Trying to find the tastiest Himalayan dumplings in and around Jackson Heights is a difficult job; but more than 1,000 people may task themselves with that responsibility on Nov. 28 as the eighth annual Momo Crawl returns to the World’s Borough.
Momos are dumplings with recipes originating from Tibet or Nepal. They can be steamed or fried, and may be filled with vegetables, meat, cheese or combinations of any two or three.
“What makes dumplings momos is the content; and when they are made by the hands of someone who is Himalayan,” said Jeff Orlick, the lead organizer of the crawl, which is returning after being sidelined last year due to Covid-19.
And he sees no reason to believe they can’t approach some of the highest levels of participation seen in past years.
“We’ve got 29 restaurants, which I think is the most we’ve ever had,” Orlick said. “On a good day with good weather, we’ve had over 1,000 people, maybe 1,200.”
And for those who are as civic-minded as they are interested in culinary delights, every participating restaurant is a neighborhood small business.
Orlick at first compared trying to select his favorite type of momo to a parent being asked to chose a favorite child. But he did admit he finds chive momos to be very appealing.
“Steamed,” he added.
Participants will gather at Diversity Plaza, just north of the elevated No. 7 subway line between 73rd and 74th streets, with the kickoff at 2 p.m.
Maps laying out the location of the restaurants involved will cost $5 for adults and are free for children. Show the map at a participating business and the momos are $1 apiece.
Then there will be a vote for the best momos in the neighborhood, with three-time champion Bhanchhar, a Nepali restaurant, defending its crown.
The march to crown the winner will take place after 5 p.m.
“Everyone who gets a map is allowed to vote,” Orlick said.
For those looking to chase their dumplings with a beverage, Orlick’s recommendation is a traditional butter tea.
“It’s tea, made with butter,” Orlick said matter-of-factly. “It’s a Tibetan drink, but just about all of the restaurants that are participating sell it. If it’s going to be a chilly day, and it could be, it’s a nice drink to have with you.”
This year’s winner gets a championship belt crafted from yak hide with a rock from Mount Everest. It also will be adorned with Nepali and Tibetan art.
Free family-friendly entertainment and activities will include music and dance performances from the Tibetan dancing group Lhakar. There also will be performances from groups affiliated with the Queensboro Dance Festival. Thirty displays will feature artwork by children from a neighborhood Tibetan school. There also will be facepainting for children.
There will be free transportation — a trolley car, vintage taxis and pedicabs.
Further information is available online at MomoCrawl.com.