- Jim Leff
Lisa (and anyone else who cares to pipe in):
Have you been to marino's brick oven pizza 163-01 29th ave 539-0097? It's run by the owners of a nice Italaian market (next door), and all ingredients are thus ultra-fresh. They make a great chopped tomato square slice, and even their regular slices are primo.
Also, I assume you know donovan's on bell boulevard for great cheeseburgers (gotta ask for sauteed onion)
Newsday's Sylvia Carter likes the food at Arigato 221-02A Horace harding Expressway at Springfield Blvd bayside 423-2888
But...big question...has Mediterranean Grill 192-02 northern blvd 357-2500 gone downhill, as I've heard? it was for a while the best greek in NYC (and I'm an Astoria resident, so that's high praise), but I've heard reports of bad meals there.
Marino's, believe it or not, is right down the block from my home. Peter and Paul Marino, the owners of the supermarket and pizzeria are friends of the family so I can't be as objective as I'd like (how unnoble of me!) We shop at their market daily..( You know us Italians and our vendettas- I have to live with these people...) However, you will note that I did not mention the lovely Marinos in my Best Pizza in NYC entry. While they do have a nice selection of toppings (I especially like the Broccoli di rape), their dough doesn't have that chewy, yeastiness that I 've come to love in a good pizza. My mom, something of a chowhound herself, says the dough tastes like Wonder White. I tend to agree with her. The neigborhood consensus, however is that Marino's pizza is GREAT. A perfect case of what my High School Latin teacher would attribute to his "gustibus non est disputandus" philosophy- Taste certainly is not disputable.... Bottom Line- you'll find me at Matese when I have a yen for a slice....
As for Donovan's, I'm with ya! Great burgers!!! Copious amounts of fried onions and a roll of Certs for the ride home. I've not been to Arigato (that and Peter Gianotti's Persian pick, Patoug, have been on my Culinary To Do list for ages- I keep getting side tracked and starting DIETS....) As for Mediterrranean Grill, I haven't been there in ages. It was Stellar, with a capital "S" the last time. Based on what you're saying I might want to stay away and remember it fondly...
Hey, have you tried the grilled vegetable and buffalo mozzrella focaccia sandwiches at Graziella's pizzeria (on Francis Lewis Blvd next to D'aquila pastry shop (another entry)? Molto Bene, baby!! Best couple of bucks you'll spend on a quick lunch in Queens. Slabs of charred eggplant, grilled zucchini, fresh roasted red and yellow peppers, portabello mushrooms, some thick rings of raw Bermuda onion, a couple of basil leaves, a hearty slice of mozzarella a generous sprinkle of Calabrian Olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Pheeew!! All this between two chunks of fragrant, yeasty (yes, I realize I've used that adjective twice in this entry...) herb-infused Foccacia. A huge baking sheet of this sits on top of the plexiglass pizza show case. Cars sometimes double park outside, Italian peppers dangling from the rearview mirrors, their owners queued up at the counter hoping to get the sandwich with focaccia fresh from the oven. I personally pick up a slice after a good stairmaster session at my gym which is conveniently located next door... Ahh, the ironies of life!!
Also, have you tried the super Chicken kebabs at Fontana's Famous at the intersection of Francis Lewis and Northern Blvd.? Pretty damn good- nice velvety, grilled hunks of chicken with one of the best tzsaiki (sp.- too lazy to look it up) sauces and the sweetest tomatoes in the universe. (what's with the Greeks? They have THE monopoly on the greatest tomatoes.) Do your best to avoid the gyro pizza which is an oily, meaty mess and whose lingering odor in your mouth (scrub as you may it does NOT leave) will ensure that you are celibate for life.
You also have to come for St. Joeseph's day in March when a lot of the devout Sicilans in the neighborhood set up altars in their homes and open their doors for the less fortunate (and a lot of not so unfortunate people) to share the delicacies of the holiday. I'll let you know..
There's a lot more where this came from but I am reminded of the very sage and witty Voltaire who once said that "To say everything is the most boring thing." Don't feel obliged to respond to everything- I'm sure you're real busy, and anyway this is some kind of wacko theraputic thing for me to do,,,,
Happy eating and remember, NEVER EAT MORE THAN YOU CAN LIFT!!!!!(the title of a new book of food quotations that will make great stocking stuffesr for your foodie friends.)
Ciao, buona notte, Your Flushing Food Fiend
re: Jim Leff
I'm around the corner from Marino's and I agree that
the pizza is good, but Graziella's ( as long as you
tell them "thin & crisp" ) is probably one of the best
pizzas in Queens. I wrote about Marino's market a
couple of months ago in response to a guy in Jersey
looking for Mozzarella. This place is PRIMO!
Another interesting little Italian spot is Aunt Bella's
on Marathon Parkway in Douglaston. Stick to the basics
and you should enjoy this place. Excellent pizza with
anchovies, Veal Parmesan etc. JK