Afternoon Snack

Quick bites to tide you over without spoiling dinner.

Afternoon Snack: Tianjin Pancake from Tianjin Xianbing at the Golden Shopping Mall

It's late afternoon and dinner is a few hours away. Where do you get a quick bite to carry you through the day? Afternoon Snack looks at quick bites to tide you over without spoiling dinner. Got a snack we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Every time I visit Flushing I have half a mind to drop whatever I'm doing and start a quest for the perfect pancake. The breakfast pancake at the Savor Fusion food court is quite a nice one, but of late I keep making excuses to visit the Golden Shopping Mall for a Tianjin pancake.

If you head to the first floor (not the more trafficked basement) from the Main Street entrance, this stall is the first on your left, where for a buck or two you get a delicately crisp calzone-like pancake stuffed with broken vermicelli noodles, soft bits of scrambled egg, and skanky-sweet garlic chives. Break through the wrapper, which picks up some char spots and the dark flavor of the griddle, and you'll hit a burst of green allium flavor with the subtle richness of egg. Slippery noodles let the tip of your tongue have some fun while the rest is processing the greenery.

It's refreshing in its own way—so green you could almost imagine it on the menu of a twee "put an egg on it" cafe. Except that this is Flushing, where garlic breath and oil-stained wax paper are a way of life, and the garlic chives don't mess around. Take your time to relish the funk of this little pancake; dumplings aren't the only big flavors in small wrappers around here.

Tianjin Xianbing at the Golden Shopping Mall

41-28 Main Street, Stall D1, Flushing, NY 11355 (map)
212-518-1952

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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