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Jan 7, 2009 11:37 AM

Restaurant for tomorrow evening in Queens area?

We need a restaurant in the Queens area for dinner tomorrow night for three adults. I do not care that much what kind of food it is, but if making reservations late tonight or in the AM is going to be a problem then let's rule those out, along with any restaurant that are very noisy, party atmosphere or scary location. No chains, nor inexpensive, "family friendly" restaurants desired. If Thai or Mexican, I want way above average!

Sripraphai, Malagueta, Tournesol, Trattoria L'Incontro, Arcos, La Vuelta, Manducatis, La Tavernetta, De Mole, Danny Brown's, Nick's and East Ocean Palace have been mentioned. I heard that Danny Brown's is loud.
Others mentioned and listed (somewhat), by relative interest in cuisine:
Thai: Sripraphai in Woodside, Bann Thai-6912 Austin St, Flushing, Simply Thai (on Queens Blvd off Union Tpke.) Penang
Mexican: Casa de Elian, La Flor in Woodside or Viko's Cafe in Corona
Cabana (Latin), 10710 70th Rd, FLushing,
Cajun: Mardi Gras, Flushing
Seafood: Golden Pond, Flushing
Greek: Corfu Grill
Chinese: Spicy and Tasty in Flushing
Italian: Luna Sur

BTW, we are staying in Jamaica, in preparation for a flight out very early Friday. As long as we can make a brief drive and parking is not impossible, then I will consider driving anywhere, but not I'd prefer not to go into Manhattan. I want this to be painless and enjoyable as I still get lost in NYC without my Garmin! And Thanks!

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  1. are you looking for someone to make the reservation for you?

    you have a list of restaurants there...are you looking to add to this list or keep things "painless and enjoyable"?

    just a little confusing as you seem to answer your own question.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Yaxpac

      I'm looking for suggestions. I have listed the names of a few places I have found through research on Chowhound. You can suggest something new, or different, or give me your opinion of what you like best from my list that fits within "my criteria".
      By "painless" I mean driving forever in heavy traffic, it taking more than twenty minutes to get there from Jamaica by car or finding it hard to park is something I would prefer to avoid.

      1. re: Scargod

        Gotcha, well thanks for clarifying.

        I would throw my vote towards Trattoria L'Incontro, but I am a little biased as I live in Astoria. I do think it is one of the top Italian restaurants in all of New York and I think that it often gets overlooked. Roberto's in the Bronx is the only place that I think is on par with Trattoria.

        You can cross Arcos off the list as it is sadly now closed. They used to have one helluva suckling pig on weekends.

        Although he does not take reservations, I would also try to go to visit Ali at Kabab Cafe on Steinway st in Astoria. It probably won't be crowded on a winter Thursday. He serves wonderful Egyptian food. There are many critics of the place but just as many fans. When Ali is on, it is one of my favorite places around.

    2. You can't make a reservation for 3 at Sripraphai, unfortunately. I don't know how busy it will be on a Thursday night, but it's worth a little bit of a wait. It's "generally considered" one of the best Thai restaurants in the country, from what I understand. I've never had a problem finding parking in the area. I've not been to any of the other places you've mentioned, though have read good things about Tournesol and Trattoria L'Incontro. There's also Zabb for Thai.

      1. If you haven't tried Sripraphai yet, I would definitely go with that.

        Or De Mole.

        Both offer pleasant dining atmospheres (keeping in mind that De Mole is much smaller than Sripraphai), decent service and lots of good menu options at good prices, and they are both located in nice, bustling neighborhoods of Queens where parking is not impossible (Sripraphai is in a more congested area than De Mole, but you should still be able to find a spot near the restaurant).

        Enjoy, wherever you end up!

        1. Queens is a huge borough and can be confusing. Here is a map that shows you where the neighborhoods are generally located:

          All of the restaurants on your list that you have labeled as being located in Flushing are actually in Forest Hills -- for some reason, the post office is the only people who will call that area Flushing. And having lived in that area before, I can say that none of the restaurants are really worth going out of your way for an out of town visitor. (I haven't been to Corfu, though). Penang is actually a Malaysian restaurant in Flushing and doesn't exist anymore. If you want Malaysian food, Sentosa in Flushing is a good option.

          From all the restaurants on your list, Srirpraphai (in Woodside) has been getting the most press on this board -- and rightfully so. It is very good Thai food and there are numerous threads on this board with food recommendations. However, there is only street parking available, and sometimes not the easiest to find. De Mole (in Sunnyside) is very good Mexican restaurant, but also wanted to say it's really small and not too easy to find street parking as well. However, parking is not impossible at those two places. Haven't been to Viko's Cafe but La Flor really isn't worth it. It's a good neighborhood place, but that's about it.

          Malagueta, L'Incontro, Arcos, La Vuellta, Manducatis -- all in Western Queens -- probably the furthest away from Jamaica. Haven't eaten at those places so I've got nothing to say about that.

          If you go to Flushing, you'll find a lot of Chinese and Korean restaurants. Flushing is pretty congested, and there are quite a few parking lots. Spicy and Tasty is a good option for Sichuan food. There's Jade Asian for good Cantonese. Actually, if you do a search for Flushing, you'll find a ton of options -- just stay away from the "mall" posts. While the food at those places are great, it's probably not the atmosphere you and your friends are looking for.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            I'm not a complete NYC newbie or tourist, I just haven't eaten in Queens before. My impression is I should be able to drive about anywhere in Queens, or even into Brooklyn, from central Jamaica in twenty minutes. We will go around seven or eight. Since we usually get a little stresed about travelling out of the country, and there are relatives involved, I thought there would be less pain if we could find something nice without going into Manhattan. Srirpraphai is sounding very good!

            1. re: Scargod

              You don't have to be a newbie or tourist to get lost in Queens. It doesn't even make sense to me at times!

              Sripraphai is a great choice, and the decor much nicer since they did the renovations a couple of years ago. I think it's a "can't go wrong" choice.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                I agree - I really would go there and, as I've mentioned, I've never had a problem finding a parking spot v. close by. I hope someone chimes in about how long a wait it might be for a table.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  De Mole also sounds very interesting. Can anyone expand on what kind of Mexican food it is and is the atmosphere decent or upscale?

                  1. re: Scargod

                    I think everything takes more than 20 minutes from Jamaica!
                    But De Mole is worth more than a 20 minute drive. Prices are cheap cheap cheap. Food is bright and fresh and wonderfully simple.
                    Srip is a fave, but De Mole is my choice for both take out and dining in. Atmosphere is not upscale, but small and surprisingly charming for the location.

                    btw, Viko's is closed. I'm a huge fan of La Flor. Atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired, though (doesn't stop me. i love the food), so might not be what you want for tonite.

            2. I have to tell everyone that we ended up having a horrible dinner meal (bad food and service) at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott, at JFK. This is where we stayed the night, prior to flying out the next AM at the crack of dawn.
              I had several addresses stored in our Garmin. The four of us headed out to Sripraphai, only to have the Garmin not work at all in the JFK airport area. We finally found our way back to the hotel after a trip around and through the airport. We got directions, but after making a wrong turn and going through the airport again, SO would not trust the Garmin, when it finally started working, (I guess because we moved far enough away from the airport and radar?) so we ended up back at the hotel. Breakfast the next morning was bad, too. I thought we were going to get a cooked breakfast but they actually had Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches for you to microwave!
              It's an OK place to stay and leave your car but I wouldn't have more than a drink there!