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MSG in dim sum

I was told once by a Chinese coworker that there is MSG in everything in Chinatown, that they marinate the meat in it and therefore it gets into every dish. So if you are very sensitive to it I'd say skip it. I've had too many bad reactions myself, and have given up on trying to eat anything at all in Chinatown.But that's just my experience, anyone else have info?

Oct 04, 2009
rara in Outer Boroughs

Phillipu in Astoria?

WoW! that's an interesting combo! pancit with feta cheese? lumpia stuffed with grape leaves? tripe with lemon and oregano??? LOL I can't wait to see the menu!

May 29, 2008
rara in Outer Boroughs

Phillipu in Astoria?

Phillipu is looking like it's gonna be Phillipino food. They've had their sign lit for weeks now but nothing else. I don't know why they're not open yet. Another smaller sign with a picture of a Jeepney (the Phillipino national taxi) was added recently but since then, nada. Maybe it's a licsene/permit issue? Don't know. I live right in the hood though, I'll keep you updated.

Apr 26, 2008
rara in Outer Boroughs

FH Trader Joe's top ten hits? And will Amish survive?

let's hear it for stop & shop on Northern! i've been going there for a few years, and while I still miss the awesome Shop Rites of my native NJ, I can't complain. trader Joes, on the other hand, is great for fun,extraneous ingredients but you certainly can't do your whole shopping there. My faves:
nuts (waay cheaper than most grocery stores)
cookies ( did anyone try the limited edition holiday ones? they were like oreos but with a peppermint filling? YUM)
frozen gyoza- (dumplings with shrimp, veggies, pork- great for a quick weeknight dinner or snack)
frozen edamame,
staples like sea salt, spices, oils. My Mom swears by their salt-free items, like peanut butter and ketchup.

Dec 28, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Arepas Cafe Long Island City

thanks for the info! my bf works right around the corner from there and is always looking for new lunch spots. yay for arepas!

Sep 23, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Bulgaria in Long Island City or Sunnyside

it's really in the middle of nowhere, on 11th st (i think) and 36th ave. Anyway, it's been there for years, I personally haven't been, but there was something about it in the Village Voice a few years back, it might be on thier website.

Aug 23, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Chic and Cheap in Astoria/LIC?

Aces on 36th Ave and 32nd st..very cute spot with an American/latino menu. Not super cheap, but delicious food and great drinks too. nice date place.

Aug 23, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Astoria/LIC Delivery Favorites

Papa's Empanadas on Steinway only delivers to a very limited radius, definately not as far as 21st st...believe me I've asked! Thai Angel is ok, do NOT try Benjamins on Bway, it was terrible! only good Thai is Tuk Tuk on Vernon, might be a little far for you though..good luck!

Aug 23, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Thai iced tea

I am obsessed with Thai iced tea and would love to make some at home. I've browsed online and found out that there are tea bags/ mixes that one combines with condensed milk. Anyone know where I could get that in Queens? Obviously the Asian markets of Flushing, etc, but is there anywhere in the Astoria/LIC area that sells it? Thanks hounds!

Aug 22, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Best diner in Queens?

I'm sorry but I have to disagree. I've lived in the 'hood for 3 years now and only visited the Bel-Aire a few times, and each time is worse. I'm not really sure how they are always so busy. Thier burgers, sandwiches are ok at best. I had breakfast there recently and my broccoli and cheese omelet had soggy broccoli, imitation cheese, and burnt yet greasy home fires. My friends were unimpressed as well. From then on it's been breakfast at home!

Aug 22, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Astoria/LIC Delivery Favorites

ps. Roti Boti is ridiculously spicy, if that's your thing. I personally can't handle it.

Aug 22, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Astoria/LIC Delivery Favorites

good luck...i'm in the same hood as you and no one delivers over here.as for pizza, Sac's is great, i'm not sure if they deliver their pies though. Local chinese is dismal, the bel-Aire diner on 21st St will deliver, but they're only good for basics like burgers, soup, etc. Basically that's it. Sadly enough when i really want a pizza delivered I usually call Papa Johns on Astoria Blvd. Good thing I have a car and know how to cook!

Aug 22, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Astoria Thai - Benjamas

WoW, i find your review very surprising- because I ate there on friday evening and it was hands down some of the worst thai food I"ve ever had. It was even worse than Thai Angel on 30th Ave, and that place is pretty crummy. First off, for starters we had calamari and chicken satay. The calamari were simultaneoulsy soggy and burnt. The chicken was a dry breast stuck on a stick, rubbed with some sort of spices that gave it a bright yellow color but little flavor.Our entrees were equally dismal, I had a chicken w/ ginger stir fry that featured dry, overcooked to the point of no return meat with some greasy veggies and a scant few pieces of ginger.My friend's shrimp was overcooked as well and super garlicky, that was all you could taste! We quickly paid and left, never to return.( we went to Coldstone Creamery next door to fill our bellies!) Please, if you want good thai food in the Astoria/LIC area, go to Tuk Tuk on Vernon Blvd near the 7 train. It's worth the trip!!!

Aug 13, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Late nite chow in Astoria

thanks, but I meant to-go stuff like pizza, etc.not sit-down..not to mention I"m frankly sick of Greek food. sorry to any fans but it's just not that interesting to me. how many times can one eat chicken kebabs with rice? blah. ps Uncle George's is, IMHO, the worst of the lot. and they were closed at the time, i checked! I"m just surprised that in multi-ethnic Astoria there's not much available beyond a certain hour!

Jun 19, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Late nite chow in Astoria

So on Saturday night my fiance and I were driving back to Astoria after a night out in Brooklyn. It was about 12:30 and I was dying for a slice of pizza. Along Steinway, down 30th Ave, over to Broadway- and nothing was open. Now I understand on a weeknight, but I thought on a saturday something would be open, especially on Steinway where there are several bars & clubs that seem to draw a crowd. We eventually settled on tacos from Los Portales, which were very good. So does anyone have any other late-nite options? I know about the kebab guy on B'way & 33rd, I know there's one decent (not great-in fact not even worth it) pizza place on Bway near Steinway...and Los Portales. Anything else? thanks hounds!

Jun 18, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

chinese chicken salad

Houston's, on 51st & 3rd, has a good one, i'm not sure if it's called "chinese" on the menu but it's very good- peanutty dressing over chicken w/ mixed greens and i think mango slices- i haven't had it in a while.

May 16, 2007
rara in Manhattan

Brunch Near 23/Ely E Stop?

yeah that area is kinda dead...there's a little Italian place near the 7 tracks that might do brunch- also a latino place a short walk down 23rd ave (east direction) maybe they do brunch but I'm not sure....Seriously, I've lived near there for a few years, and believe me, it's dead- you're better off looking elsewhere.

Mar 23, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

5 Star Punjabi: LIC

Bob- The aforementioned "hot sheets" motel a few blocks away has been knocked down and is being made into....a luxury hotel! Who knew. I read about it in the Times- my boyfriend didn't believe me until we drove by! I guess the neighboorhood is really changing.
(sorry that had nothing to do with food, i just had to add my 0.02 cents!)

Mar 08, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Mediterraneo - 2nd Ave & 66st - Opinion

thanks- i work in the neighboorhood and I"ve always wondered about that place...now I know to avoid it!

Feb 12, 2007
rara in Manhattan

Aces- Long Island City/Astoria

UPDATE: I went last night and while I thought it was good, there's room for improvement. My fiancee had the ribeye, which he loved-it was a very generous portion with a big scoop of spicy (? couldn't place the taste) mashed potatoes on the side. I had the striped bass, which was good, it was cooked just right. However it sat in a pool of sauce- on one side a black bean puree and the other a mango coulis which was just a tad too sweet to have with an entree.And there were 3 little pieces of plantain on top.that's it. While the fish was a good-sized peice it was a little wierd to have it come with nothing really on the side, potatoes or veggies or even just some mixed greens. Overall though, we both liked our food and the place itself. I will definately go back, I understand that they just opened and perhaps they're still working out the kinks.

Feb 11, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Aces- Long Island City/Astoria

thanks! i searched but didn't see your previous entry...i'm definately going to go check it out soon. it sounds great, and right in my 'hood too.

Feb 07, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Aces- Long Island City/Astoria

has anyone been to this new spot, 'Aces' on 36th ave & 32st? I've seen it mentioned a few times in TimeOut, it seems to have opened recently. I've gone past it, it looks cool, that's all I know. Any info? type of food, price range, worth it? thanks!

Feb 07, 2007
rara in Outer Boroughs

Go Wasabi in Astoria, not worth the price!!

the only place i've been to in Astoria for sushi is JJ's, i have to say i'm a huge fan...the fish is always fresh, the service is good and it's got a nice ambiance. They're never too crowded either, even on weekends...give them a chance! you' won't be dissapointed.

Dec 30, 2006
rara in Outer Boroughs

Cafe Sabarsky and Cafe Fledermaus

I had lunch at Sabarsky a few months ago. I was surprised that even on Sundays the breakfast/brunch menu isn't served past 11am. The food was good but waaaaaaaay overpriced, and the cakes, while pretty, were nothing better than my German born Oma could make. Nice ambiance though.

Dec 08, 2006
rara in Manhattan

lunch near sloan kettering

I"ve been working there for 4 years now.. the area is average..Cafe Luka on 1st ave and 70th st (left hand side of st) is a nice diner with all the usual dishes done well. There's a new Turkish place on 1st ave btwn 66th and 67th st (can't remember the name) that is good too. Avoid Ming's (chinese) on 1st ave- terrible! On 1st Ave btwn 68th and 69th (right hand side) there is a newly opened Le Pain Quitotiden, and a place called The Grill that has very good sandwhiches,salads, etc at reasonable prices and with seating.Baluchis is an Indian spot on 1st ave & 63rd st that has decent lunch specials but sloooow service. Keep in mind all these places get a little crowded at peak lunch times,so plan accordingly....good luck!

Oct 18, 2006
rara in Manhattan

Restaurants along Broadway in Astoria

Sac's is very good pizza-especially the sicilian! Aliada on Bway and 30th st is the BOMB, everything is good, salads, fish, chicken etc...I've been there several times, never dissapointed!

Oct 18, 2006
rara in Outer Boroughs

highish-end vegetarian-friendly restaurant

I agree with Candle Cafe...nice atmosphere and the food is good that a non-veggie might not even notice the lack of meat!

Sep 21, 2006
rara in Manhattan

Ben's Best

My BF is from that neighboorhood- he loves it,the sandwhiches are HUGE and the knishes etc are good too...we always stop there when we're in the 'hood.

Sep 21, 2006
rara in Outer Boroughs

the new max brenner chocolate bar restaurant

Went there yesterday for sunday brunch. We waited 45 min to be seated despite having a reservation (granted we were a large group though). Our waitress was polite but spacey...water took forever to arrive, and my food came out a full 15 minutes after everyone else's, then we waited quite a while for our check. The food was average brunch...had savory waffles which were good.the chocolate waffles looked like a child's dream, overflowing with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, if that's what you're in to.Didn't try the hot chocolate, it's too warm outside! The menu is filled with flowery prose describing the wonders of chocolate and tributes to this man's genius (or ego, depending how you look at it).Bought some overpriced choclates on the way out. they were ok.i'm not exactly rushing back to this overblown tourist trap.

Sep 18, 2006
rara in Manhattan

Nigella Opens Wide

I think it's really annoying that everyone has to comment on Giada's and Nigella's looks, especially thier 'cleavage'. They are both talented women who should be judged on thier cooking skills. I haven't seen any articles debating Emeril and Bobby Flay's 'sexiness'. A "banana deep throat off"? That's rather offensive Stephanie, you should be ashamed of yourself. How sad that this sexist article was written by a woman.

Sep 18, 2006
rara in Features