Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Queens- Gastrodiplomacy Haven

To celebrate my new funemployment last friday, I went to Queens to meet a friend Braden- a speechwriter for a Mission to the UN and a fellow gastrodiplomat.  I had never been to Queens before, and immediately it felt different than my Brooklyn haunts.

We stopped to celebrate my freedom at an Irish pub, before heading down to Jackson Heights to have Nepalese food.  It would  be generous to call the place, Tawa, a hole in the wall.  It was literally three tables (one which was serving to hold containers) and a kitchen.  And it was f'ing phenomenal.  I had a veg thali, and it was the best thali I have had this side of the subcontinent.  The Nepalese owners smiled when I waved away the utensils, and they were impressed with my fingerfood skills.  "You eat like Nepal," the owner remarked.  Not that I eat like the Nepalese, mind you, but that I eat like the country.  I tapped my curry yellow-stained fingers on the silver platter in appreciatiation as I took that as a supreme compliment.  We split some incredible veggie momos- Nepal's steamed wonton-like treat that I covered in chili, orange and mustard sauces.  It was delish.

After dinner, we wandered over to a little Indian market and we got some paan to aid in digestion.  We were spitting red betel nut into the streets as we made our way from the Indian section to the South American section.  We stopped for cafe con leche and alfajores (dulce de leche sandwiched between buttery cookies) at an Uruguayan bakery, then made our way on for Colombian music at a cool club.  We sipped pisco sours until I grew tired from the long day.

Queens, we may be new friends.  I have come to learn that Queens is one of the most (if not the most) diverse places on the planet.  Maybe that is where I will next set up shop, because I need a neighborhood where I can go from Irish to Nepalese to Indian to Uruguayan to Colombian in mere minutes.

No comments: