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February 21, 2018

Vapor Trail: Steam Table Hopping in Queens

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Queens -- The steam table is an often misunderstood – even maligned – concept. For those unfortunate souls who know only a lackluster corner deli, it's a repository of “food that’s been sitting around all day.”Read more
Queens -- The steam table is an often misunderstood – even maligned – concept. For those unfortunate souls who know only a lackluster corner deli, it's a repository of “food that’s been sitting around all day.” A restaurant inspector might insist on stricter criteria – something to the effect, perhaps, of maintaining already-cooked foods at safe holding temperatures by displaying them in pans above a bath of hot water. For us, particularly in the case of a praiseworthy steam table, it's "a picture menu in three dimensions.” A poetic definition, perhaps, but to us it rings true.

Some displays of prepared food, we’ll agree, are not steam tables. They include the multitude of bins filled with ingredients waiting to be wedded in a Sichuan dry pot; the disposable trays, resting on wire racks above (tiny) flames, at a monthly Indonesian bazaar; or the bounty of pork and potatoes at any number of Ecuadorian street carts.Read more
February 20, 2018

Comixcal: Deeply Oaxacan

By Martha Pskowski
Mexico City -- “There are two Oaxacan foods – what is served for tourists, and what people really eat,” says Marahí López, the chef at Comixcal, an Oaxacan restaurant in Mexico City’s Santa Maria La Ribera neighborhood. “There is a way that Oaxacan food is sold that is totally detached from the way we eat it in Oaxaca.” Read more
February 19, 2018

Refreshing Aguas Frescas in Xochimilco

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BACKSTREET FEED -- An aguas frescas vendor in the Xochimilco market stands at the ready behind his offerings: there were over a dozen different flavors on the day we visited. He served us an incredible lemonade with chia seeds, a very traditional (and delicious) pairing.Feed more