THE BITE: I like to eat where our readers send me. I’ve had some interesting recommendations in the past couple of years, but this is the first time I had a recommendation from a reader who also follows Serious Eats. Not only does he follow Serious Eats, he follows recipes from my friend and fellow food writer, James Boo. This elusive reader has such high regards for the lowly scallion pancake, he actually makes them at home using James’ recipe.
This reader, who will remain anonymous at his request, highly recommended the scallion pancakes at New Star Restaurant (2212 Avenue X – between East 21 and East 22 Streets) which happens to be walking distance from my home.
Oddly, I had never been to this restaurant. Of course, I had to go.
For those who are unaware, scallion pancakes are reminiscent of a traditional American pancake crossed with a biscuit. The dough should be light, a tad fluffy and like a good biscuit consists of multiple layers of dough. But the wonderful part of scallion pancakes is the sweet, crunchy pieces of scallion scattered throughout the layers. In a well made pancake, the dough is pan fried until crispy and slightly charred in multiple places on its surfaces and edges.
Unfortunately, New Star just didn’t deliver the goods. These pancakes were limp, greasy and woefully lacking in the scallion to dough ratio. While a slight chew is expected in any pan-fried dough, these pancakes were rubbery, I believe that this may have been due to the fact that the dough was under worked. The multiple layers of dough, a hallmark of this dish, simply didn’t exist.
I guess this just wasn’t my lucky day.
New Star Restaurant, 2212 Avenue X, (718) 891-6868
The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.