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Date Day Food Crawl

Updated: Apr 7

Queens Food Map

Stace and I LOVE food! No, not just because I'm a chef. We love experiencing different cultures, and food, is the best way to get to the heart of them. Well, with the kids, we don't get nearly as many opportunities to experience food like we used to. Everybody says you should ALWAYS date in your marriage and have date days, etc. They DON'T however, tell you HOW to do that lol. We had to truly adjust our expectations of what Date Days looked like and ALSO how much time we could invest.


We ended up landing on a few things, one being a food crawl. Being so close to Flushing afforded us the opportunity to be near SO many restaurants! The trick to a good crawl, find places that are cost effective, close to each other and don't take a long time to eat. That's it! You don't even have to stick to a certain culture, mix it up and share in the comments what you come across. We literally SCOURED our social media and put as many lists together as we could to ensure maximum impact when we went out. We waited for this one because it happened on our anniversary.


This also was a blessing due to our current inflation issues. You don't have to be here to do one either. Everybody is effected by inflation. So if you aren't planning to visit soon, you should pull out your phone and put together a food crawl of your own and see what's around you. You could do something as simple as a dessert crawl or a wing crawl through 3 or 4 places. We were able to go out, eat until we were full AND have leftovers for far under $100. This is also a great way to expand your pallet and experience food from places you might not usually sit down for. Want to know some of our treasures we uncovered on our Date Day Food Crawl? If you live here or plan to visit NYC soon, don't forget to check them out.


White Bear: Spicy Wontons w/ Chili Oil


We came to this spot before on our first crawl. It's still one of the best spots we've come across. The wontons are the perfect texture and the chili oil is spicy enough to compliment but not take over. Highly recommend. It's the same every time we come. If you're looking for something consistent to set the tone for your visit without breaking the bank, this is it!


Cost: $10

What you get: 10 Wontons

Rating 10/10


 


Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao: Lucky 6 Soup Dumplings


This spot is famous for it's soup dumplings and for good reason. Their broth in the dumplings is rich and savory. The dumpling shell is soft and chewy but not too chewy that you feel like it's a chore to eat. We got the Lucky 6 selection which they're known for. There are a rotation of 6 out of these 7 separate flavors including Pork, Crab, Chicken, Scallop, Black Truffle, Gourd Luffa & Shrimp. They come with a sauce that is seeming soy sauce based. The sauce compliments it very well, however, they also taste good on their own. Though these were great the first time, this time, they weren't nearly as good. Something about the flavor just wasn't the on par as the last time. They each had their own distinct flavor, but it just seemed to lack something this time. Loved the broth, and the shell but just weren't feeling the filling as much this time.


Cost: $13.95

What you get: 6 Soup Dumplings

Rating 6/10


 


Bonus Stop- Tous Les Jours: Mango Yogurt Cool Bun


Had to stop in and get some water, which only costs $1.25 here, you're welcome lol. I've always wanted to try this spot. Since we were stopping in for the water, I looked for something inexpensive to get our feet wet. I settled on the Mango Yogurt Cool Bun. Let me tell you, this is the one of the best store bought pastries I've had in a long time. The dough was extra pillowy and slightly sweet while the mango cream was tangy with subtle sweetness. Right below the mango layer was a milk cream layer that just allowed everything to melt in your mouth. Perfect compliment. We love Asian pastries because they tend to have a very good balance of sweet and savory. This was no exception. We're looking forward to trying many more of their pastries. This location of course caters to the Asian community that it is in. So you might not be able to get all of these in your local location.


Cost: $3.50

What you get: 1 Bun

Rating 10/10


 


Chinese Korean Dumplings & Noodles: Fried Pork Shrimp & Chive Dumplings


We found these dumplings on IG. EVERYBODY raved about them, so we HAD to try them while we were in the area. They hand make every single one of their dumplings and even make frozen dumplings you can order to take with you. We played it safe and ordered the pork, shrimp and chive dumpling. It's our go to litmus test to compare. Unfortunately, we didn't enjoy them as much as we hoped. The dumpling skin was perfect, but the filling just wasn't what we were looking for. The flavor was a bit more sour than savory. The sauce was good though, but not enough to make up for the sour flavor we were experiencing. We really wanted to like this spot, but alas, we didn't. Maybe we'll try a different dumpling another time to confirm if it was just that specific dumpling.


Cost: $12

What you get: 10 dumplings

Rating 5/10


 


Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles: Beef Noodle Soup


After several people saying we should try this and already going to the New World Food Court for the dumplings, it was a no brainer. This was our chance to try hand pulled noodles for the first time. As with the dumplings, they pull the noodles by hand right in front of you TO ORDER! So you're always getting them as fresh as possible. They were a joy to watch but an even bigger pleasure to eat! The broth was simple and savory. The beef was completely and utterly tender like you wouldn't believe. The egg was...an egg, but the noodles...THE NOODLES! If it were my last meal, I wouldn't have been disappointed. The noodles were the right texture, the right chew, they help the broth and they tasted amazing! The best part, there were PLENTY of noodles! The portion size was extremely generous at 1 quart, so we both ate one bowl and had leftovers. I mean we also stopped cause we had more stops to make and had eaten so much before we got there already lol It's said that if you make something simple, you HAVE to make it well otherwise all of your mistakes will be much more obvious. Let me tell you, this is one of the most simple dishes with one of the biggest bangs. They offer several options and stir-fried or soup, so pick your poison, but know you can die happy after eating it.


Cost: $10

What you get: 1 Quart Bowl

Rating 10/10


 


Bonus Stop- Tiger Sugar Tea


After eating all of this food, we needed something to drink. We took a gamble and tried Tiger Sugar Tea at the New World Food Court. There were plenty of locals there as well as tourists. So we figured that might be a secret we have yet to uncover...we were wrong. We ordered the Passion Fruit Tea with Boba and Mango Jelly and Oolong Tea with Cheese Foam. The bubbles in one drink weren't fully cooked and therefore were half chewy and half hard. On top of that, the tea just didn't have any punch of flavor that you usually get from bubble tea. They had some good looking menu items, but the end product just wasn't it for us. At least it did it's job of quenching our thirst. Now, we could always be wrong as new places sometimes have certain things they're good at and others they are not. So hopefully, it's the latter and we just ordered the wrong thing this time. Either way, not rushing back.


Cost: $11.71

What you get: 2 Medium Teas

Rating 3/10


 


Joes Steam Rice Roll: Signature Rice Rolls


So, this was one of the items we discovered awhile ago and were excited this was going to cap our trip. Landmark Quest Mall is right across the street from New World, so logic dictates we HAD to go here next. We went with what was recommended and got the signature roll. The roll consists of beef, pork, dried shrimp, egg, and 3 types of vegetables. We chose scallions, cilantro and corn. To say Stace was hesitant was an understatement. She said it's too much, this just seems wrong. This is one instance I wish I listened to my wife. It was weird. From the floppy texture that couldn't hold up to chopsticks OR a fork to be picked up to the amalgamation of flavors that just didn't seem to work together. Now, we were told to make SURE we got it with Chili Oil, but we forgot, and we paid dearly for it. Maybe it would've been a better choice for us to get a single flavor, but unfortunately, I insisted we go with what everybody kept saying was the best. We only ate 2 bites each, just in case it wasn't a good first bite. I will say, when we got home, I used our chili oil and it was better, but it def wasn't anything I would ever recommend to somebody else. Sorry, this one just wasn't for us.


Cost: $10

What you get: 4 Rice Rolls

Rating 1/10


 



In the same mall, as what's typical in Flushing, we were able to stay in one spot and grab another one of our items. Not a bad way to end the night with of course, DESSERT! I saw this the day before and just KNEW we had to give it a try. These Taiwanese Wheel Pies def hit the spot. They're made fresh to order, but trust it's worth the wait. They fry batter on one side, then add the filling. As that's happening, they fry another shell and eventually flip it onto the filled shell. They cook them a bit more to seal them, then hand them to you piping hot and olfactory is immediately filled with joy. We ordered the black sesame and matcha. They were crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside and very well balanced. Could they have been a bit sweeter, sure, but honestly, we weren't complaining. They were light and helped warm us on our walk to the car. We both appreciated the one we had, however, I think next time we would get the Adzuki Bean and the Purple Sweet Potato. Definitely a spot we recommend and one to try at only $4 per pie!


Cost: $8

What you get: 2 Wheel Pies

Rating 8/10



Overall, we had a really good time. Though everything wasn't a hit this time, the culture and the food that surrounded us was more than enough motivation to put the next one together. You could put a crawl together just of Landmark Quest Mall or New World Food Court alone! That's one of the beautiful things of Flushing. So many places in such a small area for an extremely reasonable price. If you've ever been to any of these places, let us know. If you disagree with any of our opinions, let us know if we should give them a second chance. Give me your tips of what we should try next and how we should try it next time? Is there some secret sauce we should ask for? Is there a different way for it to be prepared we should ask for? Secret menu item that many don't know about? We want it all. Looking forward to hearing your feedback!


Until Next Time

-Chef-

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1 commentaire


I wish I lived there so I could try the wide variety of foods you have there. But, I'm inspired to try my own food crawl in my area with some local spots we haven't tried yet. Thanks for a great article!

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