Sunset Park Recommendations?
I'm moving from Park Slope to Sunset Park, and as silly as it sounds, am nervous about food options. I've scoured this site for recommendations, but can't really find many who have good things to say about restaurants in SP.
I made the same move and haven't looked back. Not sure what part of SP you're moving to, though -- and that is relevant, especially with respect to avenues, because living down close to 4th, you will not likely be making a quick stop at any of the 8th Ave establishments, or vice versa. Just a couple of suggestions:
On 4th around 43rd St. or so, there is a great Mexican restaurant called Eclipse, which (unusual for the neighborhood) has an extensive vegetarian menu, in addition to a very large regular menu. I have eaten there a few times, and never been disappointed; plus, it is nice to sit in for a low-key evening dinner out in the neighborhood (they also deliver, though, which is great). The rice and beans are delicious, the guacamole is very fresh and cilantro-y, and the chips seem to be fried in-house. My boyfriend hates beans (I know, ridiculous) and he loves their BBQ chicken burrito. They have a nice mix of small snacks (sopes, huaraches, etc) and larger plates, and it is definitely not the cheese-laden ridiculousness served up at a lot of NYC Mexican places. Think De Mole in Sunnyside, by means of comparison, but a larger menu.
I really enjoy Johnny's Pizza, up on 5th Ave btwn 58th and 59th -- just ordered in a grandma pie and a pepperoni pie this wknd, and they were both solid neighborhood pizzas. Also, it's good to support this long-established local business in light of the Papa John's that opened right NEXT DOOR not too long ago :(
Many of the Mexican bakeries have good coffee; nothing fancy or Starbucks-ish, just nice, freshly brewed strong coffee.
I haven't trekked up the hill to 8th Ave all that often, but I spent a Saturday afternoon assembling ingredients for a dinner party, and was pleased with the produce and fish offerings at various groceries up and down 8th. I was mostly between 54th and 60th Streets, more or less, and there are numerous stores there; I can't remember the names, but there were quite a few.
Outside the church on 4th Ave and 53rd St, people sometimes set up a table selling various Mexican snacks. Passing by in the evening, you can just see what they have (it varies) and it's usually pretty tasty -- I've had fried chicken tacos, sopes, and tamales. Their sauces are always good, so I always order whatever I'm eating "con todo". They will cover up a plate of food with tin foil if you want to take it home with you.
Welcome to the neighborhood and don't worry, you probably won't miss all those kinda-expensive, kinda-not-that-good Park Slope restaurants....
La Sultana del Valle is a good Columbian place on 8th and 40th, plus or minus a block. There's a good Vietnamese sandwich place a couple of blocks south on 8th on the west side of the street. For Malaysian food, Nyonya at 8th Ave and 54th Street is one of my regular favorites.
Thanks for the skinny on La Sultana. I often pass it on the way to Asian places and I've wondered about it. Didn't know it was Colombian.
The best taqueria I've found is the place that most people call Ricos Tacos (It actually has another name, but the descriptive moniker is in bigger lettering). It's on 51st off 5th. Puebla Mini Market makes killer jumbo pressed tortas. The only Ecuadorian place I've tried is El Tesoro Ecuatoriano. It's pretty good.
Here's my roundup of 8th Avenue Asian favorites: