I was hanging out in Flushing with my friend Francis Lam, who writes a weekly column for Gourmet.com. We’d been on the usual run to Golden Shopping Mall, Roosevelt Food Court, and the Peking duck window at Corner 28. We’d gotten a scallion pancake under the LIRR, and copped a lamb kebab (“with spice”) from one of the Xinjiang carts.
“I’m thirsty,” said Francis, “I need some Vietnamese coffee.” I naturally wanted some too, and we soon found ourselves standing in front of Pho Hoang, a businesslike place just across from the Flushing library on Kissena Boulevard.
I scanned the snacks in the window as we stood outside, figuring out whether to go into that place or the place next door. Pho Hoang won, even though it looked as much like an ancient Cantonese coffee shop as a Vietnamese restaurant. “Wait a minute,” I said, staring into the window, “What’s that?” I was pointing at a tub full of bony complexes I couldn’t identify.
“That’s the lower jaw of ducks, a popular snack,” he replied. We went in and got our coffee, thick and sweet as it should be. I went outside and looked in the window again, and thought I saw the pig head winking at me. 41-01 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, Queens, 718-762-6151
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 16, 2009