Floor plan of Flushing food court located on Main St between Maple and Sanford (L&N)
The following is a floor plan of the food court on Main St. between Sanford Ave. and Maple Ave. This food court is located on the west side of Main St. if you’re looking at a map, and is across from A&N (Kam Sen) grocery store.
Some of the stalls may change, and the name of the whole food court may change as well, but now I think it is still labeled "L&N" market on the outside of the building.
The list starts way in back, and moves forward towards the front door:
1. Hand pulled noodles: La mien is the specialty at this stall way in back. Walk down the main long corridor and turn left, you will be directly facing it. Red sign with white characters.
2. Sichuan: One of the two stalls adjacent to the eating area. Go to the end of the first long corridor upon entering the building and the corridor turns to the left with the eating area to the right. This stall will be on your right after you turn left. There is no stall directly across the corridor from it. White sign with red characters.
This is one of the three most authentic Sichuan places we’ve found in Flushing -- the second one being Xiao La Jiao and the third one being small restaurant/stall located in a mini-mall on the corner of Main and 41st, on the corner closer to Sanford than Kissena. The mini-mall where this third place is located is on the same side of the street as the L&N food court. It is a downstairs mini-mall; look for the orange stairwell descending from street level, and walk down the stairs, the Sichuan place will be immediately on your left at the bottom of the stairs.
3. Guizhou: This is the second stall adjacent to the eating area. It is the last stall on the right of the main long corridor when you enter the building. It looked like they specialize in beef and lamb noodle dishes. Red sign with white characters.
4. Islamic: Across from the Guizhou stall, it is the very last stall on the left of the first long corridor when you enter the building. This place looks fairly big; they may be using the space of two stalls. They also have a breakfast section on the menu. Yellow signs with black or blue letters.
5. Islamic: Going back to the opposite side of the corridor, next to the Guizhou stall, and closer to the front of the building, is another halal stall. They seem to be closed on Sundays. I think the sign was probably yellow with black or blue characters, but maybe it was red with white characters.
6, 7 and 8. The remaining three stalls in the front of the long corridor toward the front door of the building have lengthy general menus; maybe one or more had a Fujian bent. Two are on the side of the Guizhou and Muslim place, but nearer to the front of the building, and the other one is in the very beginning of the hallway of the building on the left as you enter the building; it is next to a stall that is not a food stall.
I've been to this mall before, but never knew it was the one being described here. I highly recommend the pan fried buns (sheng qian bao) at the first stall on the right as you go into the mall. 3 for a dollar, usually very fresh (as they sell out quickly) and although it might be blasphemy to say so, better or equal to any of the ones I've had in Taiwan.
In another bun related tasting, the napa cabbage pork steamed buns in the middle of the Prince Shopping Center (the one with the Best North Dumpling Shop) are also very good. Two buns for a dollar.
recently, i went to the stall spchang is describing above. for a description and photos of the sheng jian bao that i ate there, check out this link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/249860
in short, i commented on the other thread that the sheng jian bao at this stall, which is apparently run by people from fujian province, were indeed quite good - albeit different than what i'd been expecting.
at this stall, we also ordered a bing filled with pork and cabbage that had been stewed in a red marinade. my taiwanese friend referred to this as "hong zao", which the lady at the stall confirmed. the exterior of the bing had sesame seeds, of course - mostly plain, but a few black ones as well. the bing was hot and fresh at 2pm, and quite good.
here are some pictures of the bing. the latter two show the red interior of the bing after it had been opened up:
and here are photos of the stall's signs. the first one would appear to bear the stall's name, while the second has the name plus the full menu:
Unfortunately can't help out with any place other than the Sichuan stall.
Items to order at any of the three decent Sichuan places in Flushing include:
1. pao cai (vegetarian),
2. liang fen (vegetarian),
3. dou maio (vegetarian),
4. mabodoufu (can be vegetarian),
5. dry string beans (can be vegetarian),
6. leng mian (can be vegetarian),
7. huo guo (only at Xiao La Jiao. can be vegetarian if the broth is vegetarian, would have to ask.),
8. boiled peanuts (vegetarian, but only found at the downstairs mini-mall, and watch out for the msg)
9. er duo,
11. sliced pork stomach (Xiao La Jiao has a good version),
12. preserved duck (the downstairs mini-mall place on corner of Main and 41st has a good version).
"This is one of the three most authentic Sichuan places we’ve found in Flushing -- the second one being Xiao La Jiao ..."
Apologies if this sounds picky but unless they're fluent in Chinese no one will ever find Xiao La Jiao because the only English language name that appears on their sign is "Little Pepper."
133-43 Roosevelt Ave.
(Between prince and College Point Blvd.)
Thanks for the rundown (the awning says J&L Mall). I took some visiting in-laws there a few weeks ago, part of an afternoon-long nosh around Flushing. They're from Sichuan, now living in Seattle, and they were pleasantly surprised to see such an authentic Chinese place in the states. (Their favorite New York restaurant was Szechuan Gourmet in Manhattan. They didn't try any other Sichuan places except the Main and 41st Ave. shopping-mall stand, Chengdu Tian Fu. Nice cold spicy meat plates there.)
We didn't eat at J&L, but we took pictures of a few menus and the visitors helped translate parts of them. I took notes but missed a bunch of stuff. Tried to fill in the gaps using James McCawley's "Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters" and the Fuchsia Dunlop Sichuan cookbook. Below are menus for the two stalls at the back of J&L Mall. Apologies for errors, omissions, out-of-focus photos, etc.
YUAN JI LA MIEN, the hand-pulled noodle stall at the rear of the mall: http://s127.photobucket.com/albums/p1...
1: Red-cooked (soy-simmered) beef noodles. 2: Five-spice lamb noodles. 3: Red-in-snow (salted mustard greens) and shredded pork noodles. 4: Egg and tomato noodles. 5: Zha jiang (fried bean sauce) noodles. 6: Beef tendon noodles. Large bowl $4, small bowl $3.50. Two items are listed below the numbered items (both $3): stir-fried beef or lamb noodles, and soup with miscellaneous lamb parts.
SICHUAN CHENGDU, the Sichuan stand: http://s127.photobucket.com/albums/p1...
Sichuan fans might take note of the first two characters in dish #4 in the far left column on the menu: ma (numbing) and la (hot), the classic flavor combination created by Sichuan peppercorns and chiles. Ma la dishes recur throughout the menu. Other common Sichuan seasonings include hong yu, or red oil, i.e. chile oil with some soy sauce and sugar (see the first two characters in #7 under cold dishes) and "fish fragrance," i.e. garlic, ginger, scallions, chiles and other flavors typically used with fish (see the first two characters in #1 under hot dishes).
Some puzzlements: Noodle dishes #3 and #10 have the same name; don't know what that's about. Item #17 on the same menu, "Crossing the Bridge" (rice noodles and meat in chicken broth), is not from Sichuan but from Yunnan to the south; maybe the version here is somehow Sichuanized. And I'm not sure about cold dishes #14 and #23, noodle dish #7, and hot dishes #4 and #6.
The menu is divided into three sections. From left:
COLD DISHES ($3-$8): 1: "Husband-and-wife" sliced meats (often beef brisket and tripe). 2: Pickled chicken feet. 3: Pressed rabbit in chile oil. 4: Ma la cubed rabbit. 5: Boiled pork with mashed garlic. 6: Shredded pork ear in chile oil. 7: Tripe in chile oil. 8: Ma la intestine. 9: Ma la beef tendon. 10: Jiang xiang (sweet-salty fermented-wheat flavor) beef tendon. 11: Ma la beef. 12: Five-spice beef. 13: Ma la chicken cubes. 14: Ma la "four cubes" (pork?). 15: Strange-flavor shredded chicken. 16: Dry-fried spicy chicken. 17: Cucumber with mashed garlic. 18: Ma la dried bean curd. 19: Minced pork with black-eyed peas. 20: Chengdu pickled vegetable. 21: Ma la carrot, garlic and seaweed. 22: Shredded seaweed with garlic 23: Five-spice "bean tendon" (?). 24: Ma la pork skin.
NOODLES AND DUMPLINGS ($2.50-$5): 1: Vegetable noodles. 2: Intestine noodles. 3: Chengdu cold noodles. 4: Chengdu dan dan (preserved vegetable and minced pork) noodles. 5: Red-cooked beef noodles. 6: Sichuan flavor beef noodles. 7: (?) pepper zha jiang noodles (might mean vegetarian, not sure). 8: Zha jiang noodles in clear soup. 9: Pickled mustard greens and shredded pork noodles. 10: Chengdu cold noodles. 11: Chengdu sesame paste noodles. 12: Intestine rice noodles. 13: Beef rice noodles. 14: Hot and sour rice noodles. 15: Chengdu cold rice noodles. 16: North Sichuan cold rice noodles. 17: "Crossing the Bridge" rice noodles. 18: "Zhong" small pork dumplings. 19: "Long" chao shou (pork wonton, possibly served with chile oil). 20: Chao shou (pork wonton) in clear soup.
HOT DISHES ($3-$14): 1: Fish-fragrance shredded pork. 2: Twice-cooked pork (simmered then stir-fried with chile-bean sauce). 3: Flash-fried kidney "flowers" (thin-sliced and scored). 4: Dry-fried (?) green beans. 5: Ma po dofu. 6: "Oil soup duck" (?). 7: Sichuan ma la sausage.
re: squid kun
Wow, Sichuan Chengdu is amazing! I ate at this stall a couple of weeks ago. Now I wish I lived closer to Flushing. Maybe I'll look for apartments in Queens.
I should've taken a print-out of the above post of translations with me, but it was a spur-of-the-moment trip to Flushing, so I wasn't prepared. I ended up trying ma po tofu (a.k.a. ma po dofu), #5 on the hot dishes menu. I actually meant to order that other kind of tofu, I think tofu *skin* (#18 on the cold dishes menu maybe?), which was described to me by a cool young English speaking Chengdu native as "ma la fu tu."
But another guy tried to help me and ordered the wrong thing, but that's OK because the ma po tofu was really, really great. I strongly recommend it. It was made to order in a giant wok while I watched. Took maybe 10 minutes. However, I haven't been to Spicy & Tasty or Xiao La Jiao (Little Pepper) yet, so I can't compare its taste against those. They undoubtedly have more decor and a more friendly environment. The proprietor of the Sichuan Chengdu stall was pretty busy and a little gruff and it took a while to get his attention, and no English is spoken there, which is why I ended up with other customers' generous help.
Also, I had to go back and request rice, which is free with the meal, but only after the young guy taught me the phrase for rice. Now I'm trying to remember what this was. "Meee la" or "meee na" or something like that?
Then, in one of the little seating areas, I was talking to the young Chengdu-ese guy, who let me try some of his and his friends' choices from that stall too. I forget what it all was, but there was a VERY tasty dish of two or three different kinds of cold pork, and a very nice big soup with tomatoes in it. Mmmmmmmmmm.
Entertainingly, this dude was saying, "THIS is real Chinese food! You like? That chicken sweet-and-sour shit, that's not Chinese! I don't eat out much, only here. Me and my friends can make better food than most places. I maybe will start my own restaurant and serve better food than most of these places. That's not real Chinese!" (Paraphrased.) I tried to explain that there are a bunch of people on the Internet who agree with him totally.
The only problem was that many people were, um, smoking. Sheesh. I hate cigarette smoke, but the ma po tofu was so good that I forgot all about it. Also, the whole food court perhaps wasn't the cleanest, but all that spice in that tofu dish could probably kill just about any kind of germs in the world.
Next time I really want to try the green beans (#4 on hot dishes); fish-fragrance shredded pork (#1); pickled mustard greens and shredded pork noodles; ma la carrot garlic and seaweed, etc.
This is one of my favorite chow experiences EVER. It probably helps to go with a Chinese friend, but it worked out OK for me -- although being a bit shy, I was hanging around for a while trying to figure things out before I ordered.
Re the smoking thing, I encountered the same problem - to a lesser degree - at a great little noodle place ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/350358) in the mall down the street. It wasn't everybody - just two guys - in full view of the employees and a no smoking sign. I can definitely relate to your great chow experience, but the smoking is one of the few things that can put a damper on that for me.