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5 Day Outer-Borough Eating Tour- HELP NEEDED!!

aarong1000 Jul 8, 2008 07:58 AM

I have five days (Monday-Friday of next week) to hit up the best ethnic restaurants outside of Manhattan- All the restaurants I've "always wanted to go to", but have never made the time to try. I need your help. DiFara's pizza is on the list. So is Sripraphai. Is there a kick-ass Russian joint I need to try in Brighton Beach? Some Italian place near Arthur Avenue? Chinese or Indian awesomeness in Queens I need to get with? What about food from some country I've never heard of?

I'm looking for the best ethnic places to eat outside of Manhattan. Thanks for your help!

  1. l
    LUVDAFOOD Jul 22, 2008 07:46 PM


    1. Kashei Jul 21, 2008 05:10 PM

      On Brighton Beach, Tatyana (right on the boardwalk) is the best for food though many of its dishes are Asian and French inspired. For totally authentic Russian food (and also BYOB as I recall), try Glechik.

      I also second the Gargiulo's recommendation for Italian. It's old-school and awesome. Get the risotto.

      1. j
        JFores Jul 8, 2008 10:11 PM

        I'll give a rough list and elaborate on it after I sleep.

        Chengdu Tian Fu aka Chengdu Heaven in Golden Mall, Flushing
        Xi'an Stand in Golden Mall, Flushing
        Muslim Snacks in upstairs of Golden Mall, Flushing
        Basically anything in Golden Mall or the new street level mall
        Cheburechnaya for astoundingly good Uzbek food. I now prefer them to Arzu and the staff is oddly cheery and nice for a Russian place... compared to...
        Cafe Glechik in Brighton for excellent rabbit strew (NOTHING else is worthwhile at this place though) and the worst service you will ever have outside of Eastern Europe.
        Srip of course
        Di Fara Pizzeria of course
        Street food along Roosevelt Ave in Jackson Heights
        Rincon Criollo but only for the daily special in Jackson Heights
        Taqueria Coatzingo in Jackson Heighs
        Nusara and Chao Thai are also options, particularly on Wednesday, Elmhurst
        The Islands for Jamaican in Prospect Heights
        Bangladeshi at Ghoroa in Jackson Heights and more Indianized/Dhaka/fancy Bangladeshi at Deshi Biryani (I'd recommend the latter for a real meal, though it lacks the Bengali fish dishes I crave) in Jackson Heights
        The Bosnian Burger place (Bosna Express) in Elhmurst for a Bosnian burger or other grilled items. Also hit up the Ridgewood Pork Store if in the area for unbelievable salamis, dried meats, etc.
        Consider Sicilian places on Avenue U

        Jackson Diner is terrible. Avoid with extreme prejudice as Howler of the London boards would say. I'll think of more.

        Some more ideas, you could fit L&B Pizzeria aka Spumoni Gardens into any trip to the Bensonhurst area. Not the best square slices, but a Bensonhurst essential. Get the square and their spumoni which is pretty excellent.
        Deback Malick for solid and dirt cheap Nigerian on Fulton Ave in Bed Stuy
        Annie's Roti Shop in Ozone Park for possibly the best Trini food and rotis in New York. Amazing stuff at this place.
        Rockaway and Singh's Roti are alternatives in the area.
        If the Red Hook Ballfields ever open this year, make sure to get to them.

        I'd skip Spicy Mina's as it is highly inconsistent, overpriced, and their dishes are just not Bangladeshi enough for me.

        Oh and finally El Anzuelo Fino on Jamaica Ave in Richmond Hill/Woodside is an excellent Peruvian seafood restaurant.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JFores
          squid kun Jul 9, 2008 01:15 AM

          > Deback Malick for solid and dirt cheap Nigerian on Fulton Ave in Bed Stuy

          Also spelled as below, for anyone curious ...

          Dabakh Malick
          1191 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216

          1. re: JFores
            JFores Jul 9, 2008 07:02 AM

            Ahem, Ghoroa is at Jamaica and 169th. Deshi is in Jackson Heights. Silly mistake on my part.

            1. re: JFores
              aarong1000 Jul 9, 2008 09:10 AM

              This is gonna be awesome.

          2. l
            Lizard Jul 8, 2008 11:54 AM

            For Russian, go to Brighton Beach, if only because you also get the experience and the opportunity to cool your feet at the beach (and give a look at Coney Island).
            There I'd recommend going to the International Market (three stories of food to look at fun plus a top floor with steam trays from which to get a snack). There's also the Ocean View Cafe on Brighton Beach avenue which has decent enough food and Cafe Glechik although that may be a bit heavy.

            1. TongoRad Jul 8, 2008 11:39 AM

              You should also consider one of the Roti shops in the South Ozone Park area. Here is a recent thread:

              1. c
                Chandavkl Jul 8, 2008 11:19 AM

                Flushing dim sum is far superior to Manhattan Chinatown. You can choose between Ocean Jewels, Jade Asian, Gala Manor or several others.

                1. s
                  SKelly13 Jul 8, 2008 11:16 AM

                  How about Greek seafood in Astoria? Our favorite is Taverna Kyclades for octopus and grilled whole fish.

                  1. Astoria Lurker Jul 8, 2008 09:59 AM

                    Malagueta in Astoria (Brazilian), Little Pepper or Chengdu Heaven in Flushing (Chinese, both better than Spicy and Tasty), Philoxenia in Astoria (Greek), Arcos in Astoria (Portuguese), Piccola Venezia in Astoria (Italian), Trattoria L'Incontro in Astoria (Italian), BZ Grill in Astoria (Greek gyros)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Astoria Lurker
                      aarong1000 Jul 8, 2008 10:55 AM

                      Awesome reccomendations! Aside from Jackson Diner, is there any other south-asian place I need to try?

                      1. re: aarong1000
                        biondanonima Jul 8, 2008 11:28 AM

                        Do a search for posts by JFores - he knows a lot about Bangladeshi cuisine and the restaurants in Jackson Heights.

                        1. re: aarong1000
                          yt28 Jul 8, 2008 11:39 AM

                          Check out Spicy Mina or Tangra Masala (you have to ask for it really spicy, otherwise it's not as good).

                          I would spend a whole day in Flushing alone. There's food from Xi'an, Sichuan, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, amongst others, all with very distinct cooking styles. Make sure you get the 'lamb burger' from the Xi'an stall.

                          I also like Arzu or Cheburechnaya for Uzbek (Bukharan Jew) cuisine - after 8pm on a Sunday is when it gets really festive. Don't go on Friday. Cheb is usually more beginners-friendly than Arzu.

                      2. biondanonima Jul 8, 2008 09:54 AM

                        Cheburechnaya in Rego Park for lamb fat kebabs and chebureks. Chinese in Flushing - there are multiple threads on this topic - look for posts by Brian S. De Mole in Sunnyside for Mexican. You could also do Taqueria Coatzingo in JH.

                        1. g
                          gfood Jul 8, 2008 09:10 AM

                          I think you should try Milan's Restaurant, good Czech food.


                          1. bobjbkln Jul 8, 2008 08:40 AM

                            Gargiulo's seriously went downhill a few years ago. For Arthur Ave. Italian, the consensus is Roberto's. For Queen's Chinese, there are just too many in Flushing and from many different regions. A quick review of recent posts on the OB board should get you some recommendations. Forest Hills for Uzbek and Bukharin cuisine (heard of them?).

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bobjbkln
                              aarong1000 Jul 8, 2008 08:55 AM

                              These are great suggestions. Please keep them coming!!

                              1. re: aarong1000
                                Striver Jul 8, 2008 10:33 AM

                                If you make it to Arthur, aside from the Italian options (and Roberto's places, old and new, are the best choices for dining), stop at Tony and Tina's on 189th and Arthur and pick up a slice or two of Albanian cheese burek to take home (reheat in 400 deg. oven for 10 minutes - makes a great breakfast).

                            2. s
                              skooldya1 Jul 8, 2008 08:33 AM

                              oh and I almost forgot, go to 108th street in Queens for a variety of shops/eateries with Kazakhstan cuisine.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: skooldya1
                                Polecat Jul 8, 2008 06:41 PM

                                That's actually Uzbeki cuisine you're referring to. And, yeah, I agree, that section of 108th Street (border of Forest Hills/Rego Park) makes a nice addition to any NYC ethnic eating tour. The old warhorse on that strip is Salut, which has been mentioned many times on this board. The newer kid in town, occupying a storefront that has housed about 4 restaurants and changed names nearly as many times, is Registan (formerly Shalom, formerly Beautiful Bukhara). There are also some wonderful markets in the area - makes for a nice stroll.

                                1. re: Polecat
                                  bigjeff Jul 8, 2008 07:45 PM

                                  is it now registan again? last I recall, registan was closed but maybe it resurfaced? Arzu gets lots of praise, it's on QB nearish the 108th strip.

                                  1. re: bigjeff
                                    squid kun Jul 8, 2008 09:22 PM

                                    Was this place briefly called Zhemchuzhina?


                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                      bigjeff Jul 8, 2008 10:08 PM

                                      peter, I went by tonight and indeed, it has resurfaced in that spot; not sure about the old place, squidkun. I did enjoy some meals there when registan was on 99th street, just nearby.

                                      1. re: bigjeff
                                        Polecat Jul 9, 2008 08:11 AM

                                        This venue changes names more frequently than P. Diddy. The only time I checked it/them out was when it went by the name of Beautiful Bukhara, and I had a really good meal and wonderful, gracious service. My mouth is still watering at the memory of the juicy, delicious salmon kebab I had there - easily my favorite kebab out of all the celebrated joints in the area thus far.

                                2. s
                                  skooldya1 Jul 8, 2008 08:31 AM

                                  On Arthur Avenue, the best Italian restaurant is Roberto's, the best Neopolitan pie is Zeroe Otto Nove and the best sandwiches, eggplant parm and anti pasta platter is at Mike's Deli. Also, pick up some fresh mozzarella at Casa della Mozzarella and baked goods at Madonia Bros.

                                  Also in the Bronx, near Yankee stadium, is a great Jamaican joint called The Feeding Tree-the curried goat is awesome.

                                  In Queens, hit up Flushing Main Street for Chinese food. Go to Spicy and Tasty for a full meal and the AA Plaza under the LIRR for scallion pancakes. For dumplings and noodles, head down to the Dumpling Noodlehouse at 41-28 Mainstreet (downstairs). Then go to corner 28 at 40-28 mainstreet for a crazy good duck bun

                                  Also in Queens, head to Leo's Latticini in Corona for awesome hero sandwiches, Pio Pio in Jackson Heights for a peruvian rotisserie chicken, Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights for Indian and Taqueria Coatzingo for authentic Mexican (order the specials that are off the menu, written on paper and left on the table).

                                  And while you are in BK eating pizza at DiFara's, head down to Bensonhurst for L&B Spumoni gardens to have the best Sicilian pizza around at outdoor picnic tables. Finish off your meal with some sweet spumoni, ices or ice cream there and you will def be satisfied.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: skooldya1
                                    Brklynbobby Jul 8, 2008 12:09 PM

                                    I live in Bensonhurst and have tried, I believe, every pizzeria in Bensonhurst. My hands down favorite for a Sicilian pie is Italia Pizza & Restaurant,
                                    307 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11223 (718) 339-0666. I have it delivered to my house at least once a week. The crust is lighter than air and the sauce is heaven.

                                  2. kcijones001 Jul 8, 2008 08:03 AM

                                    Umberto's on Arthur Avenue; if you do go to brigton for russian, try the baked clams at Gargiulo's


                                    (718) 266-4891
                                    Coney Island
                                    2911 W 15th St
                                    Brooklyn, NY 11224

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