This delicious bowl of Japanese curry at HinoMaru has a gentle spice and subtle sweetness, much more like a zesty gravy with pork belly and potatoes over rice. HinoMaru * 33-18 Ditmars Blvd. * http://hinomaruramen.com
Henan Feng Wei in Flushing is tucked away on the often forgotten 41st Avenue. The Henan restaurant was renovated and serves the best pork pancake I have ever tasted. Fluffy, flavorful and stuffed with so much pork if you cut it more than once, it will all spill out. Most items are under five dollars. They even have soup dumplings!
One of the best deals in Elmhurst is a snack at Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House. $5 will get you far. Whether it is fried pork and chive dumplings, pork hand drawn noodles, or a bowl of soup, the dishes can be filling enough to suffice for a meal and are plenty enough to share.
Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House, 83-05 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY, 11373
John Brown Smokehouse is throwin’ a hootenanny this Wednesday. Actually, it’s more of a pig picking. To commemorate Harper’s Ferry Day the Long Island City ‘cue spot,which has become something of mini-museum of ephemera devoted to abolitionist John Brown, will be smoking a 200-pound hog. And not just any old hog either but a very happy heritage breed pig from Tamarack Hollow Farm in Vermont. Pitmaster Josh Bowen has enlisted the aid of Tyson Ho, who knows a thing or three about cooking whole hog. The not-so-little piggy will smoking out front of the restaurant all day and should be ready to serve by late afternoon, $20 all the pork you can eat. Rumor has it that Bowen’s, banjo picking alter ego, Trainwreck Washington will be making an appearance.
In the shadow of Jackson Heights' famous Indian, Nepali, and Himalayan cuisine lies Legend’s Bar where in the back exists a fantastic Texas style barbecue kiosk. Head straight to Ranger Texas Barbecue for all your pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket, sausage links, and chicken cravings. They even have sides. Baked beans, cornbread, you name it!
Legend’s/Ranger Texas Barbecue, 71-04 35th Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
I stumbled upon his hole in the wall under the N train tracks when the Taco Truck took an unexpected hiatus last spring, only to discover that this spicy pork sandwich is exponentially superior, with juicy, spicy-sweet pork, a layer of beans, quacamole, and pickled nopales. And the bread? You can actually see its fluffy perfection in the picture. Plus it’s open ‘til 4AM daily. As good as it gets for affordable, authentic Mexican cuisine in Astoria (the huaraches are fantastic, too!). El Athens Grill, 30-11 30th Ave., Astoria; (718) 777-5366
Pun Sai Mu (steamed pork buns) at Leng Thai—the pork tenderloin is glazed in a sweet, garlicky, hoisin sauce, and served in heavenly fluffy mantou over Thai slaw. Leng Thai, 33-09 Broadway, Astoria; (718) 956-7117; http://www.lengthainewyork.com