New York City, the city that never sleeps, the city that keeps moving, a gritty city full of millionaires and beggars, of street meat vendors and world-class dining, a beautiful “movable feast”. This isn’t my first time in New York, but it would be the first time for me there on a mission: to enjoy and taste the tastes of New York within the days that I am in NYC for business.

During my first trip to New York in 2006, my senses were immediately overwhelmed upon entering the city: the lingering pungent smell of hundreds of years of American civilization, the cacophonous sounds of car horns and the clatter of the subway on the train tracks, the push of millions of people shuffling through the streets, all came together to sucker punch me in the eyes, ears, nose and skin. After the 9th trip in three years however, I got used to it all and began to move like crowds did: quickly, stubbornly, on a mission.

The only sense left was my taste: all these trips had been a rush, a quick jot into the city and out again after a day or two unable to fully enjoy its culinary offerings. After days pouring over advice on message boards like chowhound, yelp, and emails and messages left on this very blog, this was my chance to get a taste of New York.

Thursday July 16th 2009
9:00 PM – Flushing, Queens

Touchdown at the Laguardia Airport in Flushing, Queens NY. Flushing…what a name for a city huh? We hop on a taxi cab to meet my partner’s family off of Main Street. The taxi driver doesn’t know how to get to Main Street. But luckily, we arrive safe and sound at the hotel.

The city is hot and humid, maybe I brought a piece of Florida with me here.

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10:08PM – Prince Street, Flushing, Queens
A walk around the Best Western lands us in Canton Gourmet, a Cantonese style restaurant that luckily for us is open till midnight. Ah, the comforts and perks of living in a predominantly Chinese city in America: restaurants open late nights.

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Upon entering the restaurant, we observe the offerings displayed in large brightly colored poster board photos along the wall. The images are crispy and make you salivate.

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After a moment, the tables are ready for our party of 10. We begin with a traditional start to a Chinese meal: soup. We order the crab meat and fish maw soup ($10.95) which is a huge bowl enough for our whole group of 10 and divided into individual soup bowls by our friendly and often comedic waiters. Fish maw, if you haven’t had it before, has a foamy, springy texture with little taste.

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Crab meat and fish maw soup!

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Next to arrive is a plate of house style clam ($14.95), a heaping of clams and also fried garlic that they apparently love to use on every dish here at Canton Gourmet. Alot of garlic, not a lot of clam.

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Famous silver golden egg fried rice ($10.95) - my favorite fried rice, made with golden raisins a la biryani style and topped with goodie chinese toppings.

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Stir fried string beans ($10.95) – crispy and fresh string beans

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Pi Pa To fu ($7.95) stuffed with chinese sausage and turnip.

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Peking Porkchops ($8.95) – my favorite style, sweet and sour but so good

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Rack of Lamb ($17.95) - a rack of tender, slightly gamey lamb topped with that fried garlic stuff

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Crispy Squab ($14.95) – a dish with squab (aka pigeon) roasted.

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Garlic Crispy Chicken ($10.95) - Garlic Crispy chicken was my favorite dish out of all, made peking duck style with a extra crispy skin and succulent flavorful chicken topped with that fried garlic that they use on everything here.

There is something homey about the place, as if the dishes could have been cooked by my grandfather if he were still alive today.

Overall I enjoyed Canton Gourmet, and although it may not have been the greatest thing I ever had, it was pretty good, a little bit above the offerings we have in Orlando and definitely with a lot more authentic dishes.

Tasty Chomps rating!!!!
4 out of 5 Tasty chomps!!!!

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After dinner, we head back to the hotel and I say farewell to my partner who will join her family on a tour of Niagara Falls and upstate New York for the next few days.

Friday July 17 2009
1:08 am I am picked up by one of my brothers, Andy Meng of St Johns University. I will be graciously staying at the St John’s house during this trip with 20 or so other brothers from Florida headed up this weekend for the National Pi Delta Psi Fraternity Inc. Summer Meeting.

Andy picks me up and we quickly zoom off to the city to hit up Club Touch in Manhattan. A party was going on and Andy was a promoter. Following Andy, we literally skip the line and walk through the doors into the clubs like big shot callers. Whoa.

Hip hop dance music bumped as the bodies of young men and women rhythmically grinded in the darkly lit night club.

At the club, I enjoyed a delectable corona and lime as well as a few generous shots of jaegerbombs. At the end of our night we rode away back to the house and I crashed on the third floor.

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Good night Times Square, NYC

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