04/25/13 11:00am

Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Joe DiStefano, covers food both inside and outside of Queens. He joins us here on QueensNYC each Thursday.


Mix in the sauce and dig into the best Sichuan cold noodles ever.

Cheng Du Tian Fu, or Chengdu Heavenly Plenty Snacks, is one of the first stalls I ever visited in the regional Chinese wonderland that is the Golden Shopping Mall. Back in 2007 there was hardly any English signage in the entire place and I was relying upon a rosetta stone of sorts from a Chowhound post. These days the menu is in English and there are dozens of items—beef jerky, fu qi fei pian, dan dan mian and more—shown in the mouthwatering photos that adorn the wall at the bottom of the stairs.

This Sichuan specialist has become a favorite of the Mission Chinese crew. Despite the vast selection I’ve gotten the same thing every time for the last 10 or more visits: cold noodles Chengdu style ($3.50). A palate-awakening sauce consisting of crushed chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, what looks to be MSG, black vinegar, and a prodigious amount of fine garlic paste tops the tangle of thin al dente noodles. Mixing the sauce to coat the noodles take a bit of effort. It’s worth it for the results, though. The bowl of noodles ping pongs between refreshing,fiery, palate-tingling, and pungent.

Cheng Du Tian Fu, No. 31, Golden Shopping Mall, 41-28 Main St., Flushing

03/02/13 9:00am


Image Source: City-Data

Known for ethnic diversity and tolerance ever since its days as a Dutch colony in the 17th century, Flushing has become a center of Chinese immigration over the past few decades. More Taiwanese than Cantonese at its core, this bustling Queens hamlet is home to a wide array of authentically Chinese restaurants, businesses and cultural groups. Plus, rezoning, land availability and immigrant initiative have brought unique real estate developments, including office buildings, hotels, residential condos, specialty shops and the largest Asian-influenced mall in NYC. On March 3, Jack Eichenbaum, the official historian of Queens, will lead a walking tour of the neighborhood. Eichenbaum, who has a Ph.D. in urban geography from the University of Michigan, loves to discuss history, urban affairs and food. As such, he will organize a pre-walk dim sum group at a local Chinese restaurant, if there is interest.

Meet Near Restrooms on Second Floor of New World Mall
136-20 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing
Sunday, March 3
11am – 1pm | $15/$10 for One Flushing participants
Image Source: Jack Eichenbaum
02/28/13 12:00pm

Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Joe DiStefano, covers food both inside and outside of Queens. He’ll be joining us here on QueensNYC each Thursday.


At just under $10 this six-course meal of Sichuan snacks won’t break the bank

Much like downtown Flushing’s Chinatown itself, the New World Mall food court is diverse and constantly evolving. One of the latest additions is a two-week-old outfit that goes by the rather unassuming English name, “Szechuan Dish.” The Chinese on its sign “Mei Sichuan” and  “Chéng Dū kǒu wèi,” which more or less says beautiful Sichuan, Chengdu flavor, gives a much better idea of the beautifully flavorful, fiery things coming out of Stall No. 25.


12/07/12 11:00am

Whether your endgoal is providing gifts for nieces and nephews at Hanukkah (which starts the night of Dec. 8!), co-workers for Christmas, or dear friends for Kwanzaa, we’ve all got serious shopping to do. You may not be aware of the wealth of independently owned shops around Queens where you can find something unique and interesting while at the same time supporting your neighbors, so we’ve rounded a few up.

In Boutiques and Specialty Shops


SITE, located at 35-11 34th Avenue (GMAP), brings together the energy of Astoria with good taste in design. It’s a hub of the locally made and the otherwise carefully sourced and an all-around great spot for gifts sure to delight recipients and brighten rooms. Right now the store’s collection of holiday ornaments is inspired – colorful seated Buddhas, glittery clip-on mushrooms and running dinosaurs – but the shop carries a full array of items for the home, kitchen tools, exotic aromatic lotions, device cases, decorative prints, tasty goodies and fun wearables.