One of the great things about moving back to the Woodside/Jackson Heights/Elmhurst area is the food. Lots of options and cheap. I've been able to sample more than usual since I've been taking time off work lately with the market being so dry. Here's some of the food from the neighborhood.
Let's start with wings. Tandoori whole wings. Found this at a place right off the 7 train stairs where they have a lot of fried food out on display. They're pre-cooked (although with whole wings there's always a possibility of being undercooked around the joints) but get finished off in the tandoor if you ask for them hot. $2 per is not cheap per se, but it's a good change of pace from all the fried "buffalo" style wings.
A close-up of the cubano sandwich from El Sitio (68-28 Roosevelt ave). Layers of ham, pork, melty cheese, crusty pressed buttered bread, etc. Good stuff. About $5.
Tacos from the Sabor Mexicano taco truck right outside the Roosevelt Ave. subway station. There are three taco trucks there, and this is usually the busiest one, so I go there. Shown here are lengua (tongue), tripa (people say tripe, but I looked it up and some site says that it's actually from the udder), and oreja (ear). I also like the suadero (beef paunch). $2 per taco.
In my mind the best deal at the taco truck because of its size is the quesadilla. Crispy and filled with lettuce and cheese, it's quite filling. The selection for filling is not as meat-oriented as the taco fillings, and the picture above is of the chicharron. This didn't work very well as it was all crispy (no texture contrast), but I've also had the tinga (stewed shredded meat) quesadilla before and it was quite good. $3 per quesadilla.
Moving on, food from Himalayan Yak. They give a 15% discount for takeout, which doesn't really make sense to me. Shouldn't restaurants be giving discounts for dining in because it helps pay for the waitstaff? Anyway, this is the beef momo (dumplings). I keep trying momos from different Nepali/Tibetan places but they never seem to impress. $8 is much more expensive than Chinese dumplings.
Chicken lollipops. Fried drumstick with spices. I wasn't big on the texture of the meat, but it did taste good. $6
Sadeko bandel. Roasted slices of wild boar meat. This was good in that it had a very strong bacon-y flavor. Unfortunately, the skin is too tough and seems a waste. $5
Tibetan style sauteed beef tongue. The flavors were good and the tingmo (steamed mantou-like bun) went well with the dish. The tongue was not very tender, but the bite in the beef went well with the tingmo. $12
Kabobs from Kababish (7064 Broadway). They had a little trouble with English, but the kabobs are fresh packed by hand and continuously thrown into the big oven. Tender with great seasonings, I recommend getting it spicy. The pic shows one chicken, one beef, and a garlic naan. All that for $6.
Goat biryani from a place on 37th Rd. I think it's called Family Circle. It's only 3 months old and was completely empty when I stopped by. They also do the 15% takeout discount. This was good, but I thought somewhat expensive at $12.
Back to Himalayan/Nepali food. Shangri-La Express (72-24 Roosevelt Ave) advertises a 4 item lunch platter for $3, $4 for non-vegetarian. There actually is only 3 items. A choice of meat (I chose beef) came accompanied that day by lightly fried kidney beans and rice. The meat had some good flavor and was less dry than it looked. There was a nice spice to it and the beans had a nice curry flavor to them. I would call this a laborer's lunch. Cheap and full of protein, oil, and starch for energy to go back to work with.
Like I said before, I keep trying those momos. These were filled with chicken and a much better value, with 8 full filled dumplings for $5. Not much in the way of flavor, but definitely filling, which I guess is the main theme of this place.
I've written before that I think every neighborhood needs a Vietnamese/Pho place. Thai Son (4010 74th Street) is ours. Good portions, above average taste, clean, and decently priced. Always satisfies. This was the Xe Lua, extra large bowl of everything beef (brisket, navel, flank, tendon, eye of round, tripe) with rice noodles for $6.25.
I've written about Hae Woon Dae before, my preferred of the two 24-hour Korean places in the area. This time I went for lunch. The picture shows the banchan of which my favorite is the tofu and the grilled fish.
The kalbi box lunch is not cheap. At $11, it even exceeds Midtown Lunch's criteria. But there's a little bit of everything in there, from the kalbi (grilled beef short rib) to kimbap (vegetable and rice wrapped in seaweed like a sushi roll), fried rice, japchae (stir fried bean thread noodles), salad, and a piece each of omelet, Korean pancake, and sweet potato tempura. There's also miso soup in case all that wasn't enough.
This doesn't begin to sniff at all the stuff available around here or that I've had. Just the stuff that I remembered to take a pic of. Come by and eat!