Jackson Heights, Queens

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Video: The Arepa Lady of Jackson Heights, Still Sainted

When we, as diners, talk about how delicious a plate of street food can be, it's easy to lose sight of just how tenuous the career of a street vendor—especially an immigrant street vendor—is. For this brief moment, the Arepa Lady reminded me that for those who come to America to make a new and better life for themselves, cooking (even saintly cooking of national infamy) isn't necessarily the life they have in mind. More

Smoke Signals from Jackson Heights at Alchemy, Texas

The first thing to notice in your average New York barbecue joint is the design. Earth tones. Distressed wood. Painstaking efforts to make the place feel more casual than its position in the ruthless New York restaurant world would suggest.

That's not the case at Alchemy, Texas, a barbecue joint in the back of an old man sports bar in Jackson Heights. The wood's been there for a while. So have the balding men drinking at the bar. I get the impression that the plastic red-checker tablecloths were bought to fancy up the place.

And the 'cue? On a good day, it's up there with some of New York's great smoked meat. On other days it disappoints. As the two-month-old spot settles into a groove with its customers and works through the quirks of its smoker, that success seems likely to improve. In the meantime, go early in the evening. And spring for the beef.

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Thai Grocery Shopping in Queens with Pok Pok Chef Andy Ricker

Popping out of the 74th Street-Broadway station in Jackson Heights, chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok was ready to take us on a Thai market tour around the neighborhood. We traipsed up and down the aisles of a few markets specializing in Thai products as he pointed out the ones he likes (frozen coconut milk) and those he really doesn't care for (canned curry pastes; "don't ever buy them, please."). More

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