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Dec 14, 1999 05:08 PM

Any Arab/Mid-Eastern delis in Queens?

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Help, I need some fresh dates! Does anybody know of any Arab or Middle Eastern grocery stores in Queens? I'm already familiar with Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue.Andy Coe

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  1. Try 43rd Street at 43rd Avenue (forgot the name). Their own creations are merely good, but they stock all the necessary staples.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Allan Evans

      The place at 43rd and 43rd (which I still call Pyramid even though that's no longer the name) has a couple of prepared foods that make it into the "very good" bracket -- two that come to mind are babaghanouj and kibbe. Their bulk foods vary quite a bit -- they don't really have the high turnover necessary to insure that the bulk items are always fresh. But that said, I have gotten very good hazelnuts, cashews and pistachios there.

      There is also a similar kind of Middle Eastern deli place around the corner from there, on 43rd Ave. between (I think) 43rd and 42nd, or maybe the next block west. I never really spent much time there because I did not find the people who run it to be as pleasant as the proprietors of Pyramid.

      1. re: Jeremy Osner

        Thanks for your suggestions. I ended up going to an excellent Algerian-run deli in Astoria called Nasem or Haneen. It's at 25-65 Steinway Street and has an excellent supply of dates, including fresh ones from Algeria, as well as many other sweets.

    2. This is gonna be kind of vague because I haven't been there for a while, but...

      On the south side of Queens Blvd. in Rego Park there is (or at least was) a big shop that I think is called Sunflower Market, or something fairly generic like that. From what I remember, it's sort of an all-purpose Sephardic grocery, with both Middle Eastern & Central Asian stuff. had a GREAT selection of dates, nuts, dried fruit, and some pretty good olives and pickles. I know it was within a block or two of Ben's Deli.

      Anybody know anything about this place, or am I making it up?

      1. Carmel on 108th Street at the corner of ?65Rd/ave/st?
        Anyway it is on the corner of the first or last block of stores on 108th Street depending on which way you approach. It is right on the border of Forest Hills and Rego Park. I have seen fresh dates in there almost every year when they are in season. Have not been in recently. THey are the best source for middle eastern spices and whatnot very busy place constant turnover of food, so ever fresh. Also they roast their own coffee and will grind to your specs. They make hummous, baba, etc. I really like this bean salad they make with kidney beans, sundried tomato, olives, and lots of other stuff. Seem to have that only on the weekends? It's a tiny store chocked full of great food stuff.
        Enjoy. That Sunflower store on Queens Blvd. is ok and bigger but not as popular. IT is near the Rego Park Jewish Center I think

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lisa

          Thanks for pointing Carmel out, Lisa! I went by there today and was favorably impressed. (Though I don't think their feta cheese stands up to what's available in Astoria or Sunnyside.) I bought a container of Ikra, a red-caviar based dip they make, and it's pretty sensational. Also on the same block (I checked but then forgot; I believe the cross street is 64th Avenue) are a couple of very good eastern European delis.