the Sparrow's Profile

Title Last Reply

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

Hey guys - we made it to Flushing today and ate at Biang! - good stuff but we were way too full to to hit the food courts afterward! Portions were insane. We swung by the New World Mall on the way back to the train and my son watched the guys make the noodles - but we didn't have time to hang out and get a Snopo thanks to signal problems at 42nd Street on the outbound trip - we barely made it out there before we had to go back. But it was good to scope it out for next time. Thx!

Aug 22, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

thanks! yeah, the train ride is the thing. my son just drew me a map of all the trains he wants to take to get there. :) he LOVES the 7 train - so much to see! crazy crowds and chaos don't freak him out - he's used to that - but while he's an adventurous eater a plate of spicy mystery meat at the mall might not be his thing. we'll check it out and see where the day takes us! thanks, hounds, for all the great info.

Aug 21, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

Snopo sounds awesome. gotta save room for birthday cake though!!

Aug 21, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

Thanks so much! It does matter - to me if not my kid. I appreciate the honesty. Will report back.

Aug 20, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

You guys are cracking me up. It looks like Golden and New World Mall are close enough to check them both out. Biang sounds worth a visit, too - we both love noodles. Perhaps I should mention my son is only turning 6? He loves dumplings but he's in it for the train ride :) He'll be eating spicy squid soon enough!

Aug 20, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

Thanks, guys. Golden Mall it is! I'm sure we'll both have some awesome eats there.

Aug 20, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

Thanks all for the quick responses!

Aug 20, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Best place to take an adventurous kid for Chinese food in Flushing?

My son is a real NYer - he heard that he can get the best dumplings in Flushing and insists I take him there for a birthday lunch. I've never been there (we live in BK) so if you have a great kid friendly place (ie, not somewhere where everything is crazy spicy!) you love, post away!

Aug 19, 2013
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Park Slope Pizza-Lovers' Neighborhood Secret

Hm. As a longtime Park Slope chowhound, I have to say that the Campo pizza has been a real disappointment - the crust tastes like cardboard and they're quite skimpy on the cheese. I've tried several times but have struck out every time. Too bad because they seem like nice people and I love Roman style pizza - but this isn't it.

Mar 07, 2011
the Sparrow in Features

Decent Bar in Jackson Heights?

Tell you what: let's trade. We'll get you a nice local sports pub to open up in JH if you get us some decent ethnic food in Park Slope. We're in need of authentic, reasonably priced Indian, Korean, Afghan, Malaysian and Thai food here. A good noodle shop too. What we have in the way of international cuisine here is pathetic - but there are lots of very good burger and beer joints. Surely we can work something out?

Nov 05, 2010
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Looking for good chow near Spa Castle in College Point

My husband and I love going to Spa Castle in College Point but the food there is beyond pitiful. Can anyone recommend some nearby joints that we coudl swing by on the way home after a day in the hot tubs?

Jan 08, 2010
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Campania report: Positano, Castellabate

Just got back from 10 days in Campania where we ate very, very well indeed. We started off in Positano, which was relaxing and delicious. We ate several times at Max Ristorante in the center of town, which was right near our rental apartment, and had some excellent meals - particularly the fennel carpaccio and the spaghetti alle vongole, which was out of this world good, with teeny tiny tender clams. I have always hated clam sauce the way it is made in the US, but on the Amalfi Coast I was converted forever. We also had a nice meal at La Cambusa down by the main beach, where I had fried baby calamari and paccheri pasta (large tubes) with monkfish, both excellent. We also took a water taxi to the nearby village of Praiano and had a solid meal at Il Pirata on the cliff, which did not come as highly recommended as Armandino's, but had the better view.

The wine and food of the Amalfi Coast, particularly the insanely delicious and fresh seafood, is definitely worth going for, but we did find Positano far too touristy for our taste -- everyone speaks English the second you walk in the door of a shop or restaurant, there are gazillions of gift shops selling tacky clothes and ugly "art," and the beach isn't that great, either. However, it was relaxing and uncomplicated, with great views to contemplate as you open that second bottle of wine on your terrace. Would definitely revisit the Amalfi Coast, but would stay in one of the other towns there - Praiano or Ravello, and rent a car to explore. (The cost of taxis and boats was nothing short of ridiculous.)

After our stay in Positano, we headed south to the Cilento Coast, which is about a 2 1/2 hour drive down the Campania coastline. All along the way were an unbelievable number of farms and an entire strip of highway devoted to the making and selling of the famed mozzerella di bufala. Though we didn't really have time to stop and check them out, it was clear that this is a solid chowhound-type destination, very much off the beaten tourist track.

We stayed four days in a town called Castellabate, a medieval hill town that is perched on a mountain right next to the beach, where the resort town of Santa Maria Castellabate is located. SMC was definitely the more touristy of the two places, thronged with Neapolitan families enjoying a beach holiday and stores selling cheap beach balls and water wings. Castellabate is a 20 minute bus ride up the mountain, and here we stayed at a place called Albergo di Castello, a rustic and charming hotel run by a woman named Franca di Biasi, who also cooks up an incredible feast every night.

These meals were, without a doubt, the highlight of our trip! Franca and her wonderful staff brought out course after course of homestyle cooking - fresh figs, marinated anchovies, fried stuffed zucchini flowers, baked mussels, mozzerella di bufala, various pastas, delicious chicken and roasted whole fish - and we ate until we burst every night. We got to try many local specialities that we probably would not have ordered off the menu, and it was an experience that I would recommend to all chowhounds headed to Italy. There are supposedly other really good restaurants in the town, but we never made it to any of them - the minute we smelled Franca's cooking wafting up towards our room we realized it would be crazy to go anywhere else. Our final night there, we had a Neapolitan rice casserole known as surtu - baked rice, tomatoes, mozzerella di bufala, sausage, meatballs, and who knows what else - that was the best thing I ate on the whole trip, and it was followed by a sublime homemade tiramisu and limoncello - a great way to wind up our vacation.

The only downside of our experience at Albergo di Castello was the lack of air conditioning - though we hardly expected it in an old hotel, the nights were very hot and stuffy in mid-June, and we did not sleep as well as we ate. We would definitely go back, but fall would probably be a much more pleasant time to be there. All in all, though, a fab experience and recommended to all Campania-bound chowhounds.

Jun 26, 2008
the Sparrow in Italy

best seaside chowtown in Italy?

Thanks for all the responses. We decided to do 5 days on the Amalfi Coast - Positano and Ravello - touristy, yes, but as we are traveling with a baby, it was easy for us to rent an apartment there, and many have assured us we will eat well - and another 5 in Castellabate on the Cilento coast, for the less touristy part of the vacation (supposedly good beaches there.) Will post my report on the Italy board when I return in late June!

May 27, 2008
the Sparrow in Italy

Positano in June 2008

Thanks for all these wonderful suggestions! I'll post a report when we return. We're off to Castellabate in the Cilento National Park for the last few days as I heard that the beaches were quite good there. Grazie mille - the Sparrow.

May 24, 2008
the Sparrow in Italy

So, We're Going to Staten Island for Lunch

We checked out New Asha for Sri Lankan food today on a day trip from Brooklyn and the lady who ran the place was really sweet - we got some beers next door from the deli and she made us up a tasting plate. The best item was the fried crispy mutton roll, and the eggplant was also fab, as was the egg bread. Not long on atmosphere, but good food cheap if you are looking for a bite to eat in SI.

May 24, 2008
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Restaurants in Venice

I went to Venice in the summer of 2006, and yes, it's touristy...but still divine. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it despite the hordes!

My favorite casual place in Venice was La Corte Antica Birraria in San Polo Square, which was packed with Venetians just getting off work. Try the homemade bigoli with amatriciana sauce - it was the best meal I had in Venice, and it was one fourth of the price of my trip to Da Fiore, which was just okay - the wine was fabulous and the location romantic, but the pasta was bland and we got there too late to try the famed fish (the kitchen was closing down as we were seated.)

Enoteca San Marco on the Frezzaria in the San Marco sestiere (tel 041 52852420) was my favorite wine bar - the white was well chilled (a rarity in Venice) and we had an excellent cheese plate and amazing desserts.

And do a day trip to Murano and come back at sunset - it's a lovely sight.

Apr 16, 2008
the Sparrow in Italy

Positano in June 2008

We're heading to Positano for a week in late June, and would love some up-to-the-minute Chowhound recommendations for good places to eat. Also, we're renting an apartment with a kitchen so any recommendations on the local markets, where to buy good meat, veg, fruit, wine, etc. would be really helpful.

We also have a few unplanned days at the end of our trip, so any ideas for other places to stay in the area would be grand!

Apr 16, 2008
the Sparrow in Italy

best seaside chowtown in Italy?

Thanks for some good suggestions. Yeah, it's hard to find "non-touristy" places in Italy in the summertime (an Italian friend laughed when I asked - he goes to Spain in the summer!) but a few tourists are fine as long as there are good places to eat for those looking for something other than fish and chips, etc. I went to Venice in July and despite the hordes found quite a few good chowhound-friendly trattorias!

Based on my exhaustive research over the weekend, I've had a lot of people mention Praiano on the Amalfi Coast, the east coast of Sicily (Marzamemi, Syracuse, Noto), and the Adriatic Coast...does anyone know a good apartment/villa rental website that does rentals on the Adriatic? Most seem to focus on Tuscany and the Mediterranean coast...thanks!

Jan 28, 2008
the Sparrow in Italy

best seaside chowtown in Italy?

Planning a summer vacation in Italy and looking to find a foodie-friendly, non-touristy town/region by the sea where we can explore the local cuisine, markets, trattorias, etc. Looking forward to your recommendations!

Jan 26, 2008
the Sparrow in Italy

Best place for a group birthday dinner?

Anyone had a really fun group dinner lately? Trying to figure out a good place for my birthday dinner later this month. Looking for something in the moderate price zone - entrees under $20 - good for a group of 10 or 15, French, American, Middle Eastern, Italian or Indian, downtown Manhattan or Brooklyn. I was thinking of 360 in Red Hook, or upstairs at the Spotted Pig, etc....any other ideas? Thanks!

Jan 07, 2007
the Sparrow in Manhattan

Pregnant woman seeks spicy noodles downtown...

Meeting some friends tonight for dinner and I have a craving for spicy noodles (not soup, though, and meat is good, too.) Anywhere in downtown Manhattan is workable. Been scouring the boards but can't seem to figure out which places would have it...Indonesian? Malayasian? Cambodian? Help!

Dec 27, 2006
the Sparrow in Manhattan

PARK SLOPE COOP: what's good this week? butter! what else?

The new butter additions are great. But for all of you posting about the cheese - that is the co-op's big weak spot. They simply don't have a proper storage facility for delicate artisanal cheeses. I tried a few of my French favorites there and they were awful - they tasted nothing like they should. The everyday cheddar and mozzerella are fine, but until the co-op gets a cheese cave and starts cutting cheese to order instead of hacking it up into little plastic-wrapped cubes, get your gourmet cheese from Murray's or the Blue Apron.

Nov 24, 2006
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Little Dishes

What I want to know is where is a good place to get cheap and tasty light food in Park Slope - I like Tost on 7th for the salads and panini but my honey hates it as they do not serve burgers or steak. And we both like Cafe Steinhof for atmosphere but there's not a decent salad in the place - just stick to your ribs chow. Where can a hungry man and a gourmet woman get a decent meal around here??

Sep 30, 2006
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

S'agapo in Astoria

The eggplant dip is fab, and so is the grilled chicken salad. I love S'Agapo! Wish they were in Park Slope...no decent Greek food here.

Sep 30, 2006
the Sparrow in Outer Boroughs

Event Spaces in nyc

Hey Nom, I'm thinking of doing my wedding at the Alger House as well. Anything else you can tell me about it? We have to make a decision soon! I'm glad to hear the catering was good.

And Jordana, definitely check out the Bizbash site, it was quite helpful to us. Other spaces we looked at that were nice were 91 Horatio and The Foundry in LIC. I'd be happy to share other tips with you.

Jul 28, 2006
the Sparrow in Not About Food

Verona.. on a Sunday and Monday-

I just went to the opera (Aida) in Verona this past Sunday and it was wonderful. You are in for a treat. Make sure you pack a picnic and lots of water as there is a long wait for the opera to begin and the food they sell in the stands is awful and overpriced (5 euros for a pepsi, and no bottled water at all!)

For Monday, try to get a reservation at Trattoria alla Colonna on Largo Pescheria (045 596718) - this is where the locals eat and although the atmostphere is quite casual it's often booked 2 weeks in advance. You must try the cottoletta, a fried veal cutlet with fried potatoes - it's THE specialty of the house and delicious. Be warned, however - even the medium size cutlet is huge. We went for lunch and could barely find room for a caffe ristretto, let alone dessert.

Jul 20, 2006
the Sparrow in Italy

going to venice and florence for honeymoon

Just returned from Venice and Verona and was lucky enough to eat at some places recommended by the locals that were tasty and moderately priced.

My favorite place in Venice was La Corte Antica Birraria in San Polo Square, which was packed with Venetians just getting off work. Try the homemade bigoli with amatriciana sauce - it was the best meal I had in Venice, and it was one fourth of the price of my trip to Da Fiore, which was just okay - the wine was fabulous and the location divine, but the pasta was bland and we got there too late to try the famed fish (the kitchen was closing down as we were seated.)

Enoteca San Marco on the Frezzaria in the San Marco sestiere (tel 041 52852420) was my favorite wine bar - the white was well chilled (a rarity in Venice) and we had an excellent cheese plate and lovely desserts.

If you make it to Verona, try to get a reservation at Trattoria alla Colonna on Largo Pescheria (045 596718) - this is where the locals eat. You must try the cottoletta, a fried veal cutlet with fried potatoes - it's THE specialty of the house and delicious. Be warned, however - even the medium size cutlet is huge. Unless you are a sumo wrestler in town for a match at the Arena, I'd go for the small.

Jul 20, 2006
the Sparrow in Italy