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Jordanian, Chilean, Chinese: My Day in Queens

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I was in NYC this past weekend (visiting from Boston) and on Saturday went on an eating adventure in Queens. I got the book "Nosh New York" by Myra Alperson for my birthday, and this was the first time I really used it. What a great book! I usually go on adventures to NYC neighborhoods anyway, but this book gave me lots more ideas for new places to go

My friend and I decided to go to Astoria because the book listed a Chilean restaurant there, and I lived in Chile all last year and had not had Chilean food since coming back....

In Astoria, we first walked up Steinway Street and went to Laziza of New York Pastry, it was clear after just a glance in the window that this place would be good. We tried a baklava-like sweet and had good coffee. The man who was working there was very nice too, great place.

Next we headed up to Astoria Blvd. to head toward San Antonio Bakery #2. When we walked into the place, I was a very happy. It was just like Chile. I had a completo (hot dog in a warm bun topped with saurkraut, chopped tomato, avocado and mayonaise - plus i added mustard) and my friend had an empanada de queso (pretty good, but i've had better in Chile). The completo was excellent though, JUST like in Chile, it was even served on a little hot dog holder that they use in Chile. I regret not trying the meat empanadas which had just come out of the oven. They also had sandwiches: churrasco, chacarero, maybe some others. They sold all sorts of Chilean products and baked goods as well, which was exciting to see: Watts juices, Bilz y Pap (chilean sodas), dulce de membrillo, alfajores, pan amasado...it was great. Next time I am in NYC I will have to try the other Chilean places (El Guaton in Woodside is supposed to be good??)....but this place is worth a visit if you haven't tried a Chilean completo. It's also easy to get to, right by the Subway and the triboro bridge.

Since a hot dog and an empanada didn't quite fill us up, and since my friend had never been to Flushing before, we headed there next. In Flushing, we walked around, eventually ate at Sweet'n Tart and had some rice noodles and dumplings. Then we shopped at one of the big Chinese supermarkets, bought mochi ice cream (my friend is now obsessed).

So, fun times in NYC, now I am back in Boston where there is plenty to explore as well (but no chilean hot dogs...:( )

dave m.p.

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