calling all Queens experts!
This little social/travel group that I'm involved with is meeting up in NYC in June. For a suggested activity, I came up with the brilliant idea of "Eating Queens," that is, we'd be on a 'food safari' trying one or two dishes at different places. The problem is, with this brilliant idea also came the not so brilliant idea of getting restaurant suggestions.
Where it stands now is that we're definitely doing Georgian. Someone has already come up with a list, and provided some suggestions. Uzbek food was also suggested (by the same person, and he provided a list, too, but I'm not sure that would fly with the rest of the group.) Caribbean, specifically Dominican, Guyanese, & Trini, has also been bandied about, but nothing's firm on that. (And, maybe that's for another borough?)
Greek is definitely for dessert.
So, 'hounds, what I'm looking for from you is something to round this all out. I'm thinking Asian, but just not Chinese, Thai, Korean, or Vietnamese (since I can get pretty decent stuff around here). Or, maybe some sort of African. (Although, being close to DC, I'm used to very good Ethiopian, but North African could work!) Some focus & suggestions are desperately needed on the Caribbean front!
Of course, I'd welcome suggestions on any cuisines/restaurants that I couldn't possibly dream of, the kind that are stamped Only in Queens!
(And, someone else can deal with the nightmare aspect of pulling this together geographically!)
Thanks. Of course, if anyone needs help in Baltimore, I'd be more than glad to reciprocate!
oh, and if all this hasn't been long enough....just want to add: please, in addition to suggesting cuisines, please also provide (if this isn't obvious) the name of the restaurant, and, if at all possible, location and phone!
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I'm not the ultimate Queens expert in the cuisines you've mentioned, but for Thai, there's an obvious suggestion: Sripraphai in Woodside at 64-39 39th Road, just north of Roosevelt Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. It's generally acknowledged to be the best of the not-very-Americanized Thai places.
As for some of your suggestions - Dominican and African, I wouldn't recommend Queens. Manhattan is the best for Dominican, and the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan all have more African, except for Egyptian, which you can find in Astoria on Steinway street. Kabab Cafe at 25-12 Steinway is a hole-in-the-wall place right off the Grand Central Parkway that's run by a wonderful character named Ali, an often inspired chef. He serves some very interesting appetizers.
There are some people who can recommend Guyanese or Trindadian cuisine in Jamaica or Richmond Hill areas, but I haven't had anything amazing since I'm rarely in that area.
There are also many threads about Korean and Vietnamese food. We have great Korean but less impressive Vietnamese in Queens. (Now if you want something in Little Saigon in the OC, I can get you that info, but not for Queens.)
In my neck of the woods, Jackson Heights, we can serve you hearty Colombian, meaty Argentine/Uruguayan, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, or Mexican, as well as Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi. There are also several Nepali places around. We also have an interesting Burmese cafe and there are a number of Chinese-Indian places that serve a different fusion. We also have many delightful Turkish eateries.
If you want to look up some of those threads or ask more specific questions, I'm sure you'll get other helpful suggestions.
re: musette fan
Sorry. We don't have Turkish in Jackson Heights. That should have been a different paragraph, and those in the know will also realize that some of the Chinese-Indian places are in Sunnyside, Elmhurst and Rego Park. I wish we had one too, but I haven't found any here yet. We cna only hope.
I think the place which serves the enormous bosnian burgers would be something unique. Haven't eaten there, but always wanted to:
31-29 12th St
Long Island City, Qns
and seems like it might be western queens that you want to stick with, since you'll be doing your dessert in astoria. in terms of sunnyside/lic choices, maybe Tangra? I forget the name, but its an Indian-Chinese restaurant on Queens Blvd in Sunnyside that should be quite good. The good east asian stuff is all out in flushing or further into Woodside, but if you're thinking that, I'd very much recommend Ihawan, which is filipino bbq (get a few pork sticks, a few chicken sticks, and an order of their grilled longanisa).
if you wanted carib/guyanese, maybe head out to Jamaica queens (there's a sybils on hillside ave there) or to richmond hill/liberty ave, but I think that might be out of your way, again, if you're sticking with western queens. anyway, do some searches for prime eats in Sunnyside, there are some wonderful restaurants there, and you could definitely find good dominican/columbian/peruvian chicken places, etc.