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Affordable birthday dinner in Williamsburg?

Thank you so much! These are great ideas. I hadn't heard of Qi, but I trust the Sripraphai association, so I decided to go for it and made a reservation. They even said they could accommodate my gluten-free friend. I'll try to remember to report back here.

Thanks again!

Apr 23, 2013
righter in Outer Boroughs

Affordable birthday dinner in Williamsburg?

Hi all,

I'm looking for the perfect place for a birthday dinner this weekend. It will be ~8 people, vegetarians aplenty but adventurous eaters otherwise. I'm looking for entrees in the 8-15 dollar range (the cheaper the better), at a sit-down location in Williamsburg (on the North Side), ideally within 5ish blocks of the Bedford stop. Also, I need to be able to make a reservation, since we're a large group.

Hope that's not too many criteria! Open to many cuisines (favorites include but are not limited to Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Ethiopian).

Some places that have come up after a little initial research are Oregano, Bay Leaf, and Ella Cafe. Thoughts on those or other places welcome. (N.B. I've been to Sea too many times, and was not super impressed by Wild Ginger—though those might both seem like obvious choices. Zenkichi is amazing but too intimate—and too expensive—for these purposes.)

Looking forward to your ideas! Thanks for your help as always.

Apr 22, 2013
righter in Outer Boroughs

Best place for idli in Queens?

Looking for tips on where to find the best idli in Queens.

I gather that Temple Canteen may be the best bet, although can anyone confirm whether idli is only available on weekdays there?

And any thoughts on Dosa Delight? They seem to have an idli/vada plate, but I've seen mostly mixed reviews for the place.

I'm also a fan of Rajbhog Sweets, but unclear whether they serve idli or only have them frozen to take home.

Info on the above ideas, or new places I don't know about, all most welcome. Thanks!

Dec 30, 2012
righter in Outer Boroughs

2 Days in NYC - What's can't we miss?

I'm a cheapskate vegetarian in Queens, and I'd highly recommend Chao Thai in Elmhurst, Phayul in Jackson Heights (tiny upstairs Tibetan restaurant), Mangal in Sunnyside (Turkish—best babaghanoush ever), Rajbhog Sweets in Jackson Heights (great not just for Indian sweets—get the best $1 samosa), and Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona (seriously amazing corn tortillas, cheap and wonderful Mexican food, and walking distance to Lemon Ice King of Corona for dessert).

I'll also second earlier suggestions for Tanoreen, Wafa's, or a tasting walk down Roosevelt Ave.

Aug 23, 2012
righter in Outer Boroughs

Early Breakfast Enroute to 59th St Bridge

If you ever have this problem again, try The Haab! It's at 48th Avenue & 48th Street, two blocks south of Queens Blvd. I'm not certain of their early morning hours, but they specialize in (Mexican) breakfast, so you're probably fine. Super cheap, delicious, very friendly. http://www.thehaab.com/index.html / http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-haab-wood...

Aug 23, 2012
righter in Outer Boroughs

Are there any old-time soda parlor/candy shops still around?

There's also the Lexington Candy Shop on the Upper East Side: http://www.lexingtoncandyshop.net
(Not Brooklyn, sorry!—but just the kind of thing I think you're looking for. Eddie's was another great non-Brooklyn suggestion.)

May 22, 2012
righter in Outer Boroughs

After 9:30pm take out options in Sunnyside and LIC?

Tangra (QB & 39th Pl) is open till 10:30 or 11 I think.

May 12, 2012
righter in Outer Boroughs

Sunnyside Pizza-EXCELLENT!!

For the record, I absolutely love Sunnyside Pizza and have not noticed any shortage of cheese.

I think the place you're trying to think of is Donato's. I've heard very mixed reviews about their pizza, but I've never actually tried it.

May 09, 2012
righter in Outer Boroughs

Breslin-like brunch place that takes reservations?

Thanks for the suggestions! I realize this hip + stroller-friendly request is probably impossible. But I'll see what we can do...

Mar 16, 2011
righter in Manhattan

Stanley's Pierogi in Ridgewood?

Never been, but if you're looking for great pierogi in Ridgewood, Krolewski Jadlo might be worth a shot. It's a nice place too -- totally kitschy, but cute.

Krolewskie Jadlo
66-21 Fresh Pond Rd, Queens, NY 11385

Mar 15, 2011
righter in Outer Boroughs

Birthday Cake Needed in Queens!

I wonder if Martha's would do that? http://www.marthascountrybakery.com/

Also, here are some old threads with some suggestions:

Good luck!

Martha's Country Bakery
70-30 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

Mar 15, 2011
righter in Outer Boroughs

Finding Moroccan amlou in Queens?

Wow, thank you! Great recommendations.

Mar 14, 2011
righter in Outer Boroughs

Breslin-like brunch place that takes reservations?

Okay, chowhounders, here's a riddle of a food need:

We're taking my cousin out to brunch for his birthday. His favorite brunch place is The Breslin (I've never been), but we can't go there because we have a few additional needs to accommodate:
1. We need a place that takes reservations (we're a party of ~10).
2. We need a place at least moderately vegetarian-friendly.
3. We will have a baby (and stroller) in tow.

Any suggestions for somewhere that has a similar vibe / menu but fills these additional needs?

Thanks for your help!

The Breslin
20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

Mar 14, 2011
righter in Manhattan

Finding Moroccan amlou in Queens?

Hey, Chowhounders:

Any idea where I might be able to find amlou in Queens? Anywhere in or close to Sunnyside would be even better.

Amlou is a delicious Moroccan nut butter / dip made with almonds, honey and argan oil. So even some info on where there are communities of Moroccans would be helpful.

I have a feeling the answer might be somewhere on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, like Sahadi's. But if there's somewhere in Queens, that would be better.


187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Dec 06, 2010
righter in Outer Boroughs

Yum Yum Thai Restaurant in Sunnyside

I'll try to write something more extensive and helpful when I have more time, but I've now tried this place twice, once for delivery and once eating in, and I thought it was great. It's no Chao Thai, but it's by FAR the best Thai I've had in the neighborhood. You might want to ask for extra heat if you like your Thai really hot, but otherwise I thought the flavors were outstanding, everything tasted really fresh, and the restaurant itself is really lovely inside -- much nicer "ambience" than most places in Sunnyside.

Not that Chowhounders are known for caring much about ambience.

Chao Thai
85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

Nov 10, 2010
righter in Outer Boroughs

Indian ingredients in sunnyside/woodside

You might want to look in Orchard Farmers Market (not actually a farmers' market), which opened today at 43rd & Greenpoint Ave. They bill themselves as gourmet, so they might have that stuff, though probably at a markup from Jackson Heights.

Also: Have you looked in the Foodtown? They have pretty extensive spice selections and "ethnic" food sections.. for a regular supermarket.

Last idea: Woodside, slightly closer than JH. The big Asian grocery just east of the 61st stop (I think it's called... HK?) definitely skews Chinese, but they might have some of the stuff you're looking for -- they have tons of spices and hard-to-find food things at good prices. And Veggie Monster on 61st is like a tiny Whole Foods (same prices, too), so they might carry some of the things you're looking for.

But yes, as others have said: For Indian ingredients, Jackson Heights is by far your best bet.

Veggie Monster
39-86 61st St, Queens, NY 11377

Nov 10, 2010
righter in Outer Boroughs

Brunch near Astoria Park

I'm looking for a great, cozy, cheap, not-too-long-of-a-wait Sunday brunch in Astoria, with a menu of sweet, savory, and vegetarian-friendly options. Preferably not a diner, unless it's a special diner. (I love diners, but that's not quite what I'm looking for.) Good coffee and outdoor dining would be bonuses. (A girl can dream.)

As a point of reference, I love La Flor in Woodside, and think that's the only place in the Sunnyside/Woodside corridor that's anything like what I'm looking for in Astoria right now.

So... Suggested places w/suggested dishes?


Jun 16, 2010
righter in Outer Boroughs

Coffeehouse with wireless in Sunnyside?

Just wanted to update this zombie thread with information I've gotten in the months since.

So, to sum up good coffee shops with wifi for working in/near Sunnyside:
- Cafescape (in Woodside) is pretty good, though totally charmless. Basically like a Starbucks. Usually their music is too loud though, and they're weird with their wireless -- the barista has to type in the password for you.
- Sugar & Joe is, sadly, closed.
- Ave Coffee is still... fine.
- The Sunnyside branch of the library doesn't serve food, so off-topic for Chowhound, but it's lovely.

Other places a little further afield but within a half hour walk / quick train:
- Communitea, LIC
- Cranky's Cafe, LIC
- Bricktown Bagel, LIC --> Delicious and well-priced eats too; plenty of seating & outlets.
- Espresso 77, Jackson Heights *
- Champion Coffee, Greenpoint *
- Cafe Grumpy, Greenpoint *

* Those last three also happen to have absolutely stellar coffee.

Mar 11, 2010
righter in Outer Boroughs

Brunch at Bar 43 in Sunnyside?

With the dearth of good brunch options in Sunnyside, I was surprised to see the neighborhood show up in a "boozy brunches" write-up in Time Out New York, which mentioned Bar 43. I didn't even know they served brunch.

My go-to brunch in the neighborhood is usually La Flor, and of course the many diners are great when you're in the mood for that, and Quaint might win for atmosphere, and De Mole is of course delicious, but! If there's another neighborhood place that serves a real sit-down brunch that's worth eating, I'd like to know.

Has anyone tried brunch at Bar 43? Is it any good?

Here's the menu:

And here's the TONY mention:

Mar 11, 2010
righter in Outer Boroughs

Sonali Indian Cuisine, new in Sunnyside!

I happen to love Biriyani, and it's super-cheap. Not the world's best Indian, but a reliable neighborhood place and $6 can get you a huge plate of food. I prefer to do take-out since it's a little lacking on ambience, but the food is solid.

Oct 27, 2009
righter in Outer Boroughs

Coffeehouse with wireless in Sunnyside?

This has been perfect for me so far, thanks! Very standard cafe but just right for working with many fellow laptop users and plenty of free seats and outlets.

Aug 24, 2009
righter in Outer Boroughs

Coffeehouse with wireless in Sunnyside?

Sugar & Joe is totally adorable -- thanks for the tip! It does seem like a real sit-down eatery though. Have you sat there and only ordered coffee, or is this an okay place to sit and drink coffee and work? Didn't see any laptops or solo-sitters when I popped in there for a coffee to-go to scope it out. I definitely look forward to brunch there though...

Aug 24, 2009
righter in Outer Boroughs

Coffeehouse with wireless in Sunnyside?

I saw that! Boo! I mean, it totally makes sense, but I'm not a fan of the trend. I do try not to sit for hours and hours in a place that is so crowded there are no seats for new customers, and I also try to continue making purchases if I'm really there for a long time. But it seems the days of free wireless everywhere may be waning. Alas.

Aug 24, 2009
righter in Outer Boroughs

Coffeehouse with wireless in Sunnyside?

Thanks so much for the tips! I'm going to check out Cafescape and Sugar & Joe, which is right near me. I really appreciate the help.

Aug 22, 2009
righter in Outer Boroughs

Coffeehouse with wireless in Sunnyside?

I just moved to Sunnyside, and the first thing I really need to find is a good cafe to work in. I am a writer, and I spend a lot of time working in cafes. My main requirement is somewhere where I won't feel weird pulling out a laptop and sitting for several hours. I prefer somewhere with reliable wireless, plentiful seating, outlets, good coffee, and a low level of noise.

I read about Aubergine on Skillman and went there -- and maybe it's changed recently? -- but it really felt more like a restaurant than a coffeeshop to me. Everyone seemed to be eating a meal, no one was doing any work, etc. Seems like a lovely place for lunch for not for a coffee and a laptop.

I checked out The Grind also, on 39th Place off QB, but it is dark and strange and the tables have tablecloths on them, which makes me feel like it's geared toward the having-a-meal crowd. I'm not really sure what they're trying to do in there.

Then I went to Ave Coffee on Greenpoint Ave & 45th, but it was very loud and didn't seem so conducive to working. Perhaps the most promising of the three, but less than ideal.

So, Chowhounders, help me out here! Does this magic place I seek exist somewhere in Sunnyside?

Right now I'm at Communitea in LIC, and it's more along the lines of what I was hoping to find. If only it were closer.


Aug 21, 2009
righter in Outer Boroughs

Cafe near the convention center, open on Sundays?

I'm meeting someone for coffee/tea near the convention center, early Sunday evening.

Much to my surprise and disappointment, it seems like everything is closed on a Sunday -- truly baffling, since Sundays are the best time to linger in a cafe.

My first thoughts -- Ray's, Joe Coffee Bar, and Tbar -- are all closed.

Does anyone have any alternate cafe recommendations? Only real requirements are:
- open on Sundays (in the early evening)
- easy walk from the Convention Center
- plentiful seating
- not primarily a food place, as we will not be eating

Good coffee is of course a plus.

Thanks, chowhounders!

Oct 30, 2008
righter in Pennsylvania

Artisan cake bakery?

Brown Betty (http://www.brownbettydesserts.com/bro...) might be worth a look.

May 15, 2008
righter in Pennsylvania

Looking for the name of this common dessert

What is the name for the tiny gelatinous cubes often served at restaurants with fancy truffles? They are pretty tiny... slightly smaller than cubed cheese -- about the size of cucumber cubes in an Israeli salad.

They are kind of like crystallized jelly cubes and are generally fruity in flavor. These are often served at fancy restaurants along with a complimentary dessert presentation of small foods (tea cookies, truffles, chocolates, etc). These are *not* Turkish delights, wine gums, or petit fours (some suggestions from others), but I'm pretty sure there's a name more specific than "tiny cubed jellies."

Any ideas?

Thanks for any help in advance!

Nov 27, 2007
righter in General Topics

Philly Sunday Brunch spot w/music?

I think Zanzibar Blue, Ortlieb's, Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant, and Lucky Strike (bowling place) all do a jazz brunch, though perhaps not every Sunday. I think Plough in the Stars does a brunch with Irish music. I can't speak to the quality of the food, the music, or the prices at these places b/c I've never been myself. But those are some to look into at least. I'm not sure how important music is to you though -- I wouldn't rank any of these as in the top 20 brunch places in this city.

Nov 11, 2007
righter in Pennsylvania

Saturday brunch in Philly, reservations allowed?

This is a very belated update, but I just wanted to report that the food at Valley Green was absolutely delicious, and very inventive (just check out the menu on their website). The setting was also totally fantastic -- you're in the middle of the woods, overlooking a pond, in this lovely white cottage, but somehow you're in the city limits.

Recommended for an occasion or for a two-hour getaway!

Aug 23, 2007
righter in Pennsylvania