photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Sizzling cumin beef on a platter.

Alley 41



$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerDate NightLiterally Everyone
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Flushing has no shortage of good Sichuan restaurants, so the best of them need to offer a lot more than another good mapo tofu. A few blocks from Main Street, Alley 41 offers a fantastic mapo and so much more. With little touches, like ornamental brickwork, that are supposed to recall a Chengdu alleyway, it’s a slightly upscale spot for thick, sweet-and-sour noodles, which are made in-house, tender cumin beef, and refreshing pork belly and cucumber rolls in a spicy garlic sauce. 

Most tables are for small groups, but they do have three big ones in the back for up to eight people. Just get there early if you want to nab one of those—there’s usually a wait during prime dinner hours, and they don’t take reservations.

The interior at Alley 41.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Food Rundown

Rolled pork belly and noodles on a white plate.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Sesame Cold Noodle W/ Sliced Pork Belly in Garlic Sauce

This genius pairing is for anyone who has ever thought, “Plain sesame noodles are great, but fatty pork would make them even better.” The rolled up pork slices with spicy garlic sauce, thin cucumber strips, and noodles come separated out on a plate, so you can taste everything deconstructed or mix it all together.
Scallion pancakes on a plate.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Thousand Layers Scallion Pancake

These flakey pancakes have crispy edges and chewy centers, and pack more scallion oil flavor in them than just the flecks of scallion that you can see. Save some pieces for sopping up sauces from other dishes.
Cumin beef on a spoon.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Sizzling Cumin Beef

You’ll hear and smell this sizzling platter of beef coming your way as soon as it exits the kitchen. The tender slices of beef are so thoroughly infused with cumin flavor, the cows themselves must have been seasoning their feed with it.

Mapo Tofu

If you’re thinking of passing on the mapo tofu because it’s a dish you can find elsewhere, that would be the wrong move. Here, the silky tofu practically dissolves, and there’s enough heat from the chili bean sauce and numbingness from the ground Sichuan pepper to heighten all your senses. You’ll definitely need extra rice (or the thousand layers pancake) to get every last bit of sauce.

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