Posted by: Orlick | June 18, 2008

I’m So Happy In Elmhurst

When I first moved here, between the hours of midnight and 4am, I regularly went to the taco carts under the 74th street station (regarded by many as the best tacos in the city). I was so happy then. But of course my mind wanders…

I drive through Elmhurst every night on my way home from work. It’s after midnight, and I’m usually getting hungry again. I’ve been passing these small restaurants – lights on, half-filled glistening wood rooms, awnings with huge chinese lettering on with no English except the abbreviation TEL. Do I need to tell you my interest was piqued?

Last night I stopped my car and went in.

hua rong

This is some legit stuff. Elmhurst is Queens’s second Chinatown. Right down the block from my new abode. I am so happy.

First of all, there are over 500 items on the menu. It looks like a page out of the telephone book. There are two menus in English and two more in Chinese with a visibly different pricing plan. One of the English menus has green lettering with lunch specials, combination platters, sesame chicken, and chicken with broccoli. It made me realize that white people like to order by number. Hey, I even got a combo when I went – it’s in my blood. Then there is a smaller in size blue menu which is clearly for the ESL students.

Let’s pull a few items letter-for-letter from the menu to display how legit it is:
Salted Mustard Pork Over Rice
Frog’s Casserole
Pig Leg Casserole
Sauteed Chinese Snail
APPERTIZERS
Stew Turtle
Elephant-Nose Conch Served w. Two Ways
Stewed Cruian in Brown Sauce
Cattle’s Viscera w. Rice Noodle Soup
Dry Squid w. Glutinous Soup

Then there is the glorious “Other” section. I am completely enamored by this. Here are a few selections:
Beef Stomach Any Style
Sauteed Boneless Duck Hand
XO Sauce w. Duck Tongue
Ribbit wtih Foo Chow Sauce
Sauteed Assorted Duck Viscera

The menu in full

It is amazing the amount of items available here. I have never seen anything like it. There are a few other similar looking places along Broadway in Elmhurst. Are all of them like this? Is this even a special place? They claim on the front “The Best Chinese Restaurant in the Area.” It has to be, right?? I will find out. I’m the Christopher Columbus of NYC cuisine.

I decided I cannot save money by restricting my eating experiences here. I can do without a real bed, without cable or the Internet at home. I can live on tap water and convince my friends to cut my hair. I can drive slower and return aluminum cans. I will do whatever it takes to say YES to discovering exciting new foods and cultures in NYC.

Hua Rong Chinese Restaurant
8323 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(718) 760-1027

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