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I need Rego Park & Flushing Recommendations

I'll be visiting Queens this weekend. Actually I'll be staying in Rego Park while some visiting Midwesterners make my apartment in the East Village their home.

What do I eat? Where do I go? I want good food. I am not looking for ambiance or service. Just good food. Also I'd like to do dim sum in Flushing this Sunday. Or should I not do dim sum because I'll be by myself? Anyone care to join? I have a feeling JFores has all my answers. Jfores.........

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  1. dim sum is a must and is always fun alone. i do JADE ASIAN for dim sum and on a sunday you will be seated with other people which is always fine with me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefjellynow

      But doesn't that mean I'll have to finish each small plate by myself rather than being able to share it? That way I'll end up full soon and without tasting many of their dim sum offerings.

      1. re: MostSalmonForYourRupee

        HEHE, good Q most salmon. when i go alone which is basically everytime, i always ask them to wrap for takeout any pieces i do not eat. i always have some good leftovers. but for the most part i finish most plates. i usually order on average 5-7 plates

    2. Go to Chengdu Heaven in Flushing. Also check out the other stalls in the same mall. It is divine and it will culture shock the hell out of your Midwestern guests which is oodles of fun. Make sure to print the translated menus courtesy of Brian S and Joe. As noted, check the Chengdu Heaven post for all of this. Another stall in there serves up delicious biang biang mien with lamb and other dishes from Xi'an. Still more have Fujianese fish balls, hand pulled noodles, and then there's a really good pork/chive dumpling place in the back. Overall, that mall is not to be missed. A new mall has started up just down the block and on ground level, but the Szechuan food I've had there has not yet compared to Chengdu Heaven. BTW, if it's a Monday (and some Thursday!!!) the good chef at Chengdu Heaven is out and they won't be able to do all of the really good menu. If he's in then I rec shredded stomach ma la from middle, ma po do fu from towards the exit, water cooked beef (lacking in beef though), fish and tofu, oh God so many. I love that place.

      While not being in Rego Park, Arzu or Cheburechnaya both serve up some insane kebabs and Uzbek food in better. I prefer Arzu because their lagman is head and shoulders above that served at Cheb, though I miss Cheb's lamb fat kebabs. I believe Arzu is cheaper too. Arzu is REALLY cheap. Chengdu Heaven too. If you want to sit down after doing so much stall eating in Flushing THEN do dim sum as you'll be snacking and paying per portion anyway so you guys can just grab one of each thing instead of really going wild. Everything in Flushing is within easy walking distance too!

      4 Replies
      1. re: JFores

        Thanks JFores for taking the time. I'll be spending most of my eating time in Flushing. So your tips help. I am hoping all these places are a short hop from the Flushing # 7 train stop.

        1. re: MostSalmonForYourRupee

          Second and third whatever JFores says. I really like the Xi'an food stall. If you only have room for a snack, order the rou bing (spiced lamb in a bun) although the friendly owner will try to tempt you into ordering the lamb noodles.

          In Flushing as well - search the board for A Fan Ti. Great food from the Xinjiang region of China. Really good lamb dishes, and the enoki mushroom/cucumber salad is awesome.

          If you want to go to an Uzbek restaurant (and are not tired of lamb yet), make sure it's on a Sunday evening when all 3-4 generations of Uzbek families descend onto Cheb or Arzu. Maybe the patriarchs will send over a bottle of tequila, like they did when I went there.

          As for dimsum - I've never done it on my own. It'll definitely be a challenge finishing all the food. Maybe stroll over to Malaysia Restaurant (135-17 40th Rd) and order a Hainanese Chicken Rice. Or the BBQ skate dish - I was in heaven the last time I tried it. Get the roti canai too - I thought it was the best version of all the Malaysian restaurants I've eaten at.

          1. re: yt28

            Just one minor correction to yt28's post above. A Fan Ti is currently closed. It's one of my favorite restaurants in Flushing and I stopped by there about 3 weeks ago. The doors were locked and there was obvious construction going on. You just reminded me to call so I did (it's 12:30 on Saturday). The good news is that there was no answer, much better than a recording that says the phone has been disconnected. Hopefully, they'll be back soon.

            1. re: el jefe

              A Fan Ti is closed?!!! I hope it's not permanent! I love that place to bits!

      2. I still like Tangra Wok and Istanbul on QB.

        4 Replies
        1. re: esyle

          Cheburichnaya, on 63rd Drive btwn Austin and Wetherole IS in the heart of Rego Park, and I agree with the rec. Arzu is on Queens Blvd and 67th Rd, technically two blocks outside RP, but I haven't mustered the courage to try it.
          Depending on where in Rego Park you are, you could do worse than trying Pio Pio on Woodhaven Blvd for excellent Peruvian chicken.
          I'd avoid Tangra Wok. If you want Indian/Chinese, Tangra Masala on Grand Ave 1/2 block off Queens Blvd in Elmhurst is the place to go.

          1. re: el jefe

            Thanks. I have been to Tangra Masala once before. It's good to go in a group. Everyone here seems to like Istanbul and I have read Chowhounds recommend Pio Pio before. So will have to try them both.

          2. re: esyle

            I agree, esyle. Those are my two favorite restaurants in Rego Park. Don't miss the Gobi Manchurian at Tangra Wok. And the appetizer assortment at Istanbul is just delicious!

            1. re: Anne

              Yes! I agree about the Gobi, maybe a bit too much ginger for my liking, but I love the heat. Their soups are great too. At Istanbul, all the dips are great and that app w/the feta melted inside is to die for. May need to take a stroll there for lunch soon and sit out back now that the weather is getting nicer..

          3. Also check out Bagelette (they changed owners a couple years ago, so I don't like them nearly as much, but they are certainly okay to satisfy the bagel cravings--they used to have killer salmon salad and herring salad, as well, and good tuna salad with vegetable) on 63rd Rd down the street from Sears complex--and there's a takeout Russian deli next door to it that has some good stuff----there's also an Israeli Restuarant, called On the Grill that's on Queens Blvd near to 65th Ave--I think..it's on the south side of Queens Blvd...they've got good falafel and all the fixin's so walk on the side where you see Platinum Gym and head east and you'll hit it within a couple blocks. Stay away from the new vegan place, Terra Sana, it seems to uniformly suck. The Istanbul place has very good eggplant salad. Also, if you walk down 64th ave to 108th Street, there's a bunch of Russian deli stuff, and my favorite Israeli grocery store, Carmel, where you can get a good asst of dried fruits, nuts, pita, yogurt cheese, and lots of Israeli import stuff.. very busy and popular little place.

            2 Replies
            1. re: janie

              Some of the kosher places may be closed for Passover, which ends Sunday, so just a word to the wise.

              1. re: janie

                Thanks Janie. That's very kind of you. I'd really try to get to the Israeli grocery store and buy some specialties from Israel.

              2. knish nosh of course, andre's for their cheese puffs, but beyond that, can't think of any amazing standouts aside from the uzbek brigade (and it is very good eats). 108th street on the north side of queens blvd has some interesting shops and things tho. wish there was something particularly niche/chow-worthy but those are the only things that come to mind. skip tangra wok tho and the whole of austin street (is that mean?).

                5 Replies
                1. re: bigjeff

                  andre's not just for the cheese puffs (in fact, i don't think i've ever had the cheese puffs there) but for the chocolate kugelopf, the rugelach, and the strudel (not the apple, but the poppy and the cherry)

                  and the lagman at arzu is very good--nice homemade noodles.

                  1. re: missmasala

                    ya I thought everybody knew about the rugelach and the poppy strudel too but they have these lemon cheese puffs dusted w/ confectioners: out of control good.

                  2. re: bigjeff

                    The op asked for Rego Park, not Forest Hills....so, yes, Knish Nosh and Andre's, but they are Forest Hills---for the record. Tangra Wok gets some love on this board, but I thought I'm in the minority for not liking it...the place is steeped in msg---

                    1. re: janie

                      well, a hop and a skip I guess. if 67th ave is supposed to be the dividing line (or sometimes the north-south split of queens blvd), then so be it. depends on where they're staying, some of the woodhaven blvd recs are not exactly close, if you're over by this part of queens blvd. from your posts, I know you're in the hood, I'm on booth myself.

                      oh and sunflower on queens blvd has interesting stuff sometimes; its a dried fruit/nut/middle eastern goods place, closed on saturdays and open sundays. always worth a look around.

                      1. re: bigjeff

                        Its Passover, until tomorrow night...so Cheburechnaya and Bagelette will be closed.

                  3. I am back in my apartment in the East Village after staying in Queens for four days. But I didn't quite stay in the neighborhood that I had sought dining recommendations here for. To those who responded with Rego Park must-visits, I thank you very much and promise to not play truant the next time I am in Queens. I put up in Jackson Heights instead.

                    On the first day of my visit, a Friday, I took the 7 train from 82nd to Flushing Main St. I went straight to Spicy & Tasty. I had planned on wringing the most value out of their six dollar lunch special. But after a couple of quick vertical scans of their lunch special menu - from top to bottom and then again from bottom to top - I was disappointed to not find a single lamb dish. Then I looked at the rest of the menu and found one of the two must-have lamb dishes that I had jotted down. The shredded lamb in something wasn't listed. The waitress didn't know what I was talking about. So I ordered the lamb in chile pepper - the other must-have. It was 12.95. It was a generous plate. It tasted well. But after finishing half of the plate, monotony set in. I think it's best to have company to share each others' big but different orders. But I have a feeling that if indeed it was a knockout taste I'd have wolfed down the whole thing and not whine about boredom later. I did finish my meal. As also the ginger and garlic that came with the lamb. I had paid for the roasted chili peppers so I ate most of those too. Then I went and looked for the stalls in the basement of the Golden Mall. I wanted to know where I was going to lunch the next day. I found both the Chengdu ( # 31 ) and the Xian ( # 36 ) stalls. On the way back I broke my journey at the very next stop - Shea Stadium. I swam for an hour in the Olympic-size Flushing Meadows pool. The pool is lovely! And I made it back just in time to Jackson Heights. Just in time to not have my name cited in the next day's Queens Chronicle as the culprit behind the horrible defecation accident that cut short the Friday afternoon swim of hundreds of Queens residents in the brand new pool. It's at times like these that I am reminded not everything goes wrong in my life.

                    That night I waited in line for an arepa and a chuso by the arepa lady on Roosevelt ave and 78th st. Both were tasty. The next day I returned to Flushing for lunch. I went to the Xian stall. The owner spoke good English. He recommended the ' Lamb Bone In '. I had one of that besides a lamb burger and a lamb noodle soup. This was a very satisfying meal. Loved it!

                    On Saturday evening I was in Brooklyn to attend a house party. There I made friends with a lady who coincidentally lives in Jackson Heights. The next day we lunched together at Sripraphai. We shared the papaya salad as well as two items from their seasonal menu: a Tom Yum with coconut slices soup and a whole fried red snapper. It was not a bad meal. I choose those words because I wasn't in heaven as I had expected to be. I relish Thai food and had read countless times that Sripraphai is the best. Maybe I should have ordered the steamed whole fish. How different was Sripraphai's papaya salad from that of any other Thai restaurant? I don't know. The soup was the best of three.

                    Sunday evening I played lazy using the downpour outside as an excuse to not dine at Pio Pio as I had planned to.

                    On Monday I reversed order and went swimming first in Flushing Meadows to be followed by lunch at Chengdu. I didn't wish to be punished by the Gods for being too cocky about my good fortune the last time. I went to one of the two ladies at Chengdu and pointed to the $ 9.99 sign. I had learned from Brian S' posts on the Chengdu thread that this was the fish & tofu. She said something in one of the Chinese languages. She then helplessly pointed me to an English speaking customer. He told me there was no cook on Mondays but insisted I have the beef soup that he was slurping. I tried to get away saying ' I don't eat beef '. He said ' she'll make it for you with vegetables '. I said ' it's Ok I'll come back tomorrow when the cook is back'. The lady agreed but the customer still tried to cajole me a few more times. He was being hospitable and usually I am very pliant. But the lamb burger from two stalls down was calling me back. I needed just an excuse to go back to the Xian stall. And the absence of the star cook at Chengdu was the perfect pretext for me to taste my beloved lamb burger at Xian again. Does anyone here know which days the cook is working at the Chengdu stall? I had also read praises of the Biang Bian noodles at Xian. So I ordered the noodles besides the burger. I had the burger first. Then the noodles. I left half the noodles uneaten and then ordered another lamb burger. I just don't get what is so unearthly about those Biang Biang noodles. I didn't like them.

                    The lamb burger and the lamb noodle soup at Xian together make an unforgettable meal. I am hooked. I now have my at-least-once-a-week trip to Flushing planned - swimming in the spic and span pool in Flushing Meadows followed by a hearty lunch at the Xian stall.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MostSalmonForYourRupee

                      I think the virtues of the biang biang mian are in the mouthfeel of the fresh, handmade and hand-torn noodles, plus the complexity and subtleness of the saucing. You won't find much meat in them or in most of the Xi'an stall's noodle dishes. That's what the rou jia mo (lamb-, beef- and pork burgers) are there for, I guess.

                      For the record, the chef-owner of the Xi'an stall appears to be off on Tuesday (at least he was this past Tuesday) but his assistant (the taller of the two women that help him) doesn't seem to miss a beat.