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Briarwood Baptist Burmese Food N Fun fair

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This was the 14th year and my 10th attending. After so many years could the fest hold it's own? Yes and more than that. This years fest was the best ever and the best of the 3 Burmese fests held in NYC.

For the first time, there were laminated signs above every booth w/the name of the dish sold in both Burmese & English. Makes it so much easier to pig out. The food tickets were printed with the name of the fest as well. So professional. As usual, the hosts, the purveyors and the guests were super friendly.

The Shan noodles ( made with a thick white, rice noodle) were especially tasty. These noodles have a pickeled vegetable, dried chilli flakes, crushed nuts and garlic. The lady making the noodles this year also added fried pork skin. This added a whole new dimension to these oodles of noodle goodness.

The green papaya salad was a bit of a let down, the fish sauce was applied too liberally and there was not enough of a bite though the competing textures in the dish made for fun eating.

Fried Chinese squash & bean fritters were great as they always are here. Not too greasy, good frying The chilli sauce that is used for dipping the fritters was extra special,, think a liquid buzz worthy salsa. At the end I went back to the table and shocked the woman by asking to buy some for the road. I got about 3" worth in a Poland spring water bottle.

Bumese noodles were also quite tasty, The samosa salad was nice, hand crushed samosa and potato on a bed of sliced cabbage w/soup and spices. We loved the banana "cake" as dessert though the coconut sticky rice in a banana leaf wasn't our fave.

As some say, worth a detour.
Queens, the center of the universe.

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  1. Very nicely put. You capture the spirit of the event perfectly. Apart from some of the dishes mentioned above we really enjoyed the tofu salad with egg noodles and fish soup with rice noodles (mohinga). Less impressed with the overloud shlock-teen-pop band but hey that's a small enough price to pay for such a delightful event. Third year running and looking forward to many more.

    1. Agreed. I think you pointed out the best dishes. The shan noodles were great. The fried squash fritters and fried kidney bean fritters were also outstanding, and that vendor also had some really good fried spring rolls. I liked the papaya salad too.

      I wish I'd had a chance to try the samosa salad or some noodle soups but I was too full. The shaved ice dessert was good although I think I overdosed on that in the end. I took some of the banana "semolina" cake dessert home and I'll try that soon.

      To a lesser degree, I also enjoyed a few sticky rice-based items which were from the same vendor who was selling the banana (I think). There was a sticky rice dish with tasty fried little fish; I liked it but most others who tried it weren't too impressed; I ended up taking most of that home with me. I also had some fresh summer rolls from another vendor -- not as good as the fried spring rolls but they came with a really excellent hot sauce for dipping, and tasty greens.

      As usual I was disappointed that there was no lephet thoke (green tea leaf salad). One time I got some pre-packaged imported lephet thoke there, and it was great. I thought I heard about a health scare/recall of this recently so that probably didn't help its chances of appearing.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Ike

        Wishes for next year, Tea Leaf Salad and La Thoke salad. I'm using the chilli sauce for some cross cultural tacos tonight.

        1. re: MOREKASHA

          did they have those plastic containers of rice toppings (a dry mix of pork or tiny fish with chiles, peanuts et) this year? - the pork mix was totally addictive.

          I wouldnt hold mybreath for the tea leaf salad. Have you guys ever tried to make it? I have seen some online recipes using dried tea.

          1. re: jen kalb

            I didn't see anything like that.

            1. re: jen kalb

              If any of you are heading north, stop in Boston for wonderful Burmese, including tea leaf salad! Post first on our board, and we'll join you for a feast!

              1. re: fredid

                where are you eating burmese in boston now? We used to go to a great place there

                1. re: jen kalb

                  Yoma in Allston - very "authentic", lovely people, great cooking, and tea leaf salad!

                  1. re: fredid

                    thanks much

          2. re: Ike

            i was really disappointed I didn't get the chance to go. It's only little consolation I went to the indonesian food bazaar... pictures?

            1. re: Jeffsayyes

              I have pix, too many to resize and upload here, but viewable at the usual URL.

              1. re: DaveCook

                please post the usual url so I know next time.

                1. re: Jeffsayyes

                  The mods recently deleted posts by Dave and myself that linked to relevant content on his blog. The usual URL is listed in his profile page.

                  1. re: Joe MacBu

                    This has come up before, I seem to recall. The Chow crew is OK with users linking to their blogs. I appreciate the links too. Eating in Translation, as long as we're on the subject, is terrific.

                    But as I interpret it, what Chow doesn't want is for posters to write only the bare minimum here (e.g. "I ate at that place and wrote about it"), then link out to another site. That kind of post amounts to telling readers, "I've got this great info, but you won't find it here. Please leave Chow and come to my blog."

                    Simple solution for bloggers: Post at least some of your info here, enough to give Chow readers something to go on, then add your blog link for those who want more.

                  2. re: Jeffsayyes

                    I mean my website, Eating In Translation. I'd added a link to my festival roundup previously, only to see it removed.

            2. i did the burmese fair followed by the indonesian bazaar the next day and I have to say, I preferred the indonesian. I've attended both events about 3-4 times and while I used to love the burmese and couldn't wait for it each year, I found the indonesian flavors and spices simply better. the som tam was tiny and not as good as previous years, I skipped the fried dough with the dal-type thing as well as the fritters (although those squash ones ARE amazing) and stuck with the fish noodles (my absolute favorite) and one of the noodle salads with chicken curry on top (not as good as I remember either); the shave ice was excellent (great ingredients but way too little ice) and we also had some random sweets (the iced tea was very good).

              perhaps the indonesian fair is newer to me so I favor it but I really enjoyed this summer's eats of gado-gado/lothek, satay on lontong, various krupuk, cendol, martabak and other delicious sweets, other stews and rice plates and things, noodle soups, congee and even tho they are not the same cuisine, the overlaps are there (fritters, noodle soups with a lot of garnishes, steamed sweets) so it's hard not to compare.

              anyone else who's attended both have any thoughts?