HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >

Discussion

My Google Map of Obscure Street food in Eastern Jackson Heights

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Jim, I nominate you for the MacArthur grant. Great stuff, great help and now you've gone and ruined the rest of my work day by making me daydream of good comida. God, do I love Queens.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MOREKASHA

      Coincidentally, I nominated the Arepa Lady for a MacArthur grant. And I'm not kidding.

    2. Dammit Jim, you've just made my neighborhood walks even more counter-productive (or more productive, depending on your perspective).

      1. Jim,
        Did you try the churros in front of Ria Envía, I believe. I think it's at 85th? It's the only place around that makes fresh churros, and there is a world of difference. He's also got other things on the cart that I've never tried.

        11 Replies
        1. re: JH Jill

          Never did, no. If you'll scout out the precise location (and let me know more or less when he tends to be out), I'll add it in.

          Anyone else? I only want the good stuff...i.e. none of the shlock at 82nd and Roosevelt, etc.

          1. re: Jim Leff

            Darn it I wish I could give you a location for the elusive cocada seller; but I haven't been able to find her again. I have asked in a couple of places on 37th Avenue and they all said this seller moves around between Roosevelt and 37th Avenues somewhere in the 80s.

            1. re: Jim Leff

              How are you determining what's shlock? Have you actually tried all the other carts at 82nd and Roosevelt? That's some serious determination (although I suppose not surprising).

              Does your map concentrate on the east just for the sake of choosing a theme, or because the carts are better there, or because the carts are non-existent further west? I had lunch at Coatzingo today, so firstly it's a weekday and secondly it was around 1pm and it seems many carts come out at night... but I only noticed one cart on Roosevelt, perhaps a block from the subway, selling tacos & tortas. Is that typical?

              1. re: NancyC

                The carts are more dense further east. I do like the flor de calabaza quesadillas and pandebonos at 82nd and Roosevelt though. Oh and the elotes.

                Thanks for bumping my favorite post ever. The cart by the subway is eh. Further down is a glorious utopia of street food which stretches in dense patches from 82nd St onward with some before.

            2. re: JH Jill

              I just tried them, and added my notes to the map (link above). Thanks!

              I passed that cart dozens of times without reazling there are churros. She sure hides the frying operation....

              1. re: Jim Leff

                Glad you found her, Jim. The times I've been past there, no one was there so I couldn't ask the hours. I know they're not world class, but they are the best I've had here in New York. Now, back in Madrid, we'd go to little cafés starting at 5 a.m. for chocolate con churros. That chocolate was as think as pudding. It was a delicious breakfast that you would regret hours later... even there, they were somewhat oily. I think that's the nature of the beast.

                1. re: JH Jill

                  Spanish churros aren't exactly like Mexican. Both are somewhat greasy, but a good Mexican churro has impeccable balance, and never quite crosses over the line into leaving you with a greasy palate. You feel like you could eat a fistful of them. I couldn't eat two churros from this woman, though.

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    Being from So Cal, I've done some wandering around Mexico. I agree that Mexican churros may be less greasy than Spanish ones, though I never saw porras (the fatter ones) in Mexico, and we used to have them all over in Spain. The dough to oil ratio is higher so they're less greasy, but I may have a higher tolerance for oil than you do. That said, I have generally eaten the churros from this street cart when they were just taking them out of the oil. In that state, much can be forgiven.

                    1. re: JH Jill

                      Greasy is fine. But that should be only one parameter contributing to a deft balance of attributes. But her churros maintain that balance only for half the bite. The bite ends with oil dominantl, and that's just slightly off. But I'm being picky...

                      I should note that the churros I had weren't quite totally fresh from the oil...they were among her short stack of made-aheads. But, anyway, I'm always leery of being told I need to eat something directly from the fryer (or the oven). Jim's Pencil Fallacy states that even pencils are likely delicious if you eat them straight from the fryer or oven. JPF most frequently applies to those muffins you see in delis all over (made from mix from the big white truck from New Jersey), and which people inevitably recommend "only when they're right out of the oven". Consider those Pillsbury cookie dough logs you get at the supermarket, which render more or less cravable results for about 4 minutes, then turn to abject horror when fully cooled.

                      1. re: Jim Leff

                        I'll have to reanalyze the churros, I guess. It's been awhile since I've even found the cart, and it was a man selling every time I went there. I agree with you on some of these things, but I occasionally get a ready-made churro at La Nueva or from a vendor, and I must say that there are some foods that only have a viable life of about 5 minutes. I don't think that's necessarily bad. They're just a bit more ephemeral than some other foods. Just think of the amazing creations your high-paid chefs come up with that bring gasps from diners. I somehow think that a lot of those - meat dishes, apps, as well as desserts, wouldn't do that if they weren't whisked from kitchen to table at just the right instant. A lot of things that thrill the tastebuds also congeal on the plate in no time, and a lot of the worst offenders are those with some sort of fat or oil.

                        I agree that cookies should have a longer shelf life, and are, in fact, often much better when they've cooled (if they were any good to begin with). As for those muffins, I don't find many New York muffins exciting. It's almost as bad as New York pie.

                        1. re: JH Jill

                          "there are some foods that only have a viable life of about 5 minutes. I don't think that's necessarily bad. They're just a bit more ephemeral than some other foods"

                          Agreed. However! I have had some not-direct-from-fat churros that amazed me.

                          Nothing is as bad as New York pie.

            3. Absolutely fantastic. Thank you. When can we expect the rest of the world?

              1. First off, thanks for the amazing map. I've just moved to the neighborhood and the board has been an invaluable resource so far.

                The "Nighttime Taco Truck" that you have on Gleane and Roosevelt is, I believe, usually parked on Forley St--essentially across 85th at Roosevelt (this is my block, so I see it every night). I believe it's called El Fogoncito #2, and was, I believe, the subject of a few posts over the last few years--or at least, a truck by that name was. (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/242338)

                5 Replies
                1. re: jsq

                  jsq--if that's the case, I've gotten the "Two Ladies Taco Cart" wrong, too, as they're catty-corner.

                  Argh, I hope I'm not passing out disinformation. I don't think they're out this late or I'd walk over and check...

                  BTW, lots of trucks use the Fogoncito name. This may be the same, but it's hard to tell!

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    jim--

                    i think you have the two ladies in the right place--they're outside the sovereign bank, which is on the south side of roosevelt at 84th street. the fogoncito truck--at least since i've been in the neighborhood, which is a month--is almost always parked a block away at Forley.

                    1. re: jsq

                      I second that. The Two-Ladies is at Gleane and Roosevelt, outside the Sovereign Bank, but there is no other truck catty-corner from them that I've ever seen.

                      1. re: JH Jill

                        Ok, thanks, I've moved the marker and credited.

                        JH Jill, can you clarify any better on the churro location? Did I get it close? Any idea what time this vendor is out....and weekdays vs weekends?

                        1. re: Jim Leff

                          Yes, Jim. You got the location exactly right. I went by today around 1 p.m. and he wasn't there so I couldn't ask him his hours or check out the other stuff he's added to the cart. I'll try again soon.