One of the reasons I love my neighborhood in Queens so much is that there are hundreds of different types of cuisine at your fingertips, and all of them made authentically. One stretch of road offers Brazilian, Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Ecuadorian, and Indonesian. On Sunday I braved the heat with friends to explore an Indonesian food bazaar at the Masjid Al-Hikmah mosque in Astoria, Queens and had quite the incredible Sunday meal.
I would love to go into detail about the names and ingredients of all of the authentic dishes, but to tell you the truth… I’m short on details. When I asked what each dish was, the woman behind the counter took pity on my blatant white-ness and described things as “ground beef inside pastry dough” or “ground chicken in fried dough.” My favorite description was “vegetarian patty” with a shrimp head blatantly sticking out of the side. Exhibit A: “vegetarian patty”:
We indulged in ground chicken mixed with spices tucked inside thick crusty dough, ground beef and spices inside thin layers of pastry dough (my personal favorite), rice wrapped around ground beef cooked inside a banana leaf, banana cake inside of a banana leaf, shrimp crackers, and sticky rice made with coconut milk, rolled in shredded coconut topped with plum sauce.
Again, I wish I could tell you all of the authentic names of these dishes but be happy with that incredible picture. The Masjid Al-Hikmah mosque in Queens has these bazaars quite a bit so it’s worth checking back to their website to find out when the next one is. The food is authentic, incredible, and dirt cheap. My friends and I probably spent around $20 total and ate until we couldn’t see straight. Sunday Success.