Biang! Restaurant and Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo: Food, Fun, Flushing

Downtown Flushing, Queens

Biang Restaurant on Main Street in Flushing, Queens, NY

Hand-pulled noodles: where they stop, nobody knows!

Spicy pork sausages on toasted steamed bun slices with quail eggs: I could eat these every day!

I had three good reasons to drag Therese out to Flushing, Queens last Saturday: one, to support friends who were taking part in a workshop performance of Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo; two, to eat transcendent Chinese food in Flushing’s Chinatown; and three, to rediscover a neighborhood I called home for nearly ten years but also have not visited in 10 years.

My friends Christa Patton and Christine Bancroft took part in Queens College’s Baroque Opera Workshop last week, Christa as director, and Christine as a singer.  The workshop performance at Queens College‘s LeFrak Concert Hall was wonderful.  Christine along with 21 other talented young singers were accompanied by an ensemble of crack instrumentalists in bringing the opera to life.  Christine portrayed Aristeo, a character that reminded me a lot of Cherubino from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.  Like Cherubino, Aristeo is in love with a married woman, and he has no chance to woo her away from her husband, but Aristeo seems to be the only one who doesn’t know that.  Christine did a wonderful job of conveying Aristeo’s youthful and earnest nature.

I was delighted, when I looked at the opera workshop’s website beforehand, to discover that there was a page of area restaurant recommendations put together by the workshop’s string instructor, Dongmyung Ahn. She listed many good suggestions, but we decided to have lunch somewhere that was not on her list – a new restaurant in Flushing called Biang!  The exclamation point is part of the name, which apparently comes from the sound made when a cook slams noodles down on the counter while stretching them out.

For our lunch, we started with two skewers, boiled beef stomach and lamb.  The texture of the former was a bit off-putting, but I enjoyed both.  Following that, we shared a dish of lamb and longhorn peppers with wide hand-ripped noodles.  The noodles were the star of the show: rustic, tender but chewy, they seemed to go on for ever!  The flavor was peppery and delicious.

We finished our lunch with spicy pork sausages on toasted steamed bun slices topped with quail eggs.  These were amazing.  The sausage was juicy with a little heat, the toast light and crispy, and the egg perfectly cooked and a little runny (just the way I like eggs!).

Since I have lived in the Northeast my whole life, I am used to Chinese food including rice.  Biang!’s cuisine is from the central Chinese province of Shaanxi.  There is no rice to be seen, and the tastes are closer to that of the Middle East.  For example, almost all of our dishes contained cumin.

Fully satisfied and feeling like we had already had a wonderful adventure for the day, we left Biang! to begin our walk around Flushing’s Chinatown.  How much had it changed since the days when I called Flushing home?  I will tell you about this in my next post.

About Karl Peterson

Karl Peterson is an avid traveler, passionate about food and food-related entertainment, completely allergic to dairy. He is founder, owner and principle contributor to “The Dairy Free Traveler” blog. The Dairy Free Traveler perfectly dovetails two of his greatest areas of interest: traveling near and far, and searching for great cuisine (especially dairy free!)

The Dairy Free Traveler publishes original material about the dairy free lifestyle, eating the best food in the most interesting destinations around the world. Karl’s tours take him from thriving New York City, to exotic Marrakesh, to elegant Paris bistros — (yes! even Parisians have gotten on the dairy free bandwagon.)

The Dairy Free Traveler himself also engages with independent dairy free food producers, highlighting new dairy free product launches and events that support dairy free entrepreneurs.

Peterson is among the top 7 most widely read TripAdvisor reviewers in New York City and is repeatedly cited as a Top Contributor at TripAdvisor.com. His reviews have garnered more than 542,000 readers — half in the U.S., and half among the many countries he has visited around the world.

Beyond writing this blog, Peterson is a published author, with contributions to “Savoring Gotham” edited by Andrew F. Smith (published 2015 by Oxford University) and the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Cheese (a bit ironic, yes, but a professional is often asked to stretch beyond their comfort zone!).

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2 Responses to Biang! Restaurant and Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo: Food, Fun, Flushing

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