How’s your brunch going?
EC: Street Meet: Flushing, Queens
Credit: All photos by Maxine Builder

Every weekend, as hordes of hungry diners wait in line for brunch, Extra Crispy will hit the pavement, visiting a neighborhood’s most popular spots and talking to people who love the meal as much as we do. For this installment of Street Meet, Extra Crispy went to Flushing, Queens.


Chris, 25, at Jade Asian Restaurant

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Extra Crispy: So you walked in, the wait was too long, and you’re like let’s just go someplace else. But this is your favorite place.
Chris: It’s my favorite dim sum place in Flushing, yes.

What makes this one…

… The best?
It’s always busy, so the food’s always fresh. So, yes, it is a long wait, but I’m willing to eat. And my mom loves coming here, and my mom is from Taiwan, so I would trust her.

What is your favorite dim sum dish?
My favorite dim sum dish is going to be shumai, probably. They also do a shrimp in the clear packaging.

Like har gow?
Oh, my God. I love har gow. I love chicken feet, too. I don’t know why I love that so much.

Do you consider dim sum to be brunch?
Never when I was a kid but now, since everyone likes to do it for brunch, I would consider it brunch.

But it’s changed over the years?
Yeah, because you can go to dim sum every morning, so it’s not like a weekend brunch thing. It’s like breakfast.

What do like eating after a one-night stand?
Probably McDonald’s, honestly. Like a McGriddle, so I feel really bad about myself.


Terry, “Old Enough," and Fish, at Asian Jewels Seafood Restaurant

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Extra Crispy: How long did they say the wait is going to be?
Fish: Ten minutes. If we share a table.

How do you know each other?
Fish: We’re co-workers.

Do you come to brunch together often?
Terry: Oh, yeah.

Do you come here a lot?
Terry: Second time.

And you liked it enough the first time to come back?
Terry: Yes, it’s pretty good. It’s been here for a long time, this place. Today is lucky, though. Usually you have to wait half an hour, it depends.

What are you excited to eat?
Terry: We’ll see. Because with dim sum, you never know until they really open the baskets.

What did you have last time that you liked?
Fish: I had a lot.
Terry: Seven or eight different dishes. I just let her pick whatever. Everything’s really tasty.

Charlie, 32, and Melissa, 26, at Jade Asian Restaurant

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What’s in the takeaway bag?
Melissa: What did we get? I don’t know what it’s called [Laughs]
Charlie: We got pork buns, congee, and more pork buns.
Melissa: What is that thing? It’s like the glutenous… scallion pancake!
Charlie: Scallion pancake and rice balls.

Do you come to dim sum often?
Melissa: Not really, no.

So why did you come today?
Melissa: Just decided to go out and have a nice day.
Charlie: It’s funny because we live close by, but we never go out for dim sum.

Why not?
Charlie: I don’t know.
Melissa: It’s always busy! It’s always crowded.

Do you consider dim sum to be brunch?
Melissa: Yeah.
Charlie: Eh.
Melissa: That’s what I thought of it today.
Charlie: Usually people go for dim sum early in the morning. Because I remember when I was younger, we would go at 9 o'clock in the morning, and it’s already packed. So for me, it’s breakfast-brunch kind of thing.
Melissa: For me, it’s more of a brunch, because it’s more filling than just a breakfast because I don’t usually eat a big breakfast.
Charlie: You can see it’s already filling up, and there’s a wait. When we came, there wasn’t a wait.

What time did you get here?
Melissa: Probably 10:30, 11?

Maybe that’s the key. Just timing.
Charlie: Timing, or else you’ll be waiting like these people.

Eva, 30, Oscar, 7, and Anna, 29, at Asian Jewels Seafood Restaurant

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Extra Crispy: Do you come to Asian Jewels a lot?
Anna: Yes. Weekly.

Is it your favorite dim sum place?
Anna: Yes.

Anna: Why? It’s delicious. Very fresh.
Eva: Well, you don’t have many choices to choose from.

Not here?
Eva: You have a few, but this one’s the oldest.
Anna: This one is the better one, so we decided to come here because we like this one the most. Well, to me, yes. I’m not sure about my friend.

[Asking Oscar] What did you like?
Eva: Say something! No? He ate something bacon-wrapped. The fish ball with bacon, deeply fried. It’s like American food. It’s not really Chinese food.

What is your favorite dim sum dish?
Eva: The chicken feet.
Anna: Same. And the one with the pork ribs.

Anything else you like about dim sum?
Anna: That’s all. [Laughs]

Can I get your picture, too?
Anna: Sure! I love pictures.


Mooric, 25, Shelly, 24, and May (Not Pictured), at Royal Queen

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Is this your first time here?
Mooric: No, it’s not. It’s my fourth time, probably.

Do you come to dim sum often?
Mooric: Only with her. This is my girlfriend’s mom.

Nice to meet you! Is your girlfriend coming?
Mooric: Yes, she’s coming soon.

Do you live in Flushing?
Mooric: No, we live in New Jersey, actually.

So how long does it take to get here?
How long is it?
May: With some traffic, it’s an hour and twenty minutes.

Why do you drive so far to come here?
Mooric: I mean, it’s really good food.
May: Food shopping, and my daughter has a haircut.

Doing it all at once?
Mooric: Everything at once. And every time we come to Flushing, we get dim sum. It’s like a tradition.

Is there anything you’re excited to eat?
Mooric: I like the dessert, but I don’t know the name. You know the coconut-tasting gelatin?
May: Oh, gelatin. Yeah. You speak Cantonese?

No, I’m half-Korean.
May: Oh, you’re half-Korean. It’s a dessert, made from coconut and red bean and rice. It’s like Jell-O, white and red color.

Do you think of dim sum as brunch?
Mooric: Me? I personally don’t. I’m more used to a western breakfast, and dim sum, I can eat it any point of any day.
May: Brunch? It’s OK. Can be lunch, can be brunch, can be breakfast. Can be dinner, too. I love dim sum!


Olivia Leibovich, Emily Jaffe, Lillian Leibovich, Adam Leibovich, Harry Leibovich, Annette Jaffe, Audrey Jaffe, and Barry Jaffe, at Jade Asian Restaurant

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You guys came from Pittsburgh?
Adam: Just to eat here!
Emily: To eat dim sum. Someone we know is developing Flushing Commons, and they said to come here. Actually, though, I did do research on the web about where would be the best place to get dim sum, and they said that this was the best place, as well.

Is there any dim sum in Pittsburgh?
Harry: Like, one!
Adam: It’s minimal at this point.
Emily: It was delicious food but not as much choice as you get in New York.
Adam: They don’t have the turnover that you have in a place like this.

What are you excited to eat?
Lillian: I don’t know. Anything. Everything
Olivia: Chicken feet.

Chicken feet? You’re going for it.
Olivia: I’ve had it before. I went for it that time, and I was really nervous, but it tastes like normal chicken, so I’m not worried.
Emily: Can you get frog’s legs?

I don’t know.
Annette: How many plates do you think you guys are going to eat?
Harry: Every plate.
Barry: And every plate costs the same?

Not always, but you can think that and it’ll make it a lot easier.
Emily: Exactly. Think that they all cost the highest and then you’ll be super happy with the price.

And you guys live in New York. Do you come to dim sum often?
Annette: No, we’re just exploring and experiencing Flushing. It’s going through a real change and becoming an outpost of Manhattan.


Mia, (She Won’t Let Me Say), and Ken, 21, at Royal Queen

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Mia: She doesn’t have buns. Do you want shumai?

Extra Crispy: No, I don’t want shumai. Who ordered the chicken feet?
Mia: I did.

Mia: Because it’s different. And it has lots of collagen. [Laughs] It’s good for your skin.

Do you consider dim sum to be brunch?
Mia: Yes.

Mia: It’s like lunch and breakfast. Together. [Laughs]

Mom, that wasn’t an answer.
Mia: Why? Is dim sum brunch?

Is it? I don’t know. Maybe it’s not.
Mia: Yeah, it is a brunch. It is some dumplings and some meat and vegetables, so it’s...
Ken: How does that make it brunch?
Mia: It’s too heavy for breakfast, and you know, it’s just lunch and brunch.

Did you wait at all for a table?
Mia: Here? No, we didn’t. And we’ve been trying to get buns, and the cart is not coming around, and I have to watch like a hawk to look for buns. Here, put your bag here. Do you want tofu?

By Maxine Builder and Maxine Builder