JH Restaurants to Impress?
Just moved to JH and was looking for a few restaurants here that would impress my friends in Manhattan and encourage them to take an 11 minute subway ride to my new neighborhood.
Most people coming from outside JHs like going to the Jackson Diner. It's one of the best know Indian restaurants, good food (assuming you all like Indian food) and fun looking inside. And that part of town is very unique. Plus it's one block from the Roosevelt Ave. train station which makes it real convenient. If you like Thai food, there's Arunee Thai on 79th St. right off of Roosevelt. Both these places are moderately priced, have beers and are different looking inside. Do you and your friends like spicy foods? Cuz these are spicier than American food.
Pio Pio on Northern though on weekend evenings there's a huge wait. Great fun, festive atmosphere, cheap fantastic food etc.
La Porteña on 37th Ave near 75th has fun gaucho decor and very good Argentine fare. It's also quite near the 74th/Bway/Roosevelt subway stop.
I would second Pio Pio for being a fun alternative (for price and atmosphere) to Manhattan (although I think there is, or at least once was an upper east side branch of it). I have friends who regularly journey for La Portena (affordable for steaks). I think Deshi Biryiani has a cute atmosphere and I prefer it to Jackson Diner.
I think the key here is that the food in JH is authentic, tasty, and prices are good. Hard to beat combination.
Zabb & Sripraphai - they are both better than any Thai restaurant I've been to in Manhattan and Sri has a very pretty garden for alfresco dining.
Upi Jaya - Indonesian restaurant with spotty service, but the food makes up for all that.
Taste Good - technically Elmhurst but it is near the Elmhurst Ave stop on the R train. The decor is not at all impressive - but the Malaysian food is. Their belacan, I think, is homemade which I've never had in Manhattan.
These have all been reviewed in other posts or newspapers.
I have not been to Upi Jaya but I can tell you that the food at Miningasli is excellent, service is fine and the decor will remind older hounds of the original Srip. My Manhattan friends call me to meet them for dinner at Srip as it is midway between us. If one considers all the places within walking distance of the 7 train there is almost an endless number of impressive restaurants. Like many hounds I have lived in Manhattan and if the OP's Manhattan friends are impressed by great ethnic cuisine they will come to Queens often.
Depends on what your friends would be impressed by. Are they looking for something like a Buddakan? If they're impressed by decor, a lot of restaurants in JH probably won't impress your friends. I've found Rice to not be bad though. And Pio Pio on Northern Boulevard is nice (except that there are 3 Pio Pios in Manhattan now, though none of them match the decor as the JH one).
If they're impressed by very cheap, delicious "ethnic" eats, than you've got a lot to choose from.
It all depends on what your friends are looking for. Having lived in JH for nearly all of my 28 years, i can agree that as far as depth/variety of cuisine and price goes, there is possibly no other alternative to JH/Elmhurst/Woodside in any neighborhood ( plus we're really close to flushing, which speaks for itself) But, i find myself being frustrated with fact there isn't any new/modern American places in JH. This is where manhattan/BK takes over. We can probably go on for hours discussing why an american place in JH won't be successful -- but i beg to differ.
If they are into good food then try Inti Raymi on 37th ave.
Pio Pio is definitely a fun, energetic atmosphere and the food just plain tastes good( i do have my reservations) But overall is definitely above and beyond anything JH has to offer with regard to interior decorating.
IMHO, i find some, if not most disshes at Nusura in Elmhurst on Broadway to be A LOT better than Sri Pha Phai, but Sri is definitely above and beyond ANYTHING you'll find in manhattan or BK.
Taqueria Coatzingo on Roosevelt and 75th street is great; but may be to authentic for some.