Sugar Freak
26-18 30th Ave, Astoria

I am sure some form of popcorn pudding has been in existence in Native American or Nebraskan culture for centuries, but this dessert was brand new to me when I ordered it at Sugar Freak recently. After one bite, I was convinced that it should be offered all over this country. It was very sweet, but the popcorn texture kept it from being cloying and provided for a full dessert and not an insubstantial pudding cup. Corn pudding isn’t new, but using popped corn is the stroke of genius here. Popcorn seems like such an obvious combination that should be included in the pudding cannon with chocolate, rice, bread and tapioca. After all, everything in our culture is basically made from corn.

Do not be mistaken by its name, while Sugar Freak offers a few quality desserts, it is actually a real deal restaurant cooking up Louisiana cuisine in the heart of Astoria. The Cajun/Creole offerings are some some of the best NYC has to offer, with favorites like crawfish etouffee and oyster po’ boys. The muffulettas are excellent, with quality ingredients on an authentic huge round roll. For a great $10 lunch, split the veggie muffuletta ($15) and a side of red beans & rice ($5). You won’t be sorry. If you are feeling saucy, try the spicy creole bloody mary, and don’t forget the popcorn pudding.