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Karihan Ni Tata Bino


jogoode
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I had the great pleasure of accompanying Robert Sietsema to Karihan Ni Tata Bino, which, he writes, means "The Roadside Snack Shack of Uncle Bino".

During my visit, we had the laing, which he describes accurately as

a sweet swamp of taro leaves sauced with coconut milk and little nuggets of beef, tasting distinctly African.

I loved this dish!

We also had the kare-kare stew, which was more vibrant than the versions I'd tried before. I'll try to report on the other dishes I liked when I can find my notes. The only dish we had that I wasn't fond of was some sort of noodles with seafood, which tasted dull and suffered from mediocre ingredients.

They deliver, and at lunch we saw them loading a gorgeous roast pig, the subject of the Voice article's photo, into a huge bag or box, presumably to be transported to a party. I wish I had been at that party.

Karihan Ni Tata Bino

71-34 Roosevelt Avenue

718.426.6201

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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I just mapped this using superpages.com (mapquest was totally useless in this instance). The place appears to be just south of Roosevelt Av. (and the elevated Flushing Line tracks) and two blocks west of Junction Blvd., which is where you should get off if you're taking the subway (#7 - both local and express #7 trains stop at Junction Blvd.).

JJ, can you compare taro leaves to any other kind of leaves?

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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The restaurant is between the 74th St./Jackson Heights (R/V/G/E/F/7) and 69th St. (7) stations, just off the BQE underpass -- not exactly sure what the superpages.com link is referencing. It's on the south side of Roosevelt with a green awning, can't miss it.

Happy eating,

Mumon

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JJ, can you compare taro leaves to any other kind of leaves?

Aren't taro leaves the plant that gave Jeffrey Steingarten fits and extreme mouth discomfort in the first article in It Must Have Been Something I Ate? In his case, they were raw, I'm pretty sure.

"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

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The restaurant is between the 74th St./Jackson Heights (R/V/G/E/F/7) and 69th St. (7) stations, just off the BQE underpass -- not exactly sure what the superpages.com link is referencing.[...]

Superpages.com is the online Yellow Pages. Perhaps the restaurant has two branches?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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To bpearis: The closest to texture (not flavour) that comes to mind is collard green. When fresh it looks like lotus leaves and as with lotus also thrives in swampy habitat. Yes that is what gave the man who ate everything extreme mouth discomfort. The sap stings so cooks let them wilt before handling them. The starchy rhizome is delicious boiled or cooked like yams but also stings so cooks coat their hands with grease before peeling them. The Chinese call them monkey heads.

Gato ming gato miao busca la vida para comer

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Aside from the taro leaves, kare kare, and seafood noodles, we had milkfish with tomato, onions and ginger, pork with liver sauce, and lumpia. The pork with liver sauce, in a very sweet vinegary sauce (I guess it had liver in it, too), was my favorite of those last three dishes.

As for taro leaves, it seems oxalic acid is the irritation culprit. To avoid incidents like Steingarten's, the leaves have to be boiled for a long time before they're eaten. I don't know why the taro dish tasted so African, but it did. I supposed I've only eaten them in an African food context (Nigerian, perhaps?), but I don't remember when exactly. They have a neutral taste, like collards or chard, but, judging from this dish alone, they taste earthier, almost musty. Does anyone know anything about how African countries prepare taro leaves?

Mapquest works. The restaurant is near (I think right next to) Zabb Thai, the Northern Thai place I've been dying to go to. Actually, Robert and I were supposed to eat there, but it was closed. Its being closed didn't bother him in the least. "Don't worry," he said, sensing my dismay. "We're in Jackson Heights."

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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To bpearis:  The closest to texture (not flavour) that comes to mind is collard green.  When fresh it looks like lotus leaves and as with lotus also thrives  in swampy habitat.  Yes that is what gave the man who ate everything extreme mouth discomfort.  The sap stings so cooks let them wilt before handling them.  The starchy rhizome is delicious boiled or cooked like yams but also stings so cooks coat their hands with grease before peeling them.  The Chinese call them monkey heads.

We crossed posts. Thanks for this, Apicio!

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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[...]Mapquest works.[...]

Maybe it does if you know to input "Jackson Heights, NY" instead of "Queens, NY."

Does anyone know if there is in fact another branch near Junction Blvd. as shows in superpages.com?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

ha! i think sietsema must account for most of their receipts within the last six months. i was also fortunate to dine with him there, and we had the laing -- delicious -- as well as sisig, grilled minced pork ears and liver with chopped onions and pepper; the very similar-looking kilawing kambing, or goat seasoned with tropical spices; and laing, taro leaves cooked in coconut milk. all very, very good. the best by far, however, was the crispy pata, a delicious, fatty and huge pork knuckle, breaded and deep fried with glorious, glorious crunchy, deeply porky skin. this place is definitely not for those who shy away from animal fat.

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ha! i think sietsema must account for most of their receipts within the last six months.

:laugh:

i was also fortunate to dine with him there, and we had the laing -- delicious -- as well as sisig, grilled minced pork ears and liver with chopped onions and pepper; the very similar-looking kilawing kambing, or goat seasoned with tropical spices; and laing, taro leaves cooked in coconut milk. all very, very good. the best by far, however, was the crispy pata, a delicious, fatty and huge pork knuckle, breaded and deep fried with glorious, glorious crunchy, deeply porky skin. this place is definitely not for those who shy away from animal fat.

Great to have you here, winyang! Now I'm craving pork knuckle. Have you eaten at many other Filipino restaurants in New York? If so, how does this one compare?

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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JJ, can you compare taro leaves to any other kind of leaves?

You can substitute spinach for taro leaves when used in stews. Look for it in Carribean markets under the name of "dasheen" or "calalloo" (although I've seen the wrong vegetables labeled as those on occasion).

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Hmm.  Methinks Sietsama should be solicited to participate in Offal Tour II: the Return of the Organ.

actually, sietsema is a member of the Organ Meat Society (which i think is more informal than it sounds):

new yorker article about OMS

(those allergic to puns should steer clear of this link. and why is it that most people that write about offal feel compelled to throw puns around unreservedly? i guess the opportunities with "innards" and "organ", not to mention "offal" itself, number to many to be ignored.)

and sorry for repeating myself up there. i was momentarily overcome by the memory of the pata.

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