so I ate at Burmese Cafe in Jackson Heights
I was in JH on Saturday and decided to stop in for a late lunch at Burmese Cafe. It is a small restaurant bedecked in tapestries and such. A large flat screen TV showed popstars who I assumed were Thai (do they even have pop stars in Myanmar?)
I ordered the much-praised green tea leaf salad and a goat curry. I asked if the goat curry had bones (goat bones can be very splintery.) It did. The waiter helpfully suggested I get the goat liver and heart curry instead. No thanks. I decided to take my chances with the bones.
A big pot of nice-tasting tea was served gratis, quite welcome on a cold day.
The green tea leaf salad was - interesting. definitely a novel combination of pickly tastes with crunch (peanuts, sprouts) and the funk of dried shrimp. I thought it was worthwhile eating, but more in an intellectual way than a viscerally enjoyable way. Large portion and could easily be shared. I drink so much Diet Coke that I was inured to any effects the caffeine in the tea leaves might have had.
The curry was mild and very tasty. Very few bones, and the meat was so soft that it fell off them easily. The meat was nicely gamy and goaty (if you like that sort of thing; I do.) I definitely splurged as the goat dishes were 8.99 while the other curries were 4.99.
I needed to be on my way so I got the coconut/ginger/peanut pancake dessert to go. There were two pancakes in the order. They were absolutely delicious and made a great breakfast. next time I'l try them hot and fresh.
Total bill was $23 with a (warmish) Diet Coke and an extra buck for rice. Two people could easily split the salad and the dessert and just get one entree each. Excellent value. I will return to Burmese Cafe to try some of the other dishes on the menu.
Just to add my two cents, we finally got there on Sunday evening and really enjoyed it. The Green Tea Leaf Salad was scrumptious, as others h ave reported. We also had eggplant fritters, very nicely done, with a simple dipping sauce; Pe Palarta, an Indian naan-type bread with a delicious bean spread, and fish curry - my least favorite because of all the tiny bones. We ended with Burmese Tea, great on a cold day, and banana cake (just OK, although we did finish the whole thing!). Service was very friendly and helpful. I look forward to going back soon and trying new things.
I suspect we were sitting right in front of you, eeee, on Saturday. That was a nice big serving of goat curry if it was you. We loved the tea leaf salad and all of the flavor and texture contrasts but it is a big serving for one. We had the mung fritters (great chili dipping sauce - reminded me of Zabb) which were like a very good form of felafel, the salad and the pork curry with pickled mango. We really liked the sauce for that but the cut of meat they were using - the dry loin - was disappointing. I really like this place.
Thanks for the review. My husband and I *almost* went there ourselves on Saturday, but chose Thai food instead. When I do go I"ll look for some of the Burmese dishes I loved at the Burmese restaurants I frequented when living in D.C.:
the Let Phet Thoke (Green Tealeaf Salad)
the PePyar Thoke (Tofu Salad)
the strongly seasoned soup called MoHingar ( Rice noodles in fish soup with lemon grass)
and a noodle dish with a fried egg on top, can't recall the name
My experience of the Tea Leaf Salad was more on the "viscerable, enjoyable" side, unique as it is to my palate. It did keep me up all night, though. My wife, too. Insomnia never tasted so good. Did you catch the Burmese version of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" on their roster of karaoke videos?