I haven’t been on an airplane in an embarrassingly long time. Even my three-year old nephew laughed at me when I told him. I’m too poor to use my vacation time for anything but cleaning out my closet or mooching off my parents. But occasionally I take myself on a little getaway to Flushing. I feel like a tourist in the food courts on Main Street. (Here are some photos from J&L Mall).
A few nights ago, at the subterranean food court, “Food Court,” also on Main Street, I met a new vendor called “Kevin.” Amongst the many Sichuan stalls, where hot-pots bubble with fire broth, Kevin slices up slow-cooked lamb and beef for noodle soups. (The scent of the peppers amuses him. “It smells like marijuana, don’t you think?”) He is from Beijing and before landing at the Food Court a month ago, he was a sushi chef on the Upper East Side. Wontons are a specialty close to his heart (his mother taught him how to make them when he was a kid).
The wontons are served with eggs in a simple broth made with dried shrimp, seaweed, and a little sesame oil. They are delightfully slippery and dainty, providing a juicy little pork pocket each. But it’s not just the food you go for. It’s also the company. Kevin not only sat with me, but insisted on sharing some peanuts and pickled jalapeños, and a little “Chinese wine” which was more like rice-based throat-acid. Still, it was a sweet gesture. One of his regulars joined us, and told me all about eating dog meat. “People are very sensitive about that here,” he said, with a disappointed nod of the head. “I can’t wait to get back to China.”
36-58 Main Street