Aug. 3, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A community-led group is hosting guided food crawls through Woodside and Jackson Heights next week.
The restaurant crawls, which will see participants visit a diverse mix of local eateries to savor takeout food, will take place on Aug. 13. There will be two tours, with the first beginning at 1 p.m. and the other kicking off at 2 p.m. Each tour will last an hour and will stop by five local eateries.
The culinary dishes being offered include Filipino, Nepali, Pakistani, Bengali and Colombian, with vegetarian options also available. The crawls were originally scheduled to take place on Aug. 6 but organizers decided to postpone the tours until next week due to the forecast bad weather this Friday and Saturday.
The crawls will be the latest offerings organized by Homecoming — an organization consisting of first-and second-generation immigrants passionate about food and bringing the Queens community together. The group was formed last year with the goal of supporting local restaurants and bringing more foot traffic into Queens neighborhoods.
It will be the first time the group has expanded its tours into Woodside. Homecoming held its inaugural crawl in Elmhurst in June 2021. Since then the group has organized two crawls in Jackson Heights and another two in Elmhurst.
Bryan Lozano, one of Homecoming’s founders, said the five restaurants selected for the upcoming tour represent the spirit, culture, and vibrancy of their respective neighborhoods.
He said the group is particularly looking forward to bringing the crawl to Woodside. The tours will begin in the Little Manila district of Woodside with a visit to the Filipino restaurant Ihawan where participants will get a chance to taste their popular pork BBQ sticks.
“For the first time, this crawl will introduce Filipino food and the history of the Filipino community in Queens [to participants],” Lozano said. “Ihawan is a beloved, longstanding restaurant.”
It will then be followed by a stop at the Nepali restaurant Himalayan Yak with beef or vegetable momos on offer.
The next destination will be Al Naimat Sweets and Restaurant for some assorted Pakistani sweets, followed by a stop at the Tong food truck to try the famous Bangladeshi street food fuchka.
The food crawl will then end at the Arepa Lady, where participants can try the beef and cheese arepa or cheese arepa.
The meeting spot for the tour will be the Mabuhay mural in Woodside, which is on the wall of the Amazing Grace restaurant on the southeast corner of 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
Lozano said that the guided component of the crawl is very important since it gives participants an understanding of where the food comes from and the culture surrounding it.
Each crawl will be capped at 15 participants. Tickets are priced at $80 per tour.
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