The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

De Bamboo Express

Mark S., sometimes dubbed The Snob, has come through with yet another delectable edible recommendation. The Q too is a big fan of this place. The kids LOVE "Bake," which when taken alone is a bit like fried bread. The "saltfish" that frequently comes inside the bake is outlandish in its exoticity, that is to say, if you didn't grow up on it I'm not sure you'll be converted. The doubles are delicious regardless of your upbringing, though they're quite different from the ones up at Da Hot Pot, which are (if I recall) Trinidadian. Wait, this isn't MY review...

De Bamboo Express
772 Flatbush Ave., between Clarkson and Lenox

Guyanese food is one of the world's great stoner cuisines. Wait, sorry, there's a more diplomatic way to put that. You could say that Guyana, the south american country parked east of Venezuela and north of Brazil, hosts a population spiced with the usual Merrie Olde English colonials -- East Asians, Chinese, Africans, and Amerindians -- plus Caribbean neighbors, making for a transnational cookery of varied influences. Or you could say: jerk-chicken lo mein. The fellas at De Bamboo Express will happily mash-up any number of cuisines for your meal. Order up some vintage American-style Cantonese Chinese dishes -- your chow meins, your pepper steak -- the sauces thick with corn starch. Add a fried fish, or shrimp, or chicken. Or jerk anything you like -- chicken, lamb, even pig -- or, on second thought, curry it and serve over a mound of fluffy white rice. Or rice and pigeon peas. Or buttery roti. Or some of those precious British pastries -- tennis rolls, anyone? The enormous menu lists all of these options, and some more that you never thought of. What's good? Everything arrives in a steamy cloud of spice, not a little grease, and in robust proportions. The red snapper, awash in saffron curry, stands out, along with that jerk lamb, and no one puts a noodle to better use anywhere in the Caribbean.  The price you'll pay for all this deliciousness is temporal. Like most of our Lefferts gems, they don't deliver, and even if you call your order in, it seems like it's just getting started when you go to pick up. Pay no mind -- more time to drool over the pastry case and plot your plan of attack for next time. Curry goat plus General Tso's chicken plus jerk snapper? Dude...that sounds awesome.  - Mark le Snob



babs said...

Although it seems to me that what I call lo mein they call chow mein - which ever, jerk chicken lo mein (or chow mein as it's called here) is exceptional!

Naomi Campbell, BTW, is Jamaican-Chinese, which is really where this cuisine is from, regardless of these particular owners' origins.

Unknown said...

Just an FYI, Jamaica is not "...where this cuisine is from" in the Caribbean.

Most of the Chinese, as well as East Indian, indentured servants that were brought to the Caribbean in the 19th century ended up in Guyana (then British Guiana) and Trinidad. And although many Ethnic Chinese laborers were brought directly to Jamaica from China, most Ethnic Chinese in Jamaica ended up via Guyana or Trinidad when the coffee plantation owners became more concerned about the slave uprisings in the early part of the century.

WriterOnWinthrop said...

This sounds fantastic - I'm on a mission to try everything you write about and generally everything in this neighborhood! I'm definitely going to stop at the places you've recommended. --PLGourmand

babs said...

Thanks for the clarification, Duane. I got my info from an older article, which I guess wasn't completely correct:

And the NY Times said the same thing even before that:

I do believe jerk chicken is quintessentially Jamaican, however.

Unknown said...

Jerk is definitely a Jamaican thing. And they do it very well!