One thing you’ll realize about me, unless you already know me personally, is that I’m an avid reader. Of just about anything. I mean ANYTHING.
As a kid I was excited when we somehow procured a set of encyclopedias. I would sit on the couch and read the whole “E” volume, or the “R,” even though, as my sister asserted, it wasn’t when school was in session. I used to read “Highlights for Children” when my younger siblings weren’t interested. The amount of information I have absorbed with my voracious appetite for knowledge would probably net me a pretty penny if I went on Jeopardy. But Alex Trebeck without a mustache is a bit creepy.
Anyway, one thing I read a lot of is food blogs. I come across all kinds of food blogs thanks to the interwebz. One blog I really like is Joe DiStefano’s postings in Edible Queens. He is also a lover of my borough and really writes passionately about the great food, and great place Queens is. That’s how I found out about Uncle Zhou's right in my neck of the woods, Elmhurst. Actually it’s closer to where The Fisherman lives so I was surprised he didn’t notice it when he stops by on my end of Elmhurst (The West Wing, if you will).
Pronounced “Joe” Uncle Zhou’s serves food from the Henan region of China. When I asked The Fisherman more about Henan, he said it was kind of north (which explains the use of lamb, I thought) but also a bit south too (maybe that’s why there’s spicy elements). I asked him to clarify with his mother, who came from China back in the day. Sadly her answer was just a vague to this ItaliPole American. Oh well, who cares when there’s amazing food to be had??
The Fisherman and I actually went here twice in one weekend. We went on a Friday to check the place out. If it was good we’d tell his mom about it who by now was curious. She loves when we test the culinary waters for her. Once we verified that it was good enough, she came along next (that and The Fisherman’s mom knows Mandarin as well as Cantonese, so she’s better at ordering when Mandarin is needed).
Now, being a good nerd, I did my research before we went the first time. A quick Yelp search gave me an idea of what was good in the ‘hood. With my Post-It I was ready. Actually the waitress thought it was cute that I had our meal planned out. Hey, this is serious!
First we got the lamb dumplings. A-MAZING! The skins are soft and pillowy, with a little bite. The first bite must be taken carefully, or you will get a very hot squirt of lamby goodness that will most likely ruin your shirt. Sometimes I really consider Scotch guarding all of my shirts because of the amount of food I spill on myself. I seem to have a knack for spilling something on myself. These were so good that we got some with The Fisherman’s mom, and then she bought some frozen ones to make at home. They are that good.