King Crimson
Three of a Perfect Pair

Nobody ever told me that Three of a Perfect Pair rules. Like it's kinda like Discipline, and I've always liked Discipline but it's never been my favorite or anything. This one came later and I always thought it was, like, King Crimson's ReLoad. Well, Beat was ReLoad so this is more like ReReLoad.

But nope. Spanks.

King Crimson

Like a fat kid who ate too many, I don't know, buttercups? Do kids still eat buttercups? Anyway, like one of those kids, I went on a bit of a CD buying spree the last two days, and now I'm filled with regret. Regret and buttercups. Because for the most part, everything I bought was a big bust. Heiruspecs (see below), Agalloch (see below, but maybe don't read it because it's long and pompous), Mirah (which I'll get to later), all of it let me down in some form or another. The closest I've been to satisfied is with Mingus' Blues and Roots, and this, King Crimson's Islands, which I've been trying to get my hands on for almost a year now. Have you tried buying any King Crimson records lately? They're annoyingly difficult to procure. They don't sell them on iTunes or Amazon MP3, all the new CDs are crazy expensive special edition remasters form the early 2000s, and the vinyl is rare enough that when you do find something other than Beat or Lizard, it's either prohibitively expensive, or too worn out to care. But I finally stumbled on a used CD copy of Islands, and I'm happy enough with it. It's sort of a more chambery cross between Lark's Tongue and Wake of Poseidon. It has a good sound, but there are no real standout songs on it. I'm happy to have it as part of the family though. More so than that dreadful Heiruspecs album, at least.

King Crimson
In the Wake of Poseidon

I had given up on my King Crimson binge last summer, after both Larks Tongue in Aspic and Discipline proved to be fairly underwhelming. But I just picked up In the Wake of Poseidon, and I've gotta say, it's pretty sweet. A great continuation of In the Court of the Crimson King's sound and style. Still, this is about as far as I'm going to go.

Gelato & Co.Queens

I had some dark cherry gelato from this extraordinarily ordinary gelato shop in Astoria, and it was real good. Like real real good. I don't think I've ever picked dark cherry as an ice cream (gelato, custard, froyo, whatever!) flavor in the past, but I think I'm fully on board. Real good.

(I followed this gelato up with some bolognese from a place across the street, which was totally fine but I think I'll skip that whole write up for now.)

Moonlight GrillQueens
Lamb chops

I got these here lambchops from the Moonlight Grill—a deceptively generic looking Middle-Eastern-Mediterranean counter-service grill in the middle of the heavily Bangladeshi-Pakastani-Tibetan-Nepalese part of the neighborhood—and they were an absolute treat. And with two added bonuses:

One, the whole plate, even in a take-out tray, looked as lusciously cared-for as every photo on this place's menu. I watched the owner plate every dish behind the counter, and this was a man who cared about his craft. The cook at the grill, meanwhile, didn't seem to be afforded the same amount of patience. But grilled a damn fine lamb chop nonetheless.

And two, in a move possibly inspired by the neighborhood's heavily Latin contingent a few blocks down, or maybe because it's one of the world's great condiments, they were served with a side of chimichurri. These lambchops were just about perfect to begin with, but the combination of chimichurri and Middle Eastern seasoning is a damn revelation.

I realize most of these Queens-heavy posts are for places you (who even are you?) will probably never visit. But whatever. Moonlight Grill! Don't leave Manhattan to get it or anything, but if you live in Jackson Heights or Sunnyside, shit!

Fat Cat FlatbreadQueens
Pork flatbread

A magical secret of Flushing (and other heavily Chinese neighborhoods around here) is the food courts. Like yeah, walk around outside and you'll see nothing but Chinese restaurant after Chinese restaurant, but occasionally in a mall or behind a grocery store or, in this case, a disarmingly generic looking storefront called "New York Food Court," you'll find dozens more, all of which specialize in one or two dishes, and almost all of which are as good or better than anything you'll get at a restaurant.

Anyway I've got a low key goal of trying to hit every place here at the New York Food Court. I had some fine dumplings and some good noodles, but the one I want to mention is Fat Cat Flatbread. I guess this particular type of Chinese flatbread—not to be confused with the sort of American gastro-pub nonsesnse-pizza—is a thing in some regions, but I hadn't heard of it before. Sort of like a scallion pancake I guess, but not exactly. It's basically two big ol' (but very thin) pieces of crispy fried bread which have a sort of spread of pork in between them. Maybe it's all fried together? I'm not totally sure. The interesting thing is that the pork really is almost totally in paste-form, you're not getting chunks or anything. I guess now that I typed that out it sounds gross, but I swear it's not. It's super savory and deeply pleasurable. And it comes in a little bag that's cute as shit and almost impossible not to post on Instagram.