Day trip: Hicksville global culinary tour
There may be no corridor on Long Island showcasing more culinary diversity than the two-mile stretch of Route 107 that extends south of the Long Island Expressway.
Start your journey at Hmart (336 N. Broadway, Jericho, 516-513-5050, hmart.com) a vast emporium of Asian groceries with a food court to match. Next, bear left at Bethpage Road for a detour to Kundan Galleria (217 Bethpage Rd., Hicksville), a new South Asian shopping center that houses five restaurants (from Indian vegetarian to halal tacos) and the supermarket Apna Bazar. At Choopan Grill (just off Broadway at 15 W. Marie St., 516-681-8818, choopangrill.com), you can sample the greatest hits of Afghan cuisine: aushak (steamed scallion dumplings in yogurt sauce), sambosas (fried turnovers), kebabs and rice dishes. Skip dessert in favor of a malted at the classic Hicksville Sweet Shop (75 Broadway, 516-931-0130) where not only the ice cream, but the syrups are homemade.
Just a few doors down, the Greek grocer New Bakaliko (115 Broadway, Hicksville, 516-932-8988) is a remnant of the neighborhood’s Hellenic heritage — and a great source for imported cheeses, preserves, pulses, grains, icons and more. Try to be hungry before entering La Finca (170 Broadway, 516-935-0951), a long-standing Colombian restaurant where $10 will buy you a "bandeja tipica," featuring steak, pork rind, plantains, avocado, rice, beans, an arepa (corn cake) and, the icing on the cake, a fried egg. Time for dessert again, this time at Rajbhog Cafe Sweets and Snacks (351 S. Broadway, Hicksville, 516-513-0939, rajbhog.com), local outpost of the national specialist in, well, Indian sweets and snacks.
Now you have your pick of two big Indian supermarkets, the upstart Maharaja Farmers Market (265 S. Broadway, Hicksville, 516-822-6060) or old-reliable Patel Brothers (415 S. Broadway, Hicksville, 516-681-0091) before hitting up House of Dosas (416 S. Broadway, 516-938-7517, houseofdosas.com) the legendary purveyor of manhole-cover-sized crepes made from rice and lentil flour. End your tour on a Spanish note with a visit to Foodtown (520 S. Broadway, 516-243-8246) for an exploration of Latin American produce and imported groceries.