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Inexpensive ethnic CLEAN newish restaurant in Queens?

Try Biang in Flushing. It may be in Flushing but it doesn't feel like Flushing when you step inside. It's clean and modern looking. And the food is great and prices are reasonable.

They are famous for their noodle dishes but I prefer to make a meal out of the appetizers.

http://www.biang-nyc.com/menu.pdf

Mar 01, 2015
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Italian - Nassau

I like Cafe Cardini in New Hyde Park. It's definitely old school, down to its decor and wait staff (who's been there for years). I really enjoyed the pastas here. The pasta is al dente and the red sauce tastes like it's been cooking for hours. And the alfredo sauce is an instant heart attack. It's really rich so stay away if you don't like that type of sauce.

Just look at the menu on its web site (http://cafecardini.com/dinner_menu.html). It's nothing but the classics.

Lunar New Year in Flushing

My parents have been going to Happy Garden for years, long before Lake Pavilion opened up across the street. It's their favorite for a couple of reasons.
- Easy to find parking
- The owner comes from the same part of China as them
- Food is pretty good

When they eat there at New Years, they would give red envelops to the waiters. I guess that's one way to ensure good service!

One of the dishes they do well is crab or lobster over sticky rice. It's cooked to order here so it takes a while to come out. Some places take shortcuts and just put the seafood over precooked sticky rice which doesn't give the flavors a chance to infuse into the rice.

And give their soups a try. One memorable soup was a chicken soup with a whole chicken along with lots of other ingredients. I don't know if it's on the menu or not, so talk to the owner to find out what soup choices they have.

I also want to give recognition to Mellie’s on Northern Blvd. I was there recently for several post-funeral banquets. All the dishes were large and really well done. I was especially impressed by the vegetarian dishes with mushrooms. Regular meals at Mellie's, while still good, didn't wow me as much. Maybe the banquet was better since they have time to prepare it ahead of time.

A good advice for anyone planning a New Year's banquet. Don't just order off the menu when you get there. Go in a week earlier and talk to the manager to come up with a menu. There are off-the-menu dishes where they need to procure the ingredients ahead of time.

Feb 03, 2015
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Lunar New Year in Flushing

The last few years, my family have gone to Happy Garden on Main St for our New Year's meal. The key is to go in a week or two before the meal and talk to the owner. He'll create a menu for you based on your preferences and what's traditionally served on New Years. It'll probably be around $300 to $500 for a table for 10 people. I don't know if they will take reservations for smaller parties. In any case, the New Year's meal is best enjoyed with a group of people.

For any restaurant, I recommend making reservations for early dining. These meals tend to run long, and later reservations may have to wait a while for a table.

Feb 02, 2015
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Recs for Flushing next Wednesday?

They also have a 3rd restaurant, Shanghai Asian Cuisine, on Elizabeth Street.

If you walk South from Dumpling Galaxy, there are a lot of restaurants to choose from. I like to walk around there and look at the interesting items on the various menus. For example, Hunan Kitchen is a popular destination and it's only a block away. Rural is also a block away. They specialize in food from Northern China - try the lamb dishes.

Jan 17, 2015
Robotron in Outer Boroughs
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Recs for Flushing next Wednesday?

Just personal preference, but I like the XLB better at Shanghai Cuisine 33, which is less of a walk from the subway than Kung Fu. I also like the non-XLB dishes better at Shanghai Cuisine 33.

If you want variety, I also recommend trying Biang (part of the Xi’an Famous Foods mini empire). I really enjoy the Liang Pi "cold skin" noodles there. And a cold beer. The lamb or pork burgers are also good.

Jan 16, 2015
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Family Day in Flushing...Looking for Baked Char Siu Boa and Bakery Recommendations.

Sorry, I was just replying to your observation that it was crazy like a Sunday. I'm just saying that it's going to be busy like this until kids go back to school. If people want to go on a weekday after this week, they will not find it as crowded.

Also, I've been to the restaurant on the 3rd floor of New World Mall several times for dinner. The meals were decent, but nothing special. Have not been for dim sum yet.

Dec 31, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Astoria Eats - Get thee to the Greek(s)

I am not familiar with Greek preparation of seafood. What kinds of preparation are there besides grilled or deep fried? I know that in Cantonese cooking, a food fish is usually steamed. I have also enjoyed a seafood stew here and there. Just wondering what I should look for in a Greek restaurant. Thanks.

Dec 31, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Legal Seafood exits LI

Legal Seafood is a step or two above Red Lobster. Just guessing here, but if this Legal Seafood doesn't have good business, then it may lack the high turnover required to keep fresh seafood all the time.

I don't live by Walt Whitman mall (although I worked there 30 years ago), but are there any good Chinese restaurants nearby? A good Cantonese restaurant, especially if they have fish tanks to showcase the fish, will usually have several good fish dishes.

Family Day in Flushing...Looking for Baked Char Siu Boa and Bakery Recommendations.

Kids are out of school right now and a lot of people are on vacation, so it's not unusual for Flushing to be crowded.

Dec 30, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Seasons, really great market in queens, kew garden hills

You forgot to mention that Naomi's Kosher Pizza is also a few doors away for excellent falafels. The metered parking in front of Seasons may be hard to get sometimes, but parking is not hard to find if you're willing to walk a block or two.

Dec 22, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Colombian Food!!????

I frequently go to Manny's Family Restaurant (62-12 Woodhaven Blvd) but mostly because it's close to my father's house. The dishes there are hit or miss. Steaks there are not that great. Every time we go, we order the paella for two. It's not a true paella preparation but it's good and it's big enough to feed four.

I also started going to Mr Pollo 1 in Bayside recently. It just opened and it's super close to my house. So far everything I've tried have been good, but not great enough that I would recommend traveling great distances for.

If it was my birthday, La Pequeña Colombia would be on top of my list for Colombian food.

Dec 04, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Colombian Food!!????

Try La Pequeña Colombia in Jackson Heights. I always get the full portion skirt steak. It's a huge piece of meat, beautifully cooked. The restaurant decor is nice, too, unlike the holes in the wall I usually go to.

Queens -- help requested. First time visiting.

Corner 28 moved recently to 137-28 40th Rd in Flushing. There is constant turnover in the New World Mall food court so one or more of the places mentioned in the article might not be there. I believe all the other places mentioned in the article are still around.

If you want to explore another part of Queens, you can take the Subway to Corona or Jackson Heights to try food from South America (and other parts of the world). You can search on this board for Corona and Jackson Heights recommendations.

Dec 02, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Finally! Korean BBQ in Colonie/Albany!

In most Korean restaurants in New York City, the staff will grill the food for you. That's a pretty normal service that they perform.

Nominate your favorite restaurants in New York Outer Boroughs for "Best of 2014."

Since the category is "favorite" restaurant and not "best" restaurant, I'll go with Piccolo Sogno. It's a little Italian restaurant on a residential street (195-14 47th Avenue) in Flushing. They turn out fantastic dishes, especially the pastas. Good food, good service, and it's close to my house. It's one of those places which wouldn't have survived, situated where it is in a quiet neighborhood, if it didn't serve good food.

http://italianrestaurant-flushing.com/

Nov 21, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Which Flushing supermarket has the freshest seafood?

You can buy live swimming shrimp at some Asian markets but they are much more expensive. I believe most shrimp at the market were previously frozen. The problem is that quality starts to deteriorates once the shrimp is defrosted. It's hard to tell how long the shrimp has been sitting there. What my father does is that he buys the frozen shrimp in the box it's shipped in, either 5 or 10 lbs per box. He then defrosts it himself and repackages in smaller bags (and passes some to me). He buys them from a fish supplier to a restaurant owner that he's friends with. You can try asking the fish guy in the Asian market if he can sell the shrimp in the box. But it's a lot of shrimp!

Nov 10, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

You're right, so I guess the lesson here is not order XLBs at non-Shanghai restaurants. In my defense, I've had XLBs at non-Shanghai places before and the ones at Nan Bei Ho were truly bad. I did not choose the restaurant or do the ordering, so I'm gonna pass the blame on other members of the family (and hope they are not reading this). Since I live nearby, I've been here several times before and none of the meals have been memorable. I prefer going to Mama Lee on the next block instead.

For the record, I like the XLBs at Shanghai Cuisine 33 on Main St.

Nov 03, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

Nan Bei Ho, which is one block away from Mama Lee, has stinky tofu. I ate one piece this weekend and decided that I can't get past the smell. Must be an acquired taste. I have no idea if it's good or bad, although the rest of the table finished the dish.

Just don't get the soup dumplings (xiao long bao) there. Their soup dumplings weren't good at all.

Nov 02, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

This is not a recommendation but is one to avoid instead. Went to Nan Bei Ho on 48th Ave Bayside for lunch Saturday. The XLB was the worst I've had in recent memory. The skin was thick and the broth was way too salty. We ended up draining the broth from the dumplings before eating them. Most of the other dishes were passable, and I especially enjoyed this flatbread rollup with eggs (don't know the name for it). It's a shame since I live nearby but I don't think I'll be coming back to this place again.

Nov 02, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

I did not see any stinky tofu dishes on the menu.

Oct 25, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

I'm probably committing a faux pas, but I use my fingers to get them onto my spoon.

Oct 24, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

If you're talking about Avli, yes it's still good. I especially like the pork doner there. While it's still hot, the crispy edges of the meat is so good. When the weather is nice, I prefer going to Gyro World on Northern Blvd. It sits on a corner and their walls are doors that open up, making it feel like you're eating outside. Order the Gyro World Plate and you'll get a monstrous plate of meat that will feed a small army.

Oct 23, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

That was my understanding, too. I've been to the Bell Blvd location a few times before and after it was sold and, honestly, couldn't tell the difference in the food. Parking on Bell is hit or miss, so I now go to Piccolo Sogno (which is closer to me) for my Italian fix.

Oct 23, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

I have enjoyed a few meals there. As the review said, the food tastes homemade and the owner makes the effort to make the restaurant feel like home. If you're eating in, she would come by and ask if you need more tea, soup, or rice.

It has some dishes that I haven't seen before (like Braised Pork with tofu & egg). The only miss so far has been a fried chicken roll which was a little greasy.

I would describe the dishes as not overly complex but done well. They close kind of early (7 or 8 pm) so call ahead if you plan to show up around that time.

Oct 22, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

Thai in Queens

BKNY is located in a residential neighborhood. Street parking is plentiful in the area in case the parking lot is full. The space is pretty big inside so you won't feel crowded in a big group.

Taking a trip to Flushing

Driving around in downtown Flushing can be an ordeal, especially on weekends. You have to watch the signs. Some intersections allow no turns while some only allow turns for buses, with restrictions only during certain hours. Free parking is also very hard to find.

New World Mall has paid underground parking. You may be able to get free parking if you spend over a certain amount at JMart (supermarket) in the mall.

Since you're driving, I suggest going to where Main Street meets LIE. It's much easier to find street parking there, and there are many restaurant choices, such as Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao, Main St Imperial, Happy Garden, Lake Pavilion, Shanghai Cuisine 33, etc. There is also a Chinese supermarket nearby. I don't think there is a desert place there, though.

There are a couple of nearby Chinese supermarkets with their own parking lots. Gold City Supermarket is one. SkyFoods (40-24 College Point Blvd) is another - it's located in a mall and there is free 3 hr parking.

Sep 17, 2014
Robotron in Outer Boroughs

good italian in central westchester

Try Sergio's in Valhalla: http://sergiosrestaurantandbar.com/

The food is great and the prices are reasonable. Don't miss soup of the day. I work nearby so we go there frequently for lunch (for their prix fixe). When I pass by the restaurant on the way home, its parking lot is often full. It's gotten very popular since it opened a year ago. They do take reservations.

The Thai Shack in Yonkers

I'm no expert on Thai food but I've always enjoying going to D Thai Kitchen in Thornwood for lunch. Also, the owners are the nicest people.

Outdoor dining in lower Westchester

D Thai Kitchen in Thornwood has a small outdoor patio in front of the restaurant. Food is good but if you want it really spicy, you'll have to tell them. You can also ask for their spicy condiment tray.

A’Mangiare in Pleasantville is a lunch favorite with my coworkers. Very large outdoor space and they have lunch specials that change quite often. The patio is surrounded by vegetable and fruit plants. If the figs were ripe, I would have reached out and grabbed one when I was there.