Tag Archives: queens

Delhi Heights: 37-66 74th st, Jackson Heights, NY

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Known as the place in NY to get great Indian cuisine, this street in Queens is filled with one lunch buffet after another at super low prices. We checked Yelp when we arrived in the area and saw that just about all of them have 4 stars, so we figured we just try the first one we saw. Delhi Heights advertised a $10 AYCE buffet and had hardly anyone in there, so we decided to head in.

About 10 silver bowls with lids and ladles lined one side of the restaurant and we checked them out before taking a seat. The waiter brought out fresh, hot nan and water in little silver cups and told us we could dig in.

I filled my plate with little tastes of just about everything that was offered. Amazing spinach paneer with huge chunks of cheese, mushroom masala, chicken tiki, lentils, peas, and basmati rice. I used the nan to scoop everything up and before long was totally stuffed. The food is absolutely incredible and at $10, a true bargain. I suggest you take the trek out to Queens to try it for yourself.

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3E Taste of Thai. 34-16 Broadway, Queens, NY

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I have always heard that the best Thai food in NY is in Queens. It took me a very long time to go check it out- and actually this was only a week before moving out of the city to Florida. Well, better late than never. 3E Thai was indeed some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had and at prices that are FAR below my previous favorite (Land, on the Upper East Side)

Gabriel and I were in the area to pack up his apartment for our big move and when we finished our long day filled with boxes and packing paper, we were excited to replenish our lost calories with some great food. We arrived at 3E Thai and were seated right away in the fairly full restaurant. We looked over the menu and, after realizing that the prices were so awesome, decided to share a bunch of things.

We started with a spicy Tom Yum soup, one of my favorites, that came with a few large shrimp. The broth was full of lemongrass flavor with a little kick and we finished it quickly. Next, out came an awesome papaya salad, wonderful shrimp dumplings and an order of chicken satay. We shared the Pad Thai entree as well and it proved to be a bit less peanuty and heavy than it sometimes is. The whole meal was so fresh, light, and healthy and I’m a bit bummed that I won’t get a chance to repeat this whole meal. Oh well- at least I got to try it once! Go check it out…for half of the cost of a meal on the UES, you can eat twice as well.

Rocco’s Italian Sausages & Philly Cheese Steaks: 5010 Northern Blvd (in front of Home Depot) Long Island City, NY

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This is a perfect example of why I run. I had started the day off on the right track. I had my typical breakfast which consists of a banana with a little peanut butter and a coffee with skim milk and honey. Lunch was Chobani greek yogurt, topped with blueberries, strawberries and Vanilla Almond Special K cereal. So far, so good.

Gabriel and I had to stop by his place in Queens that afternoon, and then had some errands to run at the Home Depot near there. When we finished up and we heading out, we noticed a tiny, little building attached to Home Depot that smelled marvelous. Rocco’s. He had noticed it a million times but never tried it. I, however, was very intrigued and had to look it up.  A quick Iphone search on Yelp made it clear that this 4 star Philly cheesesteak and sausage place couldn’t rightfully be skipped over.

We went in and scanned the menu.

It was aaaammmmmmaaaazing. Worth every ridiculous carb, calorie and fat gram. Hot and melty, the cheese was the perfect creamy compliment to the thin slices of steak and veggies. The hot sauce was a little too close to eating fire for my taste, but Gabriel slathered it on his half. This sandwich is no joke and it kind of makes me wish I had to go to that Home Depot more frequently. My waistline, however, thinks once in a very blue moon is plenty.On the recommendation of the very full-of-pride people working there, we ordered a large classic cheesesteak with onions, peppers and a side of hot sauce for us to share. This sandwich and a bottle of water cost about $11, so not dirt cheap. As we were about to find out, it turned out to be ohhhhh so worth it.

So, yes. I will be running extra miles this week to make up for it. I will also be loving every minute of it with the delicious memory still lingering. Check this place out and then thank me 🙂

Sapori D’ischia: 5515 37th Ave Woodside, NY

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About 6 months ago I saw an article in NY Magazine about eating out in Queens and I noticed that S’apori D’ischia was right near Gabriel’s place. It was described as the original Eataly- a market by day that transforms into an intimate restaurant at night. It sounded appealing, but expensive and I wondered if we’d ever go. A few months later, when we saw a $29 deal online that was good for an appetizer, 2 entrees and a dessert, we grabbed it.

We made a reservation and headed over last night. Walking through an industrial section of Queens, we wondered where exactly we were going, and what it would be like. Just when we thought there was no way there was a restaurant nearby, we turned a corner and found an adorable entrance leading into a candlelit, romantic establishment. With just a few tables taken, we were told we could choose any of the tables for 2 that were available. We picked one near the keyboard- which was soon brought to life by a man softly singing standards and accompanying himself.

We each ordered a glass of wine and started noshing on the delicious bread, olives and olive oil that was brought over for us. When asked if we wanted flat or sparkling water, we chose flat- having no idea that we’d be charged $4 for it. I recently read a bunch of reviews on Yelp and found that a lot of other people had the same unwelcome surprise on their check and think it would behoove the waiter to actually mention this when you order it. Apparently, tap water is not an option here. Huh? Anyway, when we complained about it, they did remove the charge for our bill and also brought out a plaque with the restaurant’s ’10 commandments’ on it. One of the ‘commandments’ was no tap water. Well, that’s all fine and good if you actually INFORM your customers of that, but to show this after the fact is not so cool. Anyway, as I said, once they removed the charge from our bill we were appeased.

We ordered the grilled baby octopus to start with and it was brought out in a cute, little flower-pot-looking-vessel. Delicious. The octopus was crisp on the edges, slightly smokey, with beans and herbs in a savory sauce that was excellent on the bread we hadn’t already finished. For my entree, I ordered the spinach ricotta lasagna which, albeit a tiny portion, was superb. Incredibly fresh, homemade noodles with a light, cheesy filling all served in a delicious tomato sauce. Gabriel got the short ribs over whipped potatoes which was incredible- tender, not at all fatty, and SO full of rich flavor. Both entrees were definitely on the small side- but I would always prefer small, high-quality meals as opposed to huge plates of decent food. This way, you finish your meal feeling satisfied but not like you are about to pop.

Our dessert choices were rather limited. All we were offered was sorbet, gelato or the nutella banana- which we chose. It was just a sliced banana on top of some nutella, some caramelized crunchies on top and a scoop of vanilla gelato. Boring, but tasty nonetheless.

Overall, this meal was a lovely experience. I enjoyed the feeling of being somewhere that only insiders know about, off the beaten path. By the time we left, the place was totally full of people who seemed to be regulars. I thought the food was some of the best authentic Italian I’ve had in a really sweet, romantic setting. We don’t go out to Queens that often, but when we do I’d be happy to make a return visit, and I’d be curious to see what the daytime market is like.

Time Cafe: 44-18 Broadway, Astoria, NY

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Not worth the time? A waste of time (and money)? A pretty unsatisfying time? Time to go?  If you want any of those options, you’ve come to the right place! Otherwise, Time Cafe should be skipped altogether.

Dinner here last night was pretty sad. Three shared dishes were all poor, and would have been much better at a generic diner. We started with a salad with feta, chickpeas and kalamata olives that came with a watery red wine vinaigrette (that seemingly was made of olive juice and vinegar. I think they forgot to add olive oil) It was fine, because we were starving, but pretty darn boring and unimpressive. Our fried calamari looked good, but had almost zero flavor. The batter tasted like junky quality that was cooked in used and re-used frying oil, and even after adding some salt still the dish tasted totally bland. The grilled chicken balsamico panini may as well have been served on toasted and buttered Wonder Bread. It was just one thin, small piece of grilled chicken with a melted slice of provolone and a slightly unripe tomato. The roasted red peppers and lemon pepper mayo that was described in the menu was no where to be seen (or tasted). For $10, I could have gotten a better version of this sandwich plus a drink, chips and a cookie at Lenny’s or another deli, and it would have been on better bread. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that the fries they served with it were from someone’s leftover McDonald’s lunch.

A ‘decaf’ cappuccino that had me wired until 1am was served with a Nutella pirouette cookie (that we asked for after seeing them served with another table’s coffees but not initially being brought out for us- maybe the fact that they were old and stale was the reason why) was fine, but not hot.

Overall, for $45 (including tip) this meal was a total bummer. It was a good thing we were so hungry or my perception of the food would have been even worse.

Next time, I’ll surely try one of the many raved-about Thai places in the neighborhood instead of taking a risk wandering into a cafe just because it looks cute from the outside. My bad.

Photos courtesy of Gabriel Sanders: http://www.magicsandbox.com

Neptune Diner: 31-05 Astoria Blvd, Astoria, NY

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A little bit tipsy in Astoria after a party at midnight and what do we find? A diner with a big sign saying that the Daily Post rated it the #1 diner in Queens! Perfect!

We were seated right away at a quiet table in the back corner and checked out the extensive and fairly priced menu. I usually try not to eat so late, especially if it’s not something relatively clean and healthy, but the chicken fingers were calling my name. Loudly. I ordered a side salad to balance out the grease and relieve some of the guilt. The shot of vodka I’d had prior relieved the remainder of said guilt.

Ohhh, it was SO worth it. Some of the best chicken fingers I’ve EVER had. I asked for honey mustard and bbq sauce for dipping and found that they went together perfectly. They actually weren’t greasy like I expected, just golden fried and perfectly cooked. Totally hit the spot. My side salad was way better than regular diner fare. No iceberg lettuce here! A nice mix of Romaine and curly and plenty of veggies including cucumbers, red cabbage, tomatoes and carrots with a decent blue cheese dressing on the side. Our waiter was super friendly and efficient. This was an ideal midnight meal and I’m really glad it was so conveniently located right next to the subway back into the city. If I’m in the area and hungry late at night, I’ll be back!

*photos courtesy of Gabriel Sanders. http://www.magicsandbox.com/enter/Magic_Sandbox.html

Omonia Cafe: 3220 Broadway, Astoria, NY

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When dinner time rolled around last night, G and I decided to wander into Astoria to find somewhere to eat. Although I AM a fan of little hole-in-the-walls that no one has discovered yet, I also find super-crowded places to be very appealing, holding trust in the masses. Omonia Cafe (although I must say  that I hate that the name sounds like ammonia, not at all appealing associated with food) was completely hopping late on a Sunday night, with tons of outdoor seating and a vibrant, lively scene.

We were seated right away at a sidewalk table and took a few minutes to peruse the large and varied menu. Everything from breakfast foods, to salads, to paninis and 3 pages full of pastries, ice creams and other desserts sounded great.

We shared the calamari to start, and it was hot out of the deep-fryer, certainly not one of the healthiest choices I’ve made, but ohhhh so worth it. Not too much breading, generous cuts of calamari and a very good marinara dipping sauce made a great starter and we cleaned the plate pretty quickly.

For my entree, I had a Greek salad that totally hit the spot. Perfect ratios of romaine, tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumbers, onions and feta with triangles of toasted pita on the side. The only bizarre thing was that they didn’t have any Greek dressing to go with it. Huh? Oh well, I ordered some ranch dressing but didn’t really like it and wound up using the red wine/vinegar that was on the table instead.

With 3 pages of dessert offerings, we really couldn’t leave without trying something…and being that we’d already had a fairly indulgent weekend, we decided one more overdo was at that point, not really a big deal. hahaha. So we ordered a peanut butter, hot fudge sundae and I got a really excellent cappuccino. Little did we know, the sundae was the size of a bowling ball. Somehow, we managed to do some pretty serious damage to it. Today, I am on no-sugar, eating only vegetables/fruits and fish…and feeling quite a bit less gross already 🙂

 

*photos courtesy of Gabriel Sanders. http://www.magicsandbox.com/enter/Magic_Sandbox.html