Nearly 70,000 Ecuadorian-Americans who live in New York and New Jersey are eligible to vote in their home country's elections. While reading that this year's local polling place would be in Long Island City, I was reminded of a chance encounter with the election site four years ago.
(This venue is closed.) It's a catchier corporate name than kürtös kalács. Chimney cake — the "traditional Hungarian Transylvanian pastry," not the business — is made from a strip of sweet dough that's wrapped around a spindle and baked in a countertop rotisserie oven. Theoretically available unadorned, more often it's decorated with the likes of walnut, almond, or coconut (shown, $4 each) and, perhaps, a dip in butterscotch or chocolate ($1 extra). Ultimately matters rest in your hands; then, finally, it's time to unwind.
Chimney Cake 10-50 Jackson Ave. (50th-51st Aves.), Long Island City, Queens 718-786-1818 www.ChimneyCakeNYC.com
That's the reverse angle — or, if you like, a reaction shot of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. (Click the photo for a better look.) In 1983, the brothers who inherited the former Silvercup Bakery converted it into a film and television production facility, removing the word "bread" and adding "studios" to the iconic rooftop sign. (Thanks to snoh, whose comment pointed me to the pre-makeover photo.)
Surviving signage for Silvercup Bakery Near the main lot of Silvercup Studios 42-22 22nd St. (42nd-43rd Aves.), Long Island City, Queens
Accompanied a large group here on short notice after a couple of hours at P.S. 1. Fresh fettuccine alla bolognese ($12) was a fair-sized portion topped (if somewhat sparingly) with a dense, meaty sauce. For dessert, homemade ricotta cheesecake ($5) was pretty good, but the lemony flavor and bits of orange zest distracted from the ricotta. Cappuccino was OK.
No one's food seemed exceptional, but at 5:30 on a Saturday, the staff here handled about 20 of us on 15 minutes' notice and did a terrific job.
Manetta's Ristorante 10-76 Jackson Ave. (49th-50th Aves.), Queens 718-786-6171
A freshly baked pastel ($1.85) packed a rich blend of chicken and cheese, plus a little mushroom. My "Brazilian scone" ($2.50), roughly the shape of an enlarged hockey puck, sandwiched a thin layer of dulce de leche between two cookies. What little sweetness there was, though, came from the coconut that crusted the rim. Very dry; best washed down with a BCH Media coffee (medium; $2). All the beans here are from Brazil, but the BCH version of coffee — in this case, also foamed with a little half-and-half, the way my server takes it — is "a little stronger than American coffee."
Brasil Coffee House 48-19 Vernon Blvd. (at 49th Ave.), Queens 718-729-5969