I temporarily lost my focus today. I’ve actually been dreaming about this weekend for months but it had only been an idea…until Sasha came into the picture. Turns out her parents are going on a mini vacation this weekend up to Maine, and they gave us the option of coming along for the ride. Why has Maine been on my mind these past few Summer months? There are only a few truths in life, and one of them happens to be lobster. I want to eat a lobster roll, but not just any lobster roll. I want one from New England.
So here is where I lost my direction. I was on the 7 train heading towards Queens, picturing the four of us (myself, Sash and her parents) sitting in a cozy restaurant tucking into some warmed brioche stuffed with crustacean goodness. But as I exited the train to look for the bus, I immediately stumbled across a street vendor. Street food happens to be one of my biggest weaknesses in life. I could have just come from Thanksgiving Dinner, whining about my poor/amazing decision to stuff myself sick..and I would still feel compelled to eat the street snack. I paused on the stairs and quickly scolded myself for thinking of stopping to eat. I was on my way to pick up the rental car that would whisk us off to the land of lobster rolls. Instead, I found myself walking involunatarily towards the steaming trays of tamales and pork. Oh hell. The car can wait a few more minutes. I bought a tamale, a little round of potato and a mound of pork (even though I swear I asked for ‘un poco’..ahhh well). The pork turned out to be a bit dry, so I pushed that off to the side and dug into the freshly unwrapped queso tamale. I will try to describe the first bite. Wait, I’m flustered. Okay, it was definitely the best tamale I’ve had on the East Coast. And I’m going to go so far as to say it even rivals those that can be found in California. It was perfectly seasoned with a bit of chili, the cheese wasn’t heavy and greasy, and the masa was so moist it fell apart in my mouth. More often than not, the masa is dry and crumbly. I relished the moment as best I could–by this point I was already late picking up the car. I spooned on a few more chilis and sauced the potato with a citrusy salsa. I felt a bit guilty for letting this food distract me from my lobster visions, but that was quickly washed away with a horchata!
I am leaving New York for a few glorious days to delve into New England and eat its bounty. I hope I find that lobster roll I’m dreaming of. And if not, you’ll hear about it.
To find these tasty morsels, take the express 7 train towards flushing. At Junction Blvd., exit station onto Roosevelt St. Here you will have several choices of food carts. Pick the most appetizing and be prepared to pay only a few dollars for a savory experience!