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February 21, 2018

Vapor Trail: Steam Table Hopping in Queens

By
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
January 8, 2018

Going Deep: Neighborhoods to Visit in 2018

By Culinary Backstreets
Queens -- As the calendar year turns over, we’ve grown accustomed to the barrage of lists telling us where to travel during the next 12 months. Oftentimes these places are a country or even a whole region – you could spend an entire year exploring just one of the locations listed and still barely make a dent. Read more