[yiddish] To eat like an animal, i.e., quickly, noisily, and in great quantity.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Back in Town for a Flushing Adventure: Friendship Plaza and Minzhongle

Hey you fressing faces, time flies when you are locked in the library! Besides full time studenthood, Philly has really been keeping me busy with all the lunch reports and other adventures I require to keep sane.

But every now and then I have to return to my hood for a food adventure with my family. A recent trip to Flushing was so particularly noteworthy, that it was... worth... noting.

So, I chose a new route to get back home- the Chinatownbus from Chinatown Philly to Chinatown Manhattan. Then, a few blocks from that bus station, I hopped on a smaller bus that brought me directly to Flushing! Brilliant. Only $12.75 and 3 hours to get from Philly to Flushing... why aren't more Philadelphians (and Manhattanites) making the trip??

While on my last leg of the trip driving on Main St, I noticed a "plaza" that I had never seen before. The sign let me know that Best Northern Dumpling had moved there, so I wondered what else could be inside. Was this another food court?

In the middle of the plaza (a long hall really) was good Ol' Best Northern, it was comforting to see the same menu, like seeing an old friend. We enjoyed some fluffly veggie buns here, as they were out of most other things.

At the end of the hall was a stall with zero English posted anywhere and zero English spoken. I didn't want to give up, because the little pork wontons being made looked so good, so after several minutes, I got them to serve me something. I just wasn't sure what.... For $3 I got a boiling hot (no, really, I burnt my mouth badly) cup of pork wonton soup. The wontons with their silken wrappers and slightly sweet pork contents were the star, though the delicate broth was impressive too. And they don't cheap out on the wontons, the soup was full of them. There is a bit of a timing issue here though, you want to let the soup cool, but as you wait the wonton skins slowly disintegrate. The proper gobble method must be a skill learned with practice.

This was just a side trip for the main event, so we took our burnt mouths down Main Street to Minzhongle, a relatively new restaurant recommended by the only guy who I trust for Flushing tips, Joe DiStefano.

We were almost foiled by the entrance, a bustling tea counter is on your left as you walk in and a clothing boutique almost disguises the entrance at the very back of the building.

According to Joe, the food is a crazy Korean-Chinese combo because some of the chefs come from a Korean province located in China. Who knew?

Blood vessel in cumin sauce? Extreme spicy beef veins? Ummm, not this time.

But a spicy squid salad appetizer sounded perfect. While this was probably the least unique of the dishes, this was an amazing version of a squid salad. The tender squid was spicy and appropriately balanced with cooling cucumber and cilantro. I would have to order this again.

On Joe's recommendation we had the popcorn in egg sauce. We almost didn't get it at first, but the fried corn kernels and pignolis grew on us- a lot!

The other recommendation we used from Joe was the crispy duck leg. This was a triumph of cooking technique. We all agreed we had never had duck that was this crispy with the usual grease. Equally impressive was how perfectly the meat was cooked under that glorious skin. A dish of salty something is on the side to add more flavor, but use sparingly.

Lastly, we had a sizzling platter of saucy ribs. The traditional Korean influence was most prominent in this dish. The little nibs of ribs were cooked until soft and served in a mildly sweet sauce.

This was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. I'll just have to jump on the series of Chinatown buses to make another pilgrimage soon.

Friendship Plaza:41-42 Main St
Minzhongle: 37-14 Main Street


  1. the jealous sista bebMarch 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Jealousssssssssssssssssssss im going there ASAP

  2. Okay. so im ashamed to admit that I have been living in queens for 3 years and i STILL have not gone to flushing to eat.
    I propose the next trip you take to chinatown that you organzie a blogger meetup and give us a fressgirl tour.
    P.s. Miss your posts. but keeping up on ML.

  3. How were you able to taste any of the food s with a burned tongue? I just bumped in to your blog and love the name fressagirl, when i was younger if i ate to fast my mom would say what are you a fressa?

  4. Fressa Girl ... i love reading your blog. Thank you.

    JS (Woodmere)