Any suggestions for Jackson Heights food walk w/ 7 year old?
My 7 year old has recently become a really good eater, much less picky and eager to try new things. He even tried a Guizhou bullfrog stew in China!
So, one weekend I would like to take him on a food tour of Jackson Heights. Where should we stop?? Would like to try lots of things and not fill up in any one place.
Those are some good suggestions from David. If he has a sweet tooth, the Indian sweet shops and then someplace like La Nueva on 37th Ave and 86/87th have lots of interesting and exotic-looking things. Also, it the day is hot, a healthier dessert, but still fun and a bit exotic, is a cholado, a Colombian fruit, juice, ice, and condensed milk treat. The best ones, IMHO, are on Northern Blvd between 83rd and 84th, but there is also a Colombian bakery on 37th Ave between 81st and 82nd that has them. Also, any Colombian bakery (they are all over the 70s & 80s here) will have buñuelos, perfectly round fried bread balls that are not sweet. They go well with a cup of hot chocolate, but you can also go to Tulcingo Restaurant & Bakery and pick out some Mexican pan dulce (sweet breads and cookies, not all so sweet) with tongs and have it with chocolate (on 83rd, south of Roosevelt). The Colombian arepas con queso are good street food, like cheesy pancakes, and you can get them with a chorizo at any number of places. The arepa lady only comes out late at night, but you'll see people making these all along Roosevelt Avenue.
As for Indian, I like Kabab King (73rd St/39th Road/Bway), where the chicken tikka and naan are our favorite dish. It's one of the most exotic places to be in since you jostle around with the Pakistani cab drivers to get a look at the foods on the steam table. And you can see them taking things out of tandoors right in front of you. You can also watch the paan vendor in the corner of the store making paan to order for (mostly) men to chew on. It's a bit weird for a kid, but definitely made with unusual substances.
These are a few of my suggestions. This area is just full of things that interest the eyes, ears, and nose, as well as the palate. When I took my friends' 8-year-old around, she wanted Indian clothes and wasn't interested in food. However, we happened to sit on 73rd Street for the moms to rest for a few minutes and the arrival of the halal meat delivery to the butcher shop was all she could talk about for several days afterwards. After the initial shock of seeing the skinned goats being slung around, she found it fascinating. (This is a less uncommon sight than you might imagine on the side streets of the Indo-Pak-Bangla area.)
there're a lot of options in the neighborhood, to be sure!
i'd consider starting at a place like kebabish on 74th street at 37th road....have a kebab (i prefer their chicken) and a naan bread fresh off the grill. from there, perhaps head down roosevelt to one of many many mexican options. street food (jim leff's post on this is exhaustive!) offers many options. i really like the vendor on roosevelt/75th in front of the chase bank for a calabasa (squash) quesadilla. if you prefer indoor chow, taqueria coatzingo on roosevelt @ 76h has excellent tacos n stuff. if you're coming on a weekend, gourmet fantasy food -- 76th street just off 37th avenue -- sometimes has some portable food options from the eastern european realm (cabbage or potato dumplings) or at least a chunk of kabanosz smoked sausage for the walk. roosevelt in the upper 70s also has some south/central american fast fooderies with hot dogs with a twist (topped with potato chips, guacamole, pineapple and a slew of other things all tossed together) that kids love!
i'm better versed in places in the 70s than the 80s since that's where i live, but perhaps someone else can chime in?