The Navigeaters Slide Show

By

Greece

Lamb's Head at Uncle George's Greek Tavern
3319 Broadway Astoria, NY 11106 - (718) 626-0593

It’s not on the menu, but on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, you can order a whole spit-roasted lamb’s head for $7.50, a steal when you consider what you get: one brain, two eyeballs, a tongue and plenty of cheek and jaw meat. The cheeks and tongue were meatiest and most palatable, while the brain tasted like tomalley. Read more.

Brazil

Feijoada at Malagueta

25-35 36th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106 - (718) 937-4821

Feijoada is a meat-and-bean stew loaded with so many pig parts, it could make a Mario Batali dish look kosher. Traditionally it’s made with salted pork, bacon, smoked ribs, sausage, and a trimmings trifecta of tails, ears and feet. As it’s a time-consuming dish to make, Malagueta only serves it on Saturdays, and spoons it up with a side of rice, greens and farofa (manioc flour seasoned with bacon). Read more.

China

Drunken Shrimp at Pacificana

813 55th St, NY 11220-3212 - (718) 871-2880

The circled blur is a shrimp jumping out of a bowl trying to escape from becoming dinner. Drunken shrimp is the notorious Chinese dish where live crustaceans are soaked in alcohol, then eaten while they're still twitching. They don’t taste much different than cooked shrimp, unless you consider “guilt” a flavor. Read more.

Ecuador

Cuy (Guinea Pig) at El Pequeno

86-10 # 4 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights. NY 11372 - (718) 205 7128

Let’s just say that guinea pigs make better pets than meals.  What little meat there is on the critter was tough and, to put it lightly, gamey. To put it bluntly, it was like munching on trash. The ears, which tasted like pork rinds, were its one saving grace. Unfortunately, there are only two of them and they’re tiny. Read more.

Hungary

Cabbage Strudel at Andre's Cafe

1631 2nd Ave., NY 10028 - (212) 327-1105

Nora Ephron famously wrote about this cabbage strudel and though it may not have been worthy of the 1100 gushing words she dedicated to it, it was definitely more delicious than we were expecting. Flaky, sweet and so buttery, each bite was like getting flogged by a milkmaid. (Thank you, ma’am, may I have another?) Read more.

Germany

Weisswurst at Zum Schneider

107 Avenue C, NY (212) 598-1098

The chef at Zum Schneider taught us how to “zuzeln,” the traditional Bavarian method of eating weisswurst, a white veal sausage. “Zuzeln” is slang for “sucking” and is just that: You wrap your lips around the wurst and gently suck as you push the meat out of the casing. It’s a great way to impress (or repulse) a date. Read more.

Finland

Runneberg's Tart at Finnish Lutheran Church

81 Christopher Street, NY 10014 - (646) 638-4195

The Runeberg tart, named after poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, is a gingerbread-and-almond-flavored pastry, topped with raspberry jam. It’s only available in Finland from the beginning of January to February 5th, Runeberg’s birthday. And since Finnish cuisine—especially seasonal Finnish cuisine—isn’t very well represented in New York City, we had to seek help from a higher power to find it. The Finnish Lutheran Church welcomed us with open arms, and a service preached entirely in Finnish. There were also plenty of the tarts (much tastier than those body-of-Christ crackers). Read more.

El Salvador

Pupusas at Izalco

64-05 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, NY 11377 - (718)533-8373

Pupusas, corn tortillas stuffed with pork cracklings and cheese, are El Salvador’s best known dish, created centuries ago by the country’s indigenous Pipiles Indians—and don’t let a pupusa-selling Honduran tell you otherwise. So how do you stuff a tortilla? The chef at Izalco told us you roll the dough into a ball, finger a hole in the middle, stuff it with goodness, and then flatten it on the griddle. Basically, if a softshell taco and hot pocket made a baby, it would be a pupusa. Read more.

South Africa

Bunny Chow at Madiba

195 Dekalb Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205 - (718) 855-9150

Don’t let the name fool you. Like hot dogs and Sugar Babies, Bunny Chow does not contain the mammal after which it’s named. Curried stew (chicken, lamb or veggie) is served in a scooped-out loaf of bread. It’s a popular street food in South Africa that originated in the 1940s when apartheid laws kept black people from eating in restaurants. To keep business from tanking, Indian restaurant owners, or banias, slung their curries into hunks of bread (instead of bowls) and sold the dish out of their windows, creating a very early version of take-out food. Read more.

Ghana

Fufu with Lite Soup at Papaye Diner

2300 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10458 - (718) 676-0771

Giving a big “F you” to silverware, Ghanaians typically use their hands to eat. Which creates an interesting situation when you consider their signature dishes are soups and stews. We made a huge mess eating the Lite Soup (a tomato broth with bits of chicken), but the fufu, a glob of pulverized cassava root worked almost like a make-shift spoon. But not quite. Read more.