Let’s talk about the state of Mexican food in New York. I grew up in the Northeast, so I can safely say that for most of my life my understanding of Mexican food was incomplete. I happily enjoyed Mexican food all over the Tristate area for many years unaware of its full potential. Then something happened. My girlfriend brought me to Texas and my eyes were forever opened.
Welcome to the Romanian Willy Wonka factory of cured meats. After demolishing some BBQ with Tom at John Brown Smokehouse, our meat-filled adventure in Queens wasn’t even close to over. I recently watched the Queens episode of Bizarre Foods featuring one of my eating idols, Andrew Zimmern, and saw something I knew I had to have. He went to a magical place called Muncan Food Corps that he described as a meat processing plant. I think this was a pretty sterile name for a place as incredible as this.
*Editor’s Note: I’m sad to report that the incredible 5Ptz has been demolished and no longer exists.
This day didn’t go exactly as planned. I had met up with my buddy Tom and had intended to bring him to MOMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens to eat at one of my favorite places in the world, M. Wells Dinette (see: here, here, here, & here). Whenever we get together, it always ends up being an exercise in gluttony. Meat for days. However, as soon as we walked up to the entrance of MOMA PS1, I knew something was wrong. There was a number of t-shirt-wearing staff outside guiding visitors into a line. Not a good sign. I asked one of the staff members if M. Wells was open and was informed that there was a special event going on called EXPO 1 and that we would not be able to eat at M. Wells on this visit. Bummer, but not to worry, I’m more than able to salvage the venture.
I did it again. For the 9th consecutive year, I moved to a new apartment. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? It is, but this move was a little bit different. My girlfriend and I got an apartment together. We woke at 6:15 in the morning to move out of both of our previous apartments and spent the entire day unpacking, sorting, organizing, arranging, and purging our stuff only to realize at 9 PM that we desperately needed to have dinner.
Ah yes, Umami Burger. I had been so anxious to try this food since I first heard about their burgers inciting drool up and down the West Coast. “Umami”, the 5th sense of taste, is an indescribable savory richness that Adam Fleischman, Umami Burger’s owner, claims to have invented a number of recipes around. Personally, I’m a huge fan of meaty, savory, salty foods so this sounded absolutely perfect to me.