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  • This Great Big Story was made possible by Wells Fargo, established 1852, re-established 2018.

  • Almost every nationality on the planet is represented in the neighborhoods of Queens, New York, which means the streets are lined with food from around the world.

  • And if there's one man who's tried them all, it's this guy.

  • Don't be fooled by his slight frame.

  • He's spent the last 20 years unearthing every hidden gem this side of the East River.

  • We're here in downtown Flushing, and there's all sorts of things here, including Soy Bean Chen Flower Shop, which is, of course, a florist.

  • But you might wonder why Soy Bean is in the name, and that's because they sell douhua, or fresh flower tofuwonderful, warm, custardy tofuright out of this window.

  • I love this one. It's really... what a great breakfast!

  • - Hi, Joe. - Sawadi-krap. (Thai for "Hello".)

  • Cherry, my sister.

  • - How are you? - It's good.

  • Pata Paplean specializes in Thai boat noodles and it's a really funky Thai bar with this crazy decor, and the owner is, uh... trip.

  • Where did you learn how to make the, uh, the boat noodles?

  • I used to cook with my mom when I was in Thailand before I moved to New York.

  • And then, no other place that make it in New York.

  • Aha.

  • - That's why I... - So it was out of necessity.

  • Yeah, that's why I try to make it in here.

  • One of my favorite Tibetan restaurants, Lhasa Fast Food, is nestled in-between You and Me Wireless and Little Myanmar Mini Mart, one of the best places for Tibetan Beef Momos.

  • If you think you're lost on the way in, just look for the prayer flags.

  • What makes the Momo unique is the masalaor seasoningthat's in there.

  • So you find Sichuan peppercorn, ginger, celery, onion.

  • I like to think of them as the hamburgers of the Himalayas, and I mean that as a compliment.

  • The reason that places like this resonate with me is because they're not trying to make it the next "it" thing, the next Instagram food.

  • It's just like, "Hey, this is what we make back home. If you like it too, come on in."

  • Queens has everything.

  • Go explore in the neighborhood and find what's out there.

  • It's super easy, accessible, delicious, and people are a lot more welcoming and open than you might think.

This Great Big Story was made possible by Wells Fargo, established 1852, re-established 2018.

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Meet the Culinary King of Queens

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/04/24
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