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European-style vegetable market in Queens

Does anyone know of a good European-style (at least Mediterranean-style) veggie market preferably in North Queens? I have a number of wonderful Asian markets but they don't stock things like artichokes or cardoons or little zucchini (aka courgettes) or fresh carrots. Any ideas?

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  1. What do you mean by fresh carrots? From someone's garden? Individual with the green tops on?

    Dunno who'd have those kind of carrots in Queens. I do all my fruit and veggie shopping at the 24hr Greek markets on 30th Ave and 33rd St, or the Top Tomato on Ditmars Blvd or the little Korean place on Broadway and 29th St.

    Buuuuut....just a stone's throw from Northwestern Queens is Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and there's a wonderful little place called The Garden on Manhattan Avenue off Kent St. They may have what you're looking for.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rocky2

      Thanks. I'll try the Greek markets and see how that works. Next time I'm in Greenpoint for Polish I'll check out The Garden.

      1. re: oldfresser

        i was at the garden the other day, and there were small carrots with greens attached. artichokes, too. honestly, i'm not wild about their produce as i think the prices are high (even taking the organic angle into account) and the quality is more variable than i'd like it to be. still, it sounds like they may have what you're looking for.

    2. Not sure if this is near where you are looking for, but try Natural on Austin Street (paralell to Queens Boulevard) , just off of Ascan Avenue, in Forest Hills. They have the baby zucchini for sure and maybe artichokes and the carrots still with tops on them. What's a cardoon, by the way?

      If you're driving, make sure you bring your patience and quarters for the parking meters.

      15 Replies
      1. re: Shayna Madel

        please let us know if you find a place in Queens that sells cardoons! I was going to suggest SS Natural on Austin St, because I don't know northern Queens other than the Asian markets. (Hint: large bags of shallots, cheap, at Gold City on Kissena Blvd at Juniper Ave. I love the meat and seafood there, too)

        Not that they will have cardoons and their fresh produce is inconsistent, but be aware that Trader Joes on Metropolitan Ave at Woodhaven Blvd is supposed to open in November

        1. re: kenito799

          I will pass by Natural tonight on my walk home from work and ask if they carry them, but what's a cardoon? Fruit? Veggie?

          As for TJ's, I just got a response from them today in answer to my recent inquiry about an opening date and all they would say is that they do not have a confirmed opening date, but hope to open by the end of the year. Yet, they had a job fair 3 weeks ago. Go figure.

          1. re: Shayna Madel

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardoon

            I have never had them but they are an Italian favorite home-cooking dish. My brother-in-law's mother used to collect them by the roadsides in Minnesota and fry them.

            SS Natural had some awesome-looking dandelion greens the last time I was there.

            1. re: Shayna Madel

              Slightly off topic sorry but OMG are you serious on TJs? END OF YEAR? They've been saying October for a year now and I am tired of schlepping out to Merrick! Sorry for the rant.

              As for parking near The Natural, I would go for a spot on Yellowstone or the Queens Blvd. service road. They are nearby and there are usually plenty of spaces (and I am the world's worst parker).

            2. re: kenito799

              During the early springtime, I've seen cardoons in Astoria on 30th Ave at a greengrocer on the corner of one of the blocks between 31st street and 35th street - if you hit the hobby shop next to Tony & Dave's Salumeria at the corner of 35th street you've gone too far. Sorry I can't remember the exact location - it's on the opposite side of the street from the Trade Fair. They were nice spineless cardoons too, not too much trouble to clean.

              1. re: plum

                I'm going to Astoria tomorrow so I'll check out the greengrocer -- too early for cardoons but this may be the kind of place I'm looking for. Thanks.

                1. re: plum

                  Both United Fruit and Elleniki (30th Ave around 31-32 Street) had cardoons. But this time the artichokes were too good (and cheap) to pass up. There's only so much thistle a man can eat.

                2. re: kenito799

                  I checked Natural tognight. No cardoons, but they did have artichokes, teeny zucchini and carrots with the leaves attached, among other things.

                  As to TJ, dead serious as to info in my post from earlier today. By the way, TJ in Plainview is just as close as Merrick and one strip mall over is a great old-style bakery with great danish, coffee cakes, breads, etc., curiously enough named The Bakery.

                  1. re: Shayna Madel

                    Colombos on Metropolitain around 75th generally carries cardoon (though I know them as garduna). They tend to specialize in Italian veg, carrying faba beans, artichokes and things like that. Ironically they're now Korean owned, but they still cater to their Italian clientele.

                    1. re: Sarotchka

                      Interesting-I don't really go to Metro to shop, so I did not go to this place. I tend to go to Natural, as it is on my walking path to and from work, but when I am in the car, I will pop over to Colombo's. Never hurts to have an alternate place to go for things. And I can sorta make it on my way to or from TJ's when it finally opens.

                    2. re: kenito799

                      Occaisionally stop and shop in glendale and maspeth have cardoons, artichokes, but none of the other stuff you mention.

                    3. re: Shayna Madel

                      Thanks for the info. Cardoons are related to artichokes, but it's the stem that's eaten rather than the flower. It looks like a large, flat, kind of grey celery. You generally see them in late December. Italians like to make them around Christmas by peeling, boiling, and deep frying. They taste like the stem and base of a globe artichoke. Very tasty but some people find them bitter.

                      1. re: oldfresser

                        No cardoons at Natural, at least within the last few days...

                        1. re: Shayna Madel

                          Following some good suggestions above I tried the two greengrocers on 30th ave around 31-32 streets (United Fruit and Elleniki). Both had what I was looking for. The cardoons were less than stellar but now I know where to get them. Thanks.