No doubt you can name a pizzeria or two that deals only in whole pies, "no slices." For years this purveyor of bespoke wedding cakes and specialty cakes, many with Asian-inspired flavors, has operated on a similar basis; its Lower East Side shop, as you might imagine, is open by appointment only.
At long last, Silk Cakes has opened up a slice joint, albeit with limitations. Walk-ins are welcome, when you find yourself withing walking distance of Forest Hills; seats are unavailable, so you must take your order to go. And there's no option of a "plain slice," only the likes of black sesame cake, yuzu buttercream, and green tea truffle ($5.50).
Silk Cakes 98-14 Metropolitan Ave. (69th Rd.-70th Ave.), Forest Hills, Queens 718-830-3838 Closed Monday Also by appointment only at 53 Ludlow St. (Grand-Hester Sts.), Manhattan 917-892-5851 www.SilkCakes.com
The vibrant green surely derives from some artificial coloring, but the bright gold of serabi kuah santan durian — take a whiff — can come only from the king of fruits. In truth the aroma was not off-putting in the least.
The bin was labeled "cherry apple," but clearly these are cross-sections of dried star fruit, or carambola ($2.99 per pound). "Good with coffee or tea," said the proprietor. I believe that he — like the owners of Queens Bazaar Food, a twenty-minute walk to the west along 63rd Dr. — comes from Iran and keeps kosher.
Nagilah Market 63-69 108th St. (63rd Dr.-64th Ave.), Forest Hills, Queens 718-268-2626 Closed Saturday
There was a time I was fond of soggy fries and squirt-bottle ketchup, the sort one might have scarfed at the Cameo Bowling Lanes, or perhaps it was the Cameo Bowling Alley, and washed down with fountain-dispensed Coca-Cola. Reportedly this establishment stood at the southwest corner of Continental Ave. and Austin St.
There's a second layer of signage as well (click on the close-up photo for a still larger view), offering not just "candy" and "soda" but "hot meals," too. It seems to have promoted an even older business. Can any Eating In Translation reader fill in more details?
Cameo Bowling Seen from the Manhattan-bound LIRR platform, Forest Hills, Queens
The Hungarian-born artist A. Raymond Katz (1895-1974) was well-known for his designs, in many media, in synagogues throughout the United States. This mosaic — fabricated by the V. Foscato factory of Long Island City and shown here in detail and even tighter closeup — depicts an etrog, a variety of citron that figures in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
If you know your etrog, you also know that its function is more ceremonial than culinary. But note: Tuesday night is bingo night at this conservative synagogue. Since outside food is not permitted, a concession offers kosher foods including hot dogs, salami, and hush puppies from Ben's Best.
Rego Park Jewish Center Mosaic designed by A. Raymond Katz, fabricated by the V. Foscato factory, 1948 97-30 Queens Blvd. (64th-65th Rds.), Rego Park, Queens 718-459-1000 www.RPJC.com
A sufganiyah (plural: sufganiyot) is a jelly donut, prepared in Israel and in Jewish communities abroad, especially during the Hanukkah season. The fried dough of this blueberry sufganiyah ($1.50) was exceptionally light, but the donut also recalled a childhood lamentation: Some donuts have less jelly than others.
(This venue is closed.) Haphazardly arranged, even cluttered repository for sweets and savories, but not unpleasantly so; at the register, I pried a seed from a pomegranate sliced open for sampling. Most items seem to hail from Europe and the Middle East, like this plain-label red tkemali sauce (9.5 oz.; $1.39) from Georgia. In addition to the namesake wild plums, flavorings include coriander, dill, garlic, red pepper, and fenugreek; compared with green tkemali sauce, it's less sour, more tart.
Sunflower International 97-22 Queens Blvd. (south side, near 63rd Dr.), Rego Park, Queens 718-275-3800 Closed Friday evening and Saturday