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Queens Represent! – Mapo Korean BBQ

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

And we’re back…

So much has happened since our last post.  Thirty-three trapped miners in Chile were rescued.  The San Francisco Giants(?!?) won the World Series.  Andrew Cuomo won the gubernatorial election in New York making Allegations of Deliciousness’s “favorite” chef Food Network personality, Sandra Lee, the first lady of our fine state.

Yes, I know we promised more regular posts as we transitioned from summer to fall, but like going to the gym, when you are not in a routine, it is hard to keep any momentum going.

No fear, dear readers.  Inspired by this past Sunday’s annual running of the NYC Marathon, we’re trying to break our nasty habits long before New Year’s resolutions rear their ugly heads.  I finally got my butt to the gym…and am giving you a long awaited post.  I have no doubt that J. Frankfurter will soon follow suit.

Now, let’s get to the food…

While J. Frankfurter and I enjoy arguing over which of our respective boroughs is better, I have to begrudgingly admit that when it comes to authentic Asian food, Queens may have an edge over Brooklyn.

For Korean BBQ, my friends “Tracy and Don” suggested we check out Mapo BBQ.  I grabbed two other friends, “Edna Krabappel” and “Sleepy Gonzales”, who are big fans of Korean food and took off for Flushing.  Admittedly, Mapo BBQ is not easy to get to without a car (although there is a LIRR stop right across the street), but Tracy and Don were nice enough to pick us up at the end of the 7 line and drive us over.

Mapo BBQ is known for two things: (1) using charcoal, which is our preferred grilling fuel, instead of gas like most of the restaurants in Manhattan’s Koreatown, and (2) kalbi – deliciously marinated beef short ribs.  Trust me.  Order the kalbi.  The quality of the beef, seasoning and perfect char from grilling (the waitresses cook for you) make the kalbi phenomenal.  Everyone was also very impressed with the variety and quality of the banchan (little dishes of various pickles, salad and accompaniments that come at the start of the meal).

There is usually a wait out the door, but tables turn quickly thanks to the fast and efficient service of the ladies who work there.  The ladies are also super nice and helpful.  We got recommendations and plenty of refills on our preferred banchan dishes even though none of us spoke Mandarin or Korean (the two languages the ladies seemed to be more fluent in).

If you’re looking for the best Korean BBQ in New York City, trek out to Queens.  While pricey and a bit of a journey, a trip out Mapo BBQ is well worth it.

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The Art of Grilling

September 1, 2010 1 comment

As you may have noticed, J. Frankfurter and I have been somewhat lackadaisical with posting over the past few of weeks.  With various vacations, moving for the Frankfurter clan and life generally, we’ve been distracted by the norms of summer.  We’re going to try to enjoy the last few days of the season and ease into fall with a few posts here and there.  But don’t worry.  Once the cold settles in on New York City, we’ll be hovering around our computer monitors for warmth and posting frequently once again.

With Labor Day right around the corner, many people are preparing ritualistic cookouts and barbecues to say goodbye not only to summer but to their grills as well with.  While people will always debate charcoal vs. propane, your esteemed blogging jurists both prefer charcoal for the smokey flavor that cannot be duplicated by propane.  J. Frankfurter uses the old-school Weber grill, which is easy to fire up with the help of a charcoal chimney.

In my humble opinion, one should avoid using lighter fluid or the equally flamable Kingsford MatchLight charcoals.  Whatever you grill will end up having that odd and less than delicious lighter fluid aftertaste.  The shortcut is not worth it if your food comes out tasting like chemicals.  Rather than using a chimney to light up my charcoal, I cheat a bit with the Weber Performer, which combines the aforementioned Weber grill with a propane starter.

If you haven’t done so already, check the series on Serious Eats about how to properly prepare charcoal grills for cooking.  While propane out grills are admittedly more convenient and capable of creating just as tasty meals, if done properly, the time commitment for lighting, using and cleaning charcoal grills can be minimized.