 420PP Mini Paint Marker and represent. Definitely more names on the wall then four years prior.

Beyond the graf, you have traditional Japanese decor. It makes for a nice East meats West, Tokyo|NY Mash up. I’ve never had the food, but have sampled the many sake and shochus on offer. The beverage list is extensive. When I went the other day we had an unfiltered sake, which I haven’t had before. I liked it, unfiltered means that they don’t filter out the rice, so you get bits of rice in your glass. good for a date or just kicking back with old friends.

Photo by Kuang Chen via Flickr

Manhattan Japanese Bar

Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering

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Waves crash in white noise, something from the Edo period. The landscape is lush and green and the mountains rise above the Pacific in dramatic fashion. Big swells, the shade of the banyan trees, and the Barack Obama Presidential Library. I finally made it, Oahu, one of the several islands that make up Hawaii, I always thought they seemed to be floating, and I have this same feeling now.

I had asked a friend to take me to what islanders might consider an authentic place to eat. So here we are, she usually pushes the gray beamer, but now it stands still, traffic. On an Island this size, there are only so a many routes to take, and this ones under constructions. After some route changes, and sitting in more traffic, we finally make it Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering.

Tanioka’s sits in a strip mall in Waipahu, an area in greater Honolulu. It sits next to a seven-eleven and sans the palm trees and great weather, for a second I think I’m somewhere on Long Island. The sensation dissipates quickly as we make our way through the door.

Its around lunch time, but from what I hear, you should always expect lines. Fear not the line moves quickly. As we make our way up to the savory selections of seafood, we first pass the dessert case. My friend suggests a cake made up of three layers. The first is haupia, a coconut confection usually consumed on its own, sweetened poi a staple made from taro root, and on the bottom a kind of cookie crust.

We order fish cakes, and a octopus salad. From the various poke selections, cubed raw tuna, we go with one that is interlaced with a savory crunchy seaweed. We grab a six pack and head to the beach. All the dishes are enjoyable, most notably the Poke. Beyond this, on offer is mainly Hawaiin seafood staples, lunch items such as musubi, as well as tempura.

Later in the evening we take the Haupia dessert from the fridge, I decide I will extend my stay after all.

Shuya Cafe

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It’s been a long week when I meet my friend to set out for Friday dinner. It’s been a long week, five days forty hours long week, in an unsatisfying, thankless, soul draining hourly wage length. But here we are on the edge of the weekend, and the feelings held hours earlier are starting to dissipate.

The plan is to get ramen, first choice on our list is Mu Ramen, a top notch destination with communal seating and not enough chairs. Against my protestations, the Infinity coupe moves closer and closer, and then we’re at the front door. One hour wait, nah, not tonight… not the contraception, but plan b none the less…

Plan b is a new ramen place that just opened up on Broadway just a few blocks above Steinway. This is where we found ourselves through the front door into the warm atmosphere at Shuya Cafe. Surprisingly, and to a bit of a chagrin, another ramen place that embraces communal seating. We are seated next to a couple, and truthfully it does seem a bit to close. Close enough where we have to decide if we should introduce ourselves. We half say hello, shit I’m hungry, at this point its close to nine. Glancing over the menu at the ramen my friend tenses up as he learns that all the items have fish stock in them. He’s allergic to change, and trying new things. He’s about to leave, I tell him that I’ll be staying and that he should take a look at the end of the list. Mazemen, a noodle dish, made with same noodles, without soup stock.

We both decide on the Mazemen, as well as the pork bun app. The dishes come out in no time, the food is deeply satisfying, the weeks woes completely dissolve.

The Chairman

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When I touched down in San Francisco I was starving. I didn’t know where I would end up, but I trusted the success rate would be high, considering all I had heard of the touted scene. On arriving to my hotel I was told I wouldn’t be able to check in until 3, so I set out for lunch.

Finding my self in the little Saigon neighborhood where I was staying was good. A quick tour around the avenues near my hotel and I had already eyed several packed venues. Still starving I decided I wanted something quick, so I walked into The Chairman.

The Chairman is a Chinese bun spot boasting many options, and some unique takes. You can get each option on steamed buns, or upgrade to a baked option with larger portion on a roll. I decided I wanted to try a few of the offerings, and I’m a sucker for steamed buns, so I went with three of these. I chose two pork and the one beef option, though they also have chicken and vegetarian to choose from as well.

The classic pork belly was enjoyable, garnished with pickled daikon, and glazed with red miso. Next was the short rib, braised with horseradish mayo and fennel slaw. This was great, but I liked the third bun a little more, and found it to be more filling. Coca-Cola braised pork, cabbage, mustered seed, and garlic mayo. All said and done an exceptional place for a quick bite.

La Palma

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La Palma Mexicatessen sits in the myriad blocks that make up the Mission District in San Francisco. My first time in SF, I’d heard over the years that the Mexican food in the Western part o f the Country is that much better. And while I can’t attest to that, and will likely never cede to this argument, La Palma would make a great case and point.

Wondering off the cool street into this Mexican Deli I was immediately aware of the vast array of authentic Mexican goods. Past the counter the back looks to stretch on forever, though it is limited by square footage I’m sure. The store not only sell tasty Mexican staples but also produces products on site. The most stand out would be the stacks of tortillas.

I ordered a couple of items after quickly deliberating. I decided I wanted a taco, and something I had yet to try. I went with the pupusa…. is this the same as the Salvadoran food that shares its name? I wondered… and then looked it up on Google… it is.

It took about ten minutes for my food to be prepared, I believe to prep the pupusa mostly. As I waited I noticed they also had an item that I probably would have ordered had I noticed. It was a torta, where the bun is submerged in salsa, giving it a completely red color. Pambazos its called, and I have to admit I had some degree of regret not ordering this, however, c’est la vie.

I finally got my order, and made way to the outdoor seating area. The pupusa was rich and delicious, and the taco with pork soaked in salsa, was milder, and the same. I’ll definitely be back.