You are reading

Food Crawl Through Elmhurst to Take Place Saturday, Organizers Aims to Promote Neighborhood

Instagram @homecomingnewyork

June 1, 2021 By Christina Santucci

A new community-led organization plans to showcase the culinary offerings of Elmhurst with a takeout restaurant crawl around the neighborhood this weekend.

Attendees will have the opportunity to sample Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine at Saturday’s event, which is being organized by the newly-formed group Homecoming.

The group’s name plays on coming over for home cooking, said one of the organization’s founders Bryan Lozano.

“But mainly, I didn’t think there was a better way to represent home than through food. When I came up with the idea it felt like a long winter for the neighborhood, so we were excited with the idea of bringing people back to our homes,” he said.

Lozano, a first-generation Filipino American, teamed up with several other first- and second-generation Americans of diverse backgrounds as well as food lovers to start the group, which is in the process of applying to become a nonprofit.

During the restaurant crawl, ticket holders will receive specialty dishes packaged in a takeout container at each of the five participating restaurants – and can either opt to eat by the restaurant or take the food to go. The distance from start to finish is about a half mile.

Organizers will provide ticket holders with a “passport” card at the first location so that diners can receive their five dishes. Homecoming volunteers also plan to be on hand throughout the route to help attendees.

At the first stop, participants will receive Tahu Isi – stuffed tofu – and cendol – an iced sweet dessert – from Indo Java. Other dishes on the tour include pork and leek dumplings from Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House; a pork chop over rice from Taiwanese Gourmet; and homemade Roti Canai – crispy Indian style pancake served with curry chicken dipping sauce – from Coco Malaysian Cuisine

The last stop on the crawl – EIM Khao Mun Kai Elmhurst – will be dishing up Khao Mun Gai, or Thai chicken rice.

Roti Canai Photo: Abigail Faelnar

Homecoming is selling tickets for timed intervals from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. – and only 25 tickets are available for each one-hour slot. Thursday will be the last day to purchase tickets, Lozano said

Tickets to Saturday’s crawl cost $60 – with $15 of that amount going to pay for five meals at New Life Food & Clothing Pantry in Elmhurst.

Attendees can purchase a Homecoming-branded tote bag for an additional $20 – of which $15 would go to purchase an additional five meals for the pantry.

Organizers also plan to provide a number of tickets to frontline workers at Elmhurst Hospital, and the ticket price includes a 20 percent tip for each participating restaurant.

Lozano said he was eager to kick off the event in Elmhurst, and Homecoming’s founders hope to expand to other neighborhoods in the future.

He was raised in Elmhurst and moved back to the neighborhood in December, and sought to give back to the place that shaped his identity.

“I grew up playing mahjong and cricket in the park and eating all of this amazing food. I had this really privileged childhood,” he said.

Lozano pointed to how Elmhurst had been hit hard by the pandemic  – but also noted how some community members have struggled well before COVID-19 struck.

The neighborhoods of Elmhurst and South Corona had among the highest percentage of people experiencing food hardship rates in the city – and the highest in Queens – according to Robin Hood’s Poverty Tracker report in 2019. Food hardship identifies those who run out of food or worry about running out of food throughout the year.

Elmhurst/South Corona also had the second highest percentage of restaurant workers in the city in 2018, according to U.S. Census data. When the pandemic hit, many restaurant workers lost their jobs or had their hours reduced.

Meanwhile, the neighborhoods of Elmhurst and South Corona were among the ones with the lowest percentages of restaurants and bars receiving COVID-related PPP loans, according to a 2020 report from the state comptroller’s office.

Pork Chop over Rice (Photo: Abigail Faelnar)

“We came up with a simple idea. Let’s do something tangible that we can see in our communities,” Lozano said.

Homecoming founders hope the crawl showcases Elmhurst’s restaurants and business owners – who “represent the spirit, culture and vibrancy of the neighborhood.”

“It’s not just about encouraging people to come here but it’s about building a relationship with the people behind the food. We want you to hear their stories,” Lozano said.

To do this, Homecoming is providing an audio guide of the participating restaurants through the app, Gesso, and featuring the videos of the eatery owners on Instagram.

“We founded Homecoming because for us, home isn’t just where you live, it’s the communities you’re from, the restaurants you support, and people you love,” the organization wrote on social media.

Event organizers are also planning garbage pickup so that trash isn’t left behind at each stop.

“As far as values go, we want to make sure that everything works, doesn’t create a nuisance and is supportive of the neighborhood in general,” Lozano said.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Homecoming (@homecomingnewyork)

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Mob of young people ransack Flushing boutique minutes after robbing man at knifepoint on Roosevelt Avenue: NYPD

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing are still looking for more than a dozen young people who allegedly robbed a man at knifepoint on Roosevelt Avenue and then pulled a smash-and-grab minutes later, looting a store of tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise last month.

The mob of more than a dozen men and women surrounded a 38-year-old man in the vicinity of Roosevelt Avenue and Union Street in the early morning of Monday, April 22. Several of the suspects threatened the victim with knives and some of the individuals menaced him with sticks before they forcibly removed his wallet, which contained $700 in cash, police said, adding that the victim was not injured during the incident.

Mayor announces new 9/11 memorial will be built in Whitestone to honor fallen service members from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts

Queens will be home to the city’s new memorial dedicated to the 99 service members from the borough who lost their lives in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq following the events of 9/11, Mayor Eric Adams announced during a Fleet Week kickoff reception at City Hall on Thursday morning.

The borough of Queens was chosen because it is home to the largest number of post-9/11 service members who were killed in action during those conflicts. Queens is also home to the highest population of living veterans than any other borough.

Two men sentenced to life imprisonment in murder-for-hire of perceived business rival at Flushing karaoke club

The president of a Manhattan-based construction company and a California man were sentenced to life in prison in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday for orchestrating the murder of a businessman at a Flushing karaoke bar in 2019.

Qing Ming “Allen” Yu, 55, of Oyster Bay, and Zhe “Zack” Zhang, 35, of Arcadia, Calif., were convicted by a federal jury in October following a two-week trial for the contract killing of 31-year-old Xin “Chris” Gu, who worked at Yu’s company before becoming his business rival. The jury found the defendants guilty of murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire conspiracy for hiring a hitman to gun the victim down outside the Grand Slam KTV bar on Fowler Avenue