At small markets, some of the most interesting items can be found at the point-of-purchase display. Whether the proprietors are Vietnamese, or Mexican, or Bangladeshi, often they'll use the space on and around the checkout counter for foodstuffs that they, and their regular customers, especially love. Many of these items are homemade — or hand-foraged, as the case may be.
In that vein, at small informal restaurants and at food stalls like Joyful Yummy House, an unlabeled tray at the ordering station is virtually begging for attention. These bundles, I learned, contain white rice that has been steamed in and gently scented by the lotus-leaf wrapper. For a family of dishes not yet on the regular menu, the rice is stir-fried with other ingredients — in this case a largely vegetarian combo ($6.50) — then served in the leaf. It's unclear how typical this dish is of Henan province, the earlier home of the proprietors; one fellow diner questioned the red cabbage and (not evident from the photo) a sparing number of what seemed to be nigella seeds.
Also shown: noodles with minced pork and black bean sauce ($6.50). Eating In Translation rarely permits use of the word "yummy"; these noodles qualify.
Joyful Yummy House
New York Food Court, stall 17
133-35 Roosevelt Ave. (Prince St.-College Point Blvd.), Flushing, Queens