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Corner 28 (Queens, NY) – Duck for a Buck!

October 28, 2011

In Flushing, Queens, there are a lot of hole-in-the-wall stands. The city’s full of them – there’s one tucked away in almost every corner and alleyway, every street and shopping mall basement. You could walk by a gem of a place and not even know it. Therefore, I’m pointing this one out to you:

On Main St. and 40th, right next the bustling corner grocery, there is a stand (pictured above). Go there. It serves Peking duck sandwiches…FOR A DOLLAR.

That’s right, instead of buying a whole duck, you can buy a single fluffy bun with a slice of duck skin, a bit of meat, cucumber, scallions and a squirt of hoisin sauce for $1. Stick you head in the window and order one. (Maybe even buy two.)

There’s no seating so you’ll have to eat it standing on the sidewalk, most probably in between the trashcan and the lamp post. But that’s really a non-issue – I end up polishing off my bun in 2-3 bites anyway.

Note: There are people online who make a fuss about it not actually being a real Peking duck (that has been specially cooked to separate the skin from the body) and that it’s just a normal Cantonese-style roast duck sandwiched/finished the same way. In response to them, I say this: At $1, I don’t really care. I just know it’s affordable and tasty.

Corner 28
40-28 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 886-6628

Corner 28 on Urbanspoon

Totto Ramen (Manhattan, NY) – A Bowl Comes Full Circle

October 10, 2011

Totto Ramen has a special place in my heart. Why? When I moved here a year ago, it was my first meal as an official New Yorker. At the time, I was crashing in a friend’s apartment in Morningside Heights (way up there by Columbia University) but made the trek down to Totto because I felt like I had to do something special my first night in the city. Who could have guessed that I would later find my own apartment a couple blocks away?

Totto Ramen has now become one of my go-to neighborhood haunts. It’s not very big so there’s almost always a line outside, especially around dinnertime. Be prepared to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how busy they are.

If you don’t know already, Totto = chicken. Therefore, their broth is chicken based rather than pork based like a lot of other places in the city. However, don’t think the lack of pork means a lack of flavor – this soup has depth. Boiling a pot full of chicken carcasses for almost the entire day (9AM to 6:30PM, according to their hand-drawn sketch behind the counter) can do that for you.

What I love most about Totto’s broth is its clean flavor. While I love a heavy pork tonkotsu broth (“liquid meat”, as I like to call it) just as much as the next person, sometimes you end up with a greasiness on your lips. Totto’s, since it’s made of chicken, gives you the satisfaction and comfort from a bowl of ramen without the heaviness afterwards.

I personally like the spicy ramen more so than the normal chicken paitan ramen – the spicy pepper paste just adds an extra kick to the bowl. If you’re not a big fan of spicy (I personally don’t think it’s too bad), you can always ask them for the paste on the side as well.

Lastly, their sides – posted on the front window or against the walls – are  kickass but can be highly seasonal. My favorite, a bowl of seared uni over rice, hasn’t been seen in a couple months. (If you see it though, let me know!)

Totto Ramen
366 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-0052

Totto Ramen on Urbanspoon

Today is a Big Day!

October 4, 2011

Today marks a big day in the life of The Food Ledger. “Why?”, you may ask. Well, three big things happened today:

  1. I rolled out a new site design today! I’ve had the old layout since the beginning (well, almost the beginning…but I don’t think many of you knew this site during its “black” phase) so it’s about time for an update.
  2. This is my 100th post on the site! Yes, I probably could have (should have?) gotten here soon but hey, a milestone is a milestone and I’m celebrating this one.
  3. Today is The Food Ledger’s second anniversary! When I purchased “” on October 4, 2009, who would have thought it’d still be around today?

Actually, the fact that this site has made it to the two year mark is a pretty big deal in and of itself. When I started this thing, I honestly didn’t think it’d last more than a month or two. Yet, here we are. Granted, I haven’t been the most prolific blogger during this time but, as you can see, the blog’s still truckin’ and the posts are still coming. (Slowly! But I promise, more are coming…)

So happy October 4th everyone! Let’s see if I can make it another year!