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Lakruwana Sri Lankan in S.I. - Tips for First-Timers?

An excursion to Lakruwana was on my "to do" list for many years and I finally made it happen this past October .... and I am sure glad I did.

We grabbed the ferry and walked, too. It's more than a mile from the ferry, but not quite two, according to the walking application I had on my phone,and if I remember correctly.

Though I wouldn't call the walk scenic, there are some interesting second hand shops along the way, and some of the old Victorian architecture off to the side was sort of interesting.

We went on a Sunday for the buffet. We knew NOTHING about Sri Lankan cuisine and just tried everything on the buffet. It was pretty crowded, but we got a table right away.

I can't say how the food compares to other SL restaurants around new York, but we found a lot of it just great. But as others have hinted, the food is only part of the treat at Lakruwana. It really is like a little repository of thinks Sri Lankans; I don't think I have seen anything else like it around NYC.

The manager and staff were just lovely, too.

I'll probably try Sanrasa next time cuz variety is the spice of life, but I am sure we will make sporadic trips to Lakruwana in the years to come.

In terms of other things to do,and I don't know how well you know Staten Island, you might try:

walking around St George,the hilly city area around the ferry terminal, it has some crusty old charm; just up the hill, ther is a wonderful neighborhood with amazing old Victorians and and stick style homes (google up for suggested walking route)

you could also take a bus to the Snug Harbor cultural center (about 10 mins from the ferry) and its maritime museum. Beautiful grounds and a great Chinese pagoda temple and gardens which was a gift from a sister city in china.


Apr 06, 2015
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Ridiculously Downhill Alert: Damascus Bakery

Funny, I had a similar reaction on another product recently. I have been going to Damascus on and off for 20 -- less so recently because I no longer live in BK. I agree that the family that runs it are absolute gems. I love lahmecun and used to always have it in my freezer for handy comfort food. I always used to drop by and get a "slice" if you will on weekend afternoons, served warm from the store.

About six months ago I was in the hood and tried a slice after a gap of several years. It just was not the same. It tasted different, didn't seem fresh, etc. I have not been back.

I assumed I was getting older and maybe my taste buds were changing, but who knows ...

I also agree that I, too, was never wowed by their baked cookies over the years.

I still have a fondness for the shop, though.

Nov 07, 2014
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Traditional Bolivian Food??

Yes, Mi Bolivia is still open and going strong. The saltenas are excellent -- and saltenas used to be hard to find in the NYC area.

I haven't tried Cumbre -- but I guess I need to.

Apr 21, 2014
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Thirsty Koala --- Happily 'Down Under' in Astoria

The Ditmars Blvd strip in Astoria, like its sister neighborhood of 30th Avenue a few blocks away, has seen a welcome infusion of good quality dining options over the past 18 months or so. (It has always had Trattoria L'Incontro and Taverna Kyklades, but the options are wider and a bit more contemporary now -- places like Watawa, Hinomaru, etc.) Over Christmas, the neighborhood became home to the Tasty Koala to the great delight of area residents who watched it take shape slowly over the past two months.

I gave it a couple of weeks to gestate, and finally tried it a couple of nights ago. I am happy to report that I think this bold and unusual place will be with us for a long time. Crowds are noticealy building, and the place got a nice little write-up in the Wall Street Journal, I noticed, last week.

How to describe it? It's an Aussie-themed bistro offering Australianish dishes with amusing (and a bit confusing) Aussie names, but with noticeable Mediterranean influences. (Australia has a huge Greek population, and Melbourne has a much larger Greek community than Astoria these days. One of the owners hails from down under, I believe).

I had an amazing pulled pork on ciabatta sandwich, while my friend had the restaurants trademark "Lamb lollies" -- exquisite lamb chops. We also had a superb vegan chili, and some of the best moussaka I have ever had. Liquor is coming soon, I believe, but the place has a spectacular coffee bar in it. I know I will be visting often. The desserts looked great, but we didn't have room.

The space itself is bright and cheerful, and the staff was professional, sunny and upbeat and extremely charged up about their new endeavor.

I encourage other chowhounders to try what I feel is an awesome addition to the Astoria scene, and sample one of the few "aussie" experiences in the New York area.

Jan 05, 2013
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Hermit Cookies? I've got a craving

Growing up in the Boston area years ago, "hermits" were available in virtually every bakery. (If u don't know, they are a spicy ginger and clove cookie/cake), In my family, they were always around. You could by a dozen in those days for a $1.49 and eat them all week -- as they got staler they almost got better, you could dunk them in your coffee and tea.

I have been in NYC for 20 years, and I rarely see them around. Archway used to make a pretty bad bag of hermits, and sporadically saw them at Whole Foods in the bakery section a couple of years. But no more...

Anybody have any ideas as to bakeries that carry them regularly?




Jan 01, 2013
Anicca in Manhattan

Hermit Cookies?

Growing up in the Boston area years ago, "hermits" were available in virtually every bakery. (If u don't know, they are a spicy ginger and clove cookie/cake), In my family, they were always around. You could by a dozen in those days for a $1.49 and eat them all week -- as they got staler they almost got better, you could dunk them in your coffee and tea.

I have been in NYC for 20 years, and I rarely see them around. Archway used to make a pretty bad bag of hermits, and sporadically saw them at Whole Foods in the bakery section a couple of years. But no more?

Anybody have any ideas as to bakeries that carry them regularly?

Jan 01, 2013
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Edible Sushi in Astoria


BY FAR the best sushi in Astoria, and some of the best in the city, IMO, can be found at WATAWA at 33-10 Ditmars Blvd. Beautiful space and staff, too. Do not confuse it with the myriad other Japanese/sushi joints along Ditmars in this neighborhood == they are all pretty awful.

Dec 03, 2012
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

David's Brisket House - New Location in Bay Ridge

At the risk of turning this thread into an echo chamber, I will second and third all of the comments above. I visited David's just before the storm and also had a great experience. The same great brisket that they have always offered in Bed-Stuy, but in a nicer, more user-friendly space. Had a small brisket sandwich, and it easily held me until late in the evening. Staff was really nice, as others have noted. I will definitely sample the pastrami next time.

The great thing about this location is that it seems to be open 7 days a week and closes relatively late -- so much better than the 5 day a week/close early schedule they were orinally on on Nostrand Ave.

By the way, if you still have room after you finish your sandwich, stop by Leske's bakery -- on the opposite side of the street about a block further in towards the city. It is an old Norwegian bakery and one of the few relics of Bay Ridge's once considerable Scandinavian population. The still offer a few Norwegian specialties -- but I go there for their Black and White cookies. Very creamy frosting -- the best in the city, I think.

Nov 14, 2012
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Rec's for Thanksgiving - Center City

I was offered the opportunity to do a network related project for a client in Philly. Good news -- its only 3 or 4 days work and the money is very good. Bad news -- has to get done over Thanksgiving weekend while the company is shut down.

Looks like I will be doing Thanksgiving solo this year. Any suggestions for Center City restaurants, pubs, etc. where I can have a half-decent Thanksgiving meal and not look to weird being alone. Here in New York, Irish pubs are usually good for something like that -- you can sit at the bar and have a meal, etc. I lived in Philly 25 years ago, and I remember there being no shortage of pubs in Center City, just can't remember anything specific.

Thanks for your help and any suggestions!

Oct 21, 2012
Anicca in Philadelphia

Spicy and Tasty -- closed?

I walked by Spicy and Tasty on Prince Street in Flushing yesteray. It was closed and looked sort of empty. There was a "Closed by Order of the Health Dept" sign on it. Was I at the right "Spicy and Tasty"? Did this just happen?

Jul 09, 2012
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Dessert miracle on 35th Street (Astoria)

Thank you so much for the tip. I live diagonally across from eternally unopened Francis Cafe on the south side of Ditmars and had not yet noticed this new addition. I, too, take a long walk over to Canelle's about once a month to get my fix -- so this is great news.

By the way, I also notice that the Victory Bakeshop at Ditmars and Steinway is opening a sitdown cafe,too -- all that baklava stuff.

And also, have you gotten into Noisette -- the French style bakery that opened about 6 months ago on Steinway just south of Astoria Blvd? The croissants there are extraordinary -- at least as good as Canelle's.

May 05, 2012
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Via Trenta - Astoria

Thanks for the review - I have been meaning to try Trenta. I agree with you about the sudden spike in restaurant energy along 30th Avenue. I have tried sugarfreak and butcher bar recently and have been impressed by both.

Mar 03, 2012
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Good Prime Rib in Queens or Brooklyn?

I get a craving for a good hunk of roasted prime rib every now and again and am looking for some suggestions in queens, or even brooklyn, I guess.

It used to be that practically every Irish pub had a weekly prime rib special, but these are becoming few and far between these days.

Anyone have any suggestions for places that serve prime rib either every day or weekly as a special? Do you know which night it is?

I really don't want to go to a major steakhouse and pay a fortune for it, I am thinking say for $30 or less?


Oct 25, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Astoria bakery for a birthday cake

I always use La Guli for that sort of thing and have never been disappointed. Though I live across the street from Martha's and visit it frequently out of convenience, I find a lot of its smaller items just so so. Things are often quite heavy and stale. For that reason I have never ordered a cake there.

Martha's Country Bakery
36-21 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

La Guli Pastry Shop
29-15 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

Oct 17, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Where can I get a Reese's Pieces sundae in Brooklyn?

You know, that article about the impending bankruptcy of Friendly's brought mist to my eyes, too. I grew up in Boston and actually worked at a Friendly's for 3 years during high school and college years. Many thousand a sundae have I scooped (and have the tendon damage to prove it!).

That was the late 70s early 80s and the Reese's pieces Sundae was a mid- 80s "innovation" in Sundae technology at Friendly's. Nonetheless, I became hooked on them myself and I was quite disappointed when I first moved to NYC 20 years ago that Friendly's accessability in Gotham is not great for those of us without a car. I once had such a craving for one, I took the LIRR all the way to Sayville where there is a Friendly's near the train station. I'm not proud of it, but sometimes you just gotta. (Yes, with the train fare that was a $40 Reeses Pieces Sundae),

I have not found a close substitute in the city. Basking Robbins has a similar sounding Sundae, but most of the servers in NYC come from countries benighted in the art of Sundae building. I don't know about Brookly, but the Basking Robbins folks at 30th Ave and Steinway Street do an OK job considering, but most BR people in the city just can't make a decent sundae.

Have you ever been to Eddie's Sweet Shop in Forest Hills, Queens? It is an authentic 100 year old ice cream parlor that makes fantastic sundaes. You can sit at the counter and pretend it's 1930. Best ice cream experience in the city, in my opinion. You can take the B54 bus from Williamsburg, and it will drop you off at Eddie's at 105th and Metropolitan Ave.

Eddie's Sweet Shop
105-29 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

30-08 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

Oct 12, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Indonesian Food Bazaar this Sun 10/9

Let me join the chorus of applause for you, geckofeet, for posting this notice before the event. I saw your post around noon on Sunday, so we ran right over to the mosque, and needless to say we had a blast. Yes, the gado gado was a life changer -- the best thing I've ever bought in my life for $5 bucks. The satays and lumpiah were great, too. Everyone was so cheerful and helpful..

Please, please, let there be another one this season!!!!

Now if I can just get one of you to tip me off before one of those Burmese food fairs I keep finding out about after the fact ,,,, I'll be in nirvana.

Oct 12, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Smorgasburg: What a Pretentious Rip Off.....


couldn't agree more! it had been on my mind all summer to drop by this place and I did so about a month ago and fled after 10 minutes. High prices, lines, the two things I sampled stunk. The crowd was annoying as heck but did honestly reflect the poseur vibe of that now insufferable neighborhood. Yeccckkkk. NOT goin' back!!!!

Sep 18, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Corona tears? Nixtamal downhill; timmy's gone

Having become a great fan of Nixtamal last summer, I ventured over from Astoria on Sunday to get my hands on the tacos "al pastor" and had a very disappointing experience. First of all, they were out of al pastor, even though it was only 1pm on Sunday - made me cry - and the "help" was clueless. There's always a shortage of tables there, but several were sitting dirty, piled high with dishes - there was no where to sit. Even though we were standing, the not too busy staff was standing around, noone seemed in hurry to open up a table or two. Two of the streetside tables were being leaked on by an air conditioner or something, and, as a result, unusable. We finally just got frustrated and left tacoless. Did we just hit a bad day or could the place use some more management attention?

We decided to console ourselves with a conefull of Timmy's frozen custard down the street, but alas the space was being converted into a beauty parlor. What happened?

Timmy O's
49-07 104th St, Queens, NY 11368

Tortilleria Nixtamal
104-05 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11368

May 17, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Which bus for Cuban in Union City?

I want to come over from Queens to take a look at Union City and maybe sample a Cuban place or two. What are the best buses to take from the Port Authority to get to the central commercial area (is it Bergenline Ave. ?) in UC to stroll around and find a place to eat? I know if I ask one of the customer service people at the Port Authority I'll get some attitudinous response .... Thanks.

May 10, 2011
Anicca in New Jersey

El Shater sunnyside - moving to Astoria

Hehehe. In your FACE, Sunnyside! Astoria RULES!!!

I am very excited. Now if we could just get one or two of your Romanian places ....

Apr 28, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Duzan on Steinway

Well, I finally made a long overdue trip to Duzan's, which is a short walk from my place, and all I can say -- where the h#ll have I been?

I will just echo all the enthusiastic remarks provided by everyohe else here:

-AMAZING fresh hummus, the best I've had outside of the Middle East
-Among the best falafel I've had outside of the Middle East
- The guys who work there could not be more friendly, dedicated or hospitable (which, let's face it is not what you always experience along that strip of Steinway)

I am sure I will make at least one visit a week here until I die ....

24-11 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

Apr 04, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Anyone been to Queens Comfort in Astoria yet?

I live nearby and finally made it last night on the early side. I have to say, I was quite delighted with my experience and look forward to going back soon.

I was predisposed to dislike it, if only because it took over the space vacated by the Blue restaurant -- an old and dilapidated diner that I loved ($5.95 for a huge meat loaf dinner.) -0- but I walked out a fan.

Menu choices are limited at Queens Comfort, but what they do the do real well. I had the incredibly tasty pan fried chicken -- the batter was superb - which I doused with honey as instructed, it really worked! The biscuits are incredibly -- the best I have ever had. My friend had the pulled pork, which I sampled, and it was incredible. Their home made donuts for desert were unexpected and devoured rapidly.

The staff was young, cute and really friendly. Perhaps a touch of ditziness here, but in a good way. They might have trouble with large crowds though.

I have had a hankering for one of their biscuits all day ....

It's just one of those places that has a nice vibe -- the staff is obviously very eager and I have hunch this place will succeed.

By the way, a couple of doors down on the corner there is a friendly gay bar called Mix, which has a very good brunch with drag entertainment on Sundays. The food is surprisingly good and the drag queen is hilarious.

Queens Comfort
40-09 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

Mar 25, 2011
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Best Birthcake in Astoria?

I go to LaGuli bakery on Ditmars at 31st street, across the street from the Starbucks. They have never disappointed me in the bday cake category. Old fashioned Italian place.

Sep 28, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Taste Good - authentic Malaysian in Elmhurst

Finally tried Taste Good last night and I must say I enjoyed it quite a bit. I was alone so couldn't try all that much -- had a simple roti canai and the hainanese chicken with rice. Thought both were simple, tasty and amazingly cheap. With a generous tip I got out of there for $10. This will definitely become a regular spot for me. Busy, upbeat place. Pretty friendly staff. As promised, everything tasted good!

The spicy ginger sauce for the chicken was fabulous, by the way.

Taste Good
82-18 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

Sep 22, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Steinway Roll Call

Excellent roundup by Mr. Porkchop. One or two other notes:

- Across Steinway from Little Morocco, maybe a block south, there is the famous/infamous Ali's -- a tiny Egyptian restaurant owned and manned by Ali, a very expressive guy who has become a mini-celebrity in the area. Ali basically serves you what he thinks you might like, and charges you handsomely for the privilege. Ali has MANY fans among foodies, and also many detractors. He's been written up all over the place. Personally, I have never been, but I do know a few people who think it's the best dining adventure in the city. Try it if you dare.

- A block off Steinway, at 30th Ave and 42nd street, are two Bosnian places diagonally across form each other - Stari Most and Ukus. Both great for grilled meats, balkan sausages, and the gigantic hamburger-like pljeskavica. See article:

42-08 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

Little Morocco
24-39 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

Sep 08, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Uzbek Cultural Center in Kew Gardens -- open?

Anyone know if the Uzbek Cultural Center -- and their restaurant -- in Kew Gardens is still open?Googling around, I can't find a website or any recent announcements.

Aug 23, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Mr. Tasty in Astoria

I walked by it on Monday night and became intrigued. It is the oddest little place with the strangest little menu ... but fun. I had just eaten (focaccia at LoRusso's) but the owners had some samples out. They were pretty good. Looks like a great place if you have the munchies.

Aug 19, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Not so impressed with Petey's Burger in Astoria

I live nearby and Petey's is my go-to place for burgers in Astoria. I think they're great -- and do remind me of the In n Out samples I've had in Cali. Maybe not quite as good. I have not tried Bareburger on 31st ave yet, though.

Aug 18, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Best sandwich outside of Manhattan?


Thanks for the tip on the panelle. I have been to John's but I had never heard of Joe's of Avenue U. I will make a visit soon!

Joe's of Avenue U
287 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11223

Jul 27, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs

Best sandwich outside of Manhattan?

DeFonte's and John's Deli are both great rec's for "old school" sandwich shop. You could also try these:

- If you are heading to DeFonte's you might also consider stopping by Fernando's on Union Street in Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens), which is an old school sicilian place. They have the most amazing "panelle" sandwiches (chickpea crepes with ricotta); i crave them and have never found them anywhere else.; stop at Mazzola bakery up the hill a bit from there for their incredible "lard bread" (bread stuffed with cold cuts) which is their trademark.

- If you are heading to Coney Island, stop at Brennan and Carr's in Sheepshead Bay (Avenue U and Nostrand AVe). Dates to the 30s and serve's amazing fresh cut roast beef sandwiches on bulkie rolls served au jus. You'll feel like it's the 50s. Guys in little white jackets serve you your $5.95 sandwich. Love it.

- In Bedford Stuyvesant, there's an old Jewish deli (now owned by a Pakistani family) that specializes in brisket, old fashioned style. David's Brisket House on Nostrand Avenue. Amazing sandwiches.

- In Astoria, there's the old Sal, Kris and Charlie's Deli at 33-12 23rd Avenue. Great quality bread and coldcuts. They are known for their "Bomb" sandwich which -- you guessed it -- has everything in it. They cost $7 and 2 people could eat for 2 days on that thing. Though there are no tables you could walk to Astoria park to munch, which is quite nice. To wash the sandwich down, you could also walk a couple of blocks to the really fun 100 year old Bohemian Hall Beer Garden -- an atmospheric outdoor Czech beer garden that also serves sausages.

- In Corona, there's a wonderful cluster of adjacent old-fashioned Italian deli and bakeries owned by the same family -- under the complicated name Mama's/'Leo's Latticini. Go into the little deli and order one of their incredible turkey sandwiches (best in the city, I think) and then take it down two doors to their much larger bakery. They will let you sit in there and eat (try to sit outdoors in back if space is available). You can then have a cannoli for dessert. (By the way, the best tacos in the city are purveyed practically across the street at Taqueria Nixtamal, if you have any room). Timmy's frozen custard shop is down the street, too and a few blocks away is the famed 60 year old Lemon Ice King of Corona shop -- amazing old fashioned Italian shaved ices.

Bohemian Hall
2919 24th Ave, Queens, NY 11102

David's Brisket House
533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

John's Deli
6801 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

Union Street Cafe
568 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Jul 27, 2010
Anicca in Outer Boroughs