20081125RoosePorkBun1.jpg

Sure doesn't look like a burger. Unless your definition encompasses several slabs of pork belly—layered with skin, fat, meat, fat, meat, fat ad Lipitor—cooked to extreme unctuousness, dressed with pickled greens and ground peanuts then stuffed into a pillowy steamed bun that can barely contain its contents.

By now you've probably guessed that this porcine package comes from Flushing. This guo bao was lovingly prepared by the folks at Temple Snacks (aka Temple Snakes), in the Roosevelt Food Court. On my first few visits, I had no idea this bit of heaven on a bun existed. What can I say? When absolutely stuffed and facing a 42-item Chinese menu, I often resort to pointing at desserty looking items.

The only reason I heard of this shrine-worthy treat was a Chowhound thread saying that this classic Taiwanese street snack rivals David Chang’s pork buns. Said thread announced a Chowhound get-together on Sunday.

By the time I got there it was more like a dogpile. Don't get me wrong, it was great to see so many eager eaters digging on regional Chinese food. Plus the entire Temple Snacks menu had been translated into English. For some reason they were out of guo bao, strong which was translated to "Taiwanese Style Pork Burger." A return visit the next day proved successful, thus earning the guo bao a place in the hall of understated English translations of sublime Chinese snacks. In case you're wondering, yes, it's incredibly hard for me to take a good photo of something so delicious before eating it.

Methinks I need a lens-drool filter.

Roosevelt Food Court

135-28 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing NY 11354 (map)

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