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Apr 7, 2007 02:57 PM

rice avenue, chili chicken, la portena?

want to try new place in Jackson Heights...which is good, better, best? I know Rice Avenue is Thai, Chili chicken -Indian chinese, and La Portena is porteguese...will only eat steak, any shellfish, not fish eaters really, any veggies, white meat chicken only, and no pork, ......sorry to offend the more adventurous types...thanks for any feedback on these Jackson Heights places..

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  1. La Portena is actually an Argentinian steakhouse and one of my personal favorites for years. It is definitely worth a visit. I always order the La Portena salad, it has hearts of palm and an awesome balsamic vinaigrette, and the short ribs (it's beef, not pork). Skirt steak is great also.

    I've been to Rice Ave twice and it's good but Sriphaphai it's not. I remember enjoying their basil chicken and pad thai.

    1. I've ordered from Chili Chicken a few times recently and the food has been really good. They add heat without sacrificing flavor. Last night I had the shrimp in black bean sauce and would definitely recommend it. A friend had the spicy hakka chicken and it just about kicked his ass but it didn't stop him from continuing -- it was one tasty dish.

      When I'm feeling like having a Manhattany Thai meal, I go to (well, actually, order from) Rice Ave. It's good, not great. But it's consistent and I've never had a bad meal from them. And the mango with sticky rice dessert is a great way to end any meal (well, if you like mango, sticky rice, and coconut milk).

      I, pathetically, have not been to La Portena yet (although I've lived around the corner from it for more than two years now). Hmmm. But I've heard good things...

      1. I must preface by saying that Ihaven't been to Chili Chicken and it's sounds good to me, although nothing in the atmosphere category, from what I can see. I have been to Rice Ave. and it was fine but not good enough to entice me to a return visit. There are other, better Thai restaurants around, and the decor is fine but nothing special. La Porteña, on the other hand, is probably consistently the best Argentine restaurant around and has the most atmosphere. It's all wood inside and full of Argentine and gaucho items all over the walls. They have some great steak, as well as other meats. I like their wonderful Spanish fries (potato slices fried), especially 'a la Provencal' which comes with garlic and parsley. They have fine sangría and watercress salads. They also have sides of veggies like spinach. They have a wine selection, but I really haven't explored it because I've always had the sangría. It's more of a destination restaurant than either of the others.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JH Jill

          Yeah, there are definitely better Thai restaurants in the neighborhood but...I keep Rice Ave around in the order-in menu stash cause they deliver a bit later than most others in the neighborhood. But since the poster wanted a place to go, not order in from, I agree with Jill that Rice Ave isn't a must.

        2. I live in Jackson Heights so I order from Rice Ave. pretty regularly. Their food is good -- nicely spices, always hits the spot on a rainy night --- but it's not destination eating. For that you should go to La Portena.

          Also, if you're looking for something new, how about the newest place in the neighborhood? You should try the chicken at Unidentified Flying Chicken on Roosevelt and 72nd. It's wonderful. They have little seats, but I don't think it's a sitdown place. Seriously delicious fried chicken with a light, crunchy batter and a variety of sauces ranging from sweet to savory to hot.

          1. I've never had any, but La Portena has a huge Italian menu, if you care. Italian dishes look good on other diners' tables, but I always get mixed grill - besides the steak I love their sweetbreads and morcilla (blood sausage). I also think their chimichurri is the best I've had.