Eating (Unidentified Flying) Korean Fried Chicken in Queens
But first, there was Party Glitters.
Party Glitters is not just a store—it's an unintentional work of art. You can't miss it...unless you're blind. And even if you're blind, you'll still be able to sense the spastic bright neon shiny rainbow presence exuded by the store's awning. And by "sense," I mean that you'll feel the burning sensation in your corneas.
While roaming around Queens to kill time before dinner (this being the same day we feasted on cortido and Mister Softee), Rebecca and I peeked into the store to find lots of supplies for the party we would never throw. If you need plastic doo-dads to decorate a wedding cake or baby's birthday cake with, this is your place! Are people only getting married and having babies? Is there nothing else worth celebrating? Noooothing?
Actually, there was way more stuff that that; I'm just choosing to ignore them. There was one funny thing I almost got for a friend as a joke (not related to legalizing unions of love or popping out spawn), but decided against it. I can't say what it is though—I'm still thinking of getting it and I can't ruin the surprise. If I do get this special somethin', I'll let you know later on.
I can haz a bailarina?
There was this random sign. I don't know Spanish, but my online translation skills tells me that this place wants dancers. Or something. I just hope the dancers don't look as disproportionate as the one in the illustration.
Is Mangos not the most intense BAKERY STEAKHOUSE BAR you've ever seen? Maybe they only come in "intense." I know the sign is supposed to resemble fire (...maybe), but it reminded me more of dripping blood. Although you can't tell from this photo, the inside of the restaurant was mostly red and highly reflective, a combination that didn't strike me as all that comfortable. However, it did intrigue me—god knows nothing gets the digestive juices flowing like a trifecta of baked carbs, slab-o-meat, and booze. (Actually, I am somewhat interested after reading this review...we'll see.)
Here's a Mini Picanteria el Guayaquileno truck. Half dipped in purple. There was food on the other side but I wasn't hungry enough to eat it (at least, I didn't want to ruin my appetite for dinner). Maybe next time.
Rebecca and I went to UFC (Unidentified Flying Chickens...yes) to stuff ourselves with a wholesome dinner of fried chicken, sweet potato fries, and pickled radish. But mostly chicken.
The top level of the restaurant is for take out. If you want to eat in, you have to descend into the basement level where you are shielded from the inconvenience of having to look at the outside world. But don't worry; there's a flat screen TV to keep you occupied. While we were there, it played Happy Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Accepted. I'm not sure who chooses the movies. Or why. (In general I don't understand the point of having flat screen TVs in restaurants. Even though I don't have to watch it, I can't help but take a look every now and then. The pictures, they move!)
Sweet potato fries
We started off with sweet potato fries, surprisingly the first batch of sweet potato fries I've ever eaten that were opposite of resembling flaccid worms. Score! They were long and super-crispy, almost to the point of being potato chip-like at the sticks' extremities, but they still had semi-soft innards. I'd order them again.
All chicken orders come with a choice of pickled radish, coleslaw, macaroni salad, or small garden salad. I gravitated towards the pickled radish for something sweet, tangy, and crunchy, which I thought would go well with sauced up, deep-fried chicken.
Our large wings and drumsticks combo—eight wings and six drumsticks flavored in half hot sauce, half soy-garlic—ended up being more food than we could handle. In the end we were left with one lone drumstick, but this was after we had stuffed ourselves just a smidge beyond full capacity. You're probably supposed to stop eating before you're within an inch of reverse peristalsis.
The chicken definitely hit some high level of tastiness for us to eat that much, but I didn't think it was as good as Bon Chon, previously my only Korean fried chicken-eating experience. Bon Chon filled my head with glorious memories of juicy, deceptively light chicken meat that appeared to have the power of self-detachment from the bone. UFC's chicken was also juicy and easy to eat off the bone (something I have a lot of trouble with), but it wasn't quite as light (UFC's skin was thicker) or tender as Bon Chon's. I also felt that UFC was a little heavy on the sauce. If we hadn't ordered half hot, half soy-garlic, I would've felt overpowered by one or the other.
I don't know who makes better Korean fried chicken (for more information about Korean fried chicken, read this New York Times article), but I prefer whatever Bon Chon does over UFC. You may think differently. As for the restaurant I'd rather eat at, UFC is the easy choice; Bon Chon has this loud music, industrial bar/club aesthetic going on that feels out of place when you just want to eat some fried chicken. Also, Bon Chon didn't give out pickled radish (included with the chicken, at least), and their fries sucked. But if I could just transport Bon Chon's fried chicken to UFC...that would be awesome.
For no reason, here's an amusing sign we say while walking back to the subway station. If you want the best straight perm America has to offer ("And Shining Too"), Queens is where it's at.
Somewhere around the 74th St Station on Roosevelt Ave