Monday, it being a nice sunny and fairly warm day, the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided to do somthing a little bit different. We went to the Chinatown in Queens. Usually we go to the one in Manhattan that we can walk to, if we are feeling ambitious. To get to the one in Queens is a bit more of a trip involving a couple of subways. First a train to Grand Central, then a switch to the train out to Flushing, Queens.
We were a bit disappointed, this being the first time either of us had been there. It is, supposedly, bigger than the one in Manhattan, but it is not nearly as picturesque. Much more of a commercial looking area with a heavy Asian influence. I guess that is because it is newer and doesn't have all of the neat little nooks and crannies like the older one in Manhattan.
Anyway, we didn't stay too long, just took a little walk around and stopped at kind of a neat place for lunch.
Chao Zhou Restaurant
There is nothing very fancy about Chao Zhou Restaurant, kind of a cafeteria look to it. But it was doing a nice little business and, always a plus, almost everyone in there was Chinese. It looked like a place where a lot of the people who worked in the area stopped for lunch.
The Usual Crowd
The prices were very reasonable, a lot of $5 lunch specials, things like bitter melon over rice with your choice of beef, chicken, shrimp or sliced pork and garlic leaf with preserved meat over rice. Things that the Mysterious Chinese Woman said were typical peasant food. They also had the usual stuff like sweet and sour pork and quite a few fried noodle and rice noodle dishes.
The Mysterious Chinese Woman had a healthy looking bowl of noodles with vegetables of some kind.
Needless to say, my attention was caught by a less healthy choice. I mean, How can you pass up a plate of pork parts that includes ears, snout, tongue, and intestines.
Yummy Yummy Pork Parts
You know you ordered good when the waitress asks you if you are sure and then gives a glance at the Mysterious Chinese Woman to see if it really is okay.
I was thinking maybe I would get kind of a pork parts stew, but this was more like cold cuts. In fact I often get the ears like they serve here when I go to an Asian market in New Jersey. The ears from the market are prepared with a chili paste, though, so they are much hotter. They make for a nice chewy snack and go good with beer.
The pork parts were served with several slices of pickled carrots and some kind of a large white vegetable, a chinese radish, I think, also sliced and pickled. They were quite good and really went well with the pork parts. They did cover up the dish a bit, so here is a bit of better shot.
Pork Parts Uncovered
Pork Tongue On Tongue
If you are a bit adventurous I would certainly recommend a visit to Chao Zhou. You could also order those pork parts sauteed with ginger and scallions. Or you could try the sauteed pig heart with peppers in a black bean sauce or, perhaps, the pig intestine with preserved vegetables in a noodle soup. And how could you not want to stop in for one of their breakfast specials, pork and jelly fish congee, only $3.95.
Actually, except for the congee, kind of a rice porridge, I like most of this stuff. If this place wasn't so far away I would go back fairly often. I will have to check for a place in Manhattan that serves similar fare. I am sure there are a few.