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Guide to Woodside

c
c.rogers May 27, 2009 11:01 AM

My chef-boyfriend and I just snagged a fantastic apartment at 61st and Woodside, and though we're only moving over from Sunnyside, we had many beloved favorites in our neighborhood that I'm nervous about "leaving behind". Any chance a Woodsider can provide a run-down of the best places in our new neighborhood..?

  1. n
    nooyawka Jul 21, 2010 07:55 PM

    Has anyone mentioned UFC Unidentified Flying Chickens yet? (korean fried chicken) Not too long ago, I just discovered this place. It's in Jackson Heights, but close enough to you to reach. Worth every penny. http://www.ufchicken.com/

    -----
    Unidentified Flying Chickens
    71-22 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

    1. CCSPRINGS Apr 11, 2010 07:16 PM

      I like the Uruguay bakery on 69th and Roosevelt, southwest corner. Pastries are fresh. Plenty of dulce de leche. It is next to a Cuban place I was itching to try.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CCSPRINGS
        E Eto Apr 11, 2010 07:56 PM

        I'm not sure if the bakery is still Uruguayan. They've changed hands recently and renamed Rkuritas (from La Uruguaya). They still have some of the same pastries, but it's not always fresh. They are also doing a good business in Colombian style fast food items and lunch plates nowadays. The Cuban next door is El Sitio, and my most recent experiences there have been more positive than its been for the last few years. Cubanos at the counter is pretty reliable though, and the cafe cone leche hasn't changed at all.

        -----
        El Sitio
        6828 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

      2. m
        MahatmaKanejeeves Feb 20, 2010 06:57 AM

        Fritzie's Bake Shop is a worthy Filipino addition on 69 St/Roosevelt Ave. The turo turo price is $7.60 for 3 dishes/rice/drink. Otherwise, there are pastries, pork buns, empanadas. A whole pig was sitting on the table behind the counter.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves
          JungMann Mar 2, 2010 06:58 PM

          Are the empanadas any good? Every Filipino place I've tried on Roosevelt has been too dry or too sweet.

          1. re: JungMann
            m
            MahatmaKanejeeves Mar 3, 2010 05:33 AM

            The buns are kept hot, but the empanadas are baked and cold. Freshly fried would be better. This batch was fresh and not very dry. The price is $1. So WTF?

            I'll defer to this blogger, who brought them home.

            http://underthe7train.blogspot.com/20...

            1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves
              JungMann Mar 13, 2010 03:26 PM

              Someone just dropped off some Fritzie's pastries for me. The empanada was still hot in its container and was a pretty good version of the Filipino pasty. The crust was flaky and only slightly sweet with a moist and peppery chicken filling. The siopao got soggy on the trip back to Manhattan but the flavor of the bun itself was still good. The interior was somewhat bland but was okay with a dipping sauce.

        2. t
          theveryhungryperson Feb 16, 2010 06:10 PM

          pepinos is nasty, only the onion slice with breadcrumbs has merit
          pizza boy has the best sauce and crunchiest crust, still taste the same as it did 25 years ago
          woodside pizza is lame but the delivery is fast
          don't really know how clean any of them are...but i think the hot ovens will kill anything....

          peking chicken is always consistently deliciously tasty...greasy too but so yummy

          9 Replies
          1. re: theveryhungryperson
            w
            Widmark Feb 19, 2010 06:25 AM

            I got a pie delivered from Pizza Boy once and I swear to god it had almost no sauce on it. I agree about the taco truck though. The 52nd st one is called Oro or something?

            1. re: Widmark
              Jeffsayyes Feb 19, 2010 05:33 PM

              is that the ray de oro?

              1. re: Jeffsayyes
                w
                Widmark Feb 20, 2010 08:52 AM

                yeah that's what I mean. I like their carnitas a lot.

                1. re: Jeffsayyes
                  E Eto Feb 20, 2010 04:29 PM

                  Yup, Rey de Oro. I haven't been there in the last year or so, but unless they've improved on their food, I rank them in the lower third of the taco trucks/carts I've visited along Roosevelt. There are much better places for tacos down Roosevelt.

                  1. re: E Eto
                    s
                    saria Feb 21, 2010 08:07 PM

                    I agree. I had food from them once, and that's because it was bad enough to never bother again. Their carnitas were tough little pellets that were clearly sauteed, as opposed to tender succulent braised or confit meat. And I swear the al pastor used the same meat. I had the so-called al pastor in a torta and it was slathered in mayo, the meat tasted nothing of al pastor, there was no avocado, and yet the jalapeno was very (too) generous. Never again after that one horrible experience. The nearby rey del taco deli sells much better food.

                    1. re: saria
                      Jeffsayyes Feb 22, 2010 07:47 AM

                      Not sure if it was mentioned here, but I had a great set of tacos from this place my friends been raving about. It's at around 68th and roosevelt. a truck called Los Cuatro Vientos.
                      the tacos were full of meat, tasted great, and they griled their onions a bit, which was great. this might be my new favorite.

                      1. re: Jeffsayyes
                        E Eto Feb 22, 2010 08:32 AM

                        Yup, Cuatro Vientos is one of the better taco trucks along Roosevelt. Try the campechano and the suadero if you've never had those. The lengua and carnitas are really excellent here. They usually set up operation around 9pm.

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/626743

                        1. re: E Eto
                          Jeffsayyes Feb 22, 2010 05:40 PM

                          had the suadero on Saturday. and bistec, pernil and carnitas. dug em all.

                          I was reading about the campechano before - which is a beef and sausage mix. and now I want to go back again. thanks for the link

                          1. re: Jeffsayyes
                            bigjeff Mar 13, 2010 09:37 AM

                            can you describe the suadero you had from Cuatros Vientos? I had a taco de suadero from the possibly newer Sabor Mexicano truck (big huge sucker on roosevelt, around 66th/67th) and what I got tasted like pork, almost like big chunks of pernil. not complaining but, I don't that was suadero!

            2. t
              theveryhungryperson Feb 16, 2010 06:05 PM

              the best taco truck is not under the lirr, it is on 52 street after 7pm
              don't know if they have a name, but i used to crave them when i was preggers
              still consistently tasty, eventhough they don't look like they wash the cilantro

              1. w
                Widmark Nov 2, 2009 06:17 AM

                anyone see/visit the new cart under the LIRR? Mohammed Halal? Lots of crazy signs, he delivers, sells "tocos" and tortas as well as chicken or lamb over rice among other things. There's also a halal cart that's been setting up further down Roosevelt near the Duane Reade or the old WaMu space.

                I'd love to not have to go to Jackson Heights for Sammy's Halal...

                -----
                Sammy's Halal
                73rd St and Broadway, Queens, NY 11372

                1. c
                  c.rogers Oct 4, 2009 09:39 AM

                  We've been in the neighborhood for four months now, and the Food & Dining category on my Mint Account will agree that my other half and I have gone out to eat pretty often. Just posting some quick notes on spots that we've frequented as they're close to home and have served as "default" options when we're just too darn lazy to think about anything new.

                  Woodside Cafe - There have been comments that this spot is inconsistent, which I may agree with though my meal has never faltered. I normally have griddle items here and have not had a bad plate. My boyfriend is so-so about this place, as he's a stickler for well-cooked eggs and it seems that he hasn't gotten them here. However, I love the space and I found that it is good quality food (relatively) for the money. We have only had breakfast there.

                  La Flor - In agreement with the majority of positive reviews, though our last two trips reminded us that nothing can be perfect. Overall, you are absolutely safe if you order their tacos, which are the perfect portion size and come with a small salad. I love the tacos. My usual is the vegetable, though the shrimp is quite nice. I won't order the Huevos Rancheros again, as it's basically an egg floating in black bean sauce with a tortilla buried in the 'soup'. I was sorely disappointed and have never actually seen Huevos done like that. The pastry basket is nice but unnecessary -- though they do toast all the pieces, which is different. Specials, which I believe they have only recently introduced, are hit or miss. My boyfriend ordered a frittata with what was described as seasonal veggies and heirloom tomatoes. It was a personal-size frittata, small and plain, and not worth $9. No sides, nothing. It also ended up having similar items to their normal frittata, but they were charging more because it was a "special".. I wasn't into it and it was that trip that made us rethink where we should go for breakfast. I haven't tried any of the griddle items yet, nor had lunch or dinner there.

                  Sripraphai - Absolutely well-known for their Thai, but I think the quality of your meal depends on what you order. I'm not sure if I'm just not familiar with Thai cuisine (which is probably the case), but I've certainly ordered some disappointments. I tend to lean vegetarian, so I've been trying their salads -- Papaya, Shredded Green Mango, Watercress. Generally, not a fan. The flavor combinations have been fantastic (much, MUCH better than any Thai place we've tried -- the flavors and spices are there) but it's the consistency of the dish that I have a problem with. Very soupy, and though that's probably traditional, I'm personally turned off by it. The boyfriend, however, has had great luck with anything duck-related, and their curry items have been a hit. I have enjoyed their seafood (C-17 Seafood Saute is a usual). Haven't tried anything as simple as their pad thai yet -- might be interesting to see how they do something so "basic." Their portions are a good size for the price and I often have leftovers with any rice dish.

                  La Hacienda - Decent food, didn't feel it was anything special. Huge portions on some of their items however - and very cheap for a sit-down spot. It was absolutely empty when we went in on a Friday evening to eat before heading into Manhattan.

                  Cuckoo's Nest - A surprising contender, but a much better burger than Donovan's, IMO. Someone commented on Yelp: "I fully respect their presentation of a meal. The fries come in little paper bags, the side salads seem like they should be set on a white tablecloth - not a bar! Attractive all around, the bartenders seem proud when they bring you a meal at the bar. I like that." It seems like they're hiding quality food under the guise of yet another Irish pub in the neighborhood -- the burgers are definitely top notch, and come to think of it, we love them so much I'm pretty sure that's all we've ordered. Good spot, I hope it sticks around.

                  Donato's - The house special pizza is a regular for us on Monday evenings when we're just too dang lazy to do much of anything/in denial that the week has started. Haven't tried anything else on the menu and haven't felt the need.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: c.rogers
                    Jeffsayyes Oct 4, 2009 09:16 PM

                    some asshole must have written that about cuckoo's nest.

                    1. re: Jeffsayyes
                      c
                      c.rogers Mar 15, 2010 01:11 PM

                      I didn't take it as a pompous remark -- I actually thought it was a legit compliment and am in agreement. I think Cuckoo's Nest does their food very well and it's a staple for us in the neighborhood -- I am a loyal fan of their veggie burger, that's for sure.

                      1. re: c.rogers
                        Jeffsayyes Mar 15, 2010 01:52 PM

                        I was just kidding. It was me!

                        1. re: Jeffsayyes
                          c
                          c.rogers Mar 15, 2010 01:56 PM

                          Ooooh gotcha. Good, I actually felt a little protective there for a second.

                    2. re: c.rogers
                      elbev Oct 6, 2009 01:04 PM

                      Nice rundown, c.rogers.

                      I agree that many of the specials at La Flor tend towards blandness. I think all of their Mexican fare is excellent, including the breakfasts. Mexican version or huevos rancheros often include refried or stewed beans of some kind, and I find theirs to be a vast improvement over the common gringo version, served over toast or cornbread with insipid salsas.

                      The bit from yelp about presentation at Cuckoo's Nest is pompous nonsense. Actually most of the Irish pubs in the area that serve food do a decent job. The CN burger, to me, is okay, but I find the comparison to Donovan's to be absurd bordering on blasphemous. The salad is a nice touch and the fries are more consistent, but neither of those makes up for the mediocre pre-formed patties they use.

                      Have not tried Donato's - with Peppino's around I have no desire to look elsewhere.

                      1. re: elbev
                        w
                        Widmark Oct 7, 2009 06:22 AM

                        I don't think Donato's is very good. I also don't think Peppino's is any good, unless you get the grandma pie, on a good day!

                        Cuckoo's Nest Chips (fries) however, are among my favorites ever. Never had their burger and with that description won't. Had their Shephard's Pie and it wasn't as good as Donovans. I love CN for their beans, sausage, eggs, chips and toast breakfast on sundays. For some reason the chips were better on sunday than saturday!

                        1. re: Widmark
                          Jeffsayyes Oct 7, 2009 08:09 AM

                          You should have a try at the burger. I'd leave a space in your mind for your own opinion.

                          1. re: Jeffsayyes
                            elbev Oct 7, 2009 09:53 AM

                            It is certainly not a bad burger, and worth having if you are hunkered down with a pint and do not feel like going a few blocks to Donovan's. It is just nowhere near in the same league. The food at CN can be spotty at times. Have had very good pub meals, and also food that was not quite right. At one point I even wondered if they had changed up the kitchen, since the preparations seemed to be different.

                            1. re: elbev
                              u
                              unknown24 Oct 23, 2009 02:50 PM

                              No one has mentioned Quaint - this place is great and they have brunch too

                              1. re: unknown24
                                Joe MacBu Oct 23, 2009 03:22 PM

                                Quaint wasn't mentioned because it's in Sunnyside, where the OP used to reside.

                                1. re: Joe MacBu
                                  d
                                  donovt Oct 25, 2009 09:25 AM

                                  Quaint was my favorite local restaurant until they switched chefs about a year ago. Major drop in quality since then.

                                  1. re: donovt
                                    c
                                    c.rogers Mar 15, 2010 01:09 PM

                                    We've visited Quaint a few times and it wasn't mentioned because it's in Sunnyside. Though we adore the concept and the fact that Chef brought American cuisine to the neighborhood, it's been hit or miss for the money we spent. I've received cold dishes a couple of times and though I don't think much of it, I don't necessarily appreciate the waiting either. We've recreated many of their dishes at home (especially the arugula/pear salad) because we liked them so much.

                          2. re: Widmark
                            m
                            mkennethamon Nov 3, 2009 08:46 AM

                            I've had too many mediocre slices at Peppino's to care for it much. Cleanliness doesn't strike me as an important concept there.

                      2. p
                        Passingthru Jul 11, 2009 03:19 AM

                        Where did the good Taco Cart go under the subway/LIRR?? I haven't seen it in quite a while now?

                        26 Replies
                        1. re: Passingthru
                          w
                          Widmark Jul 11, 2009 05:20 AM

                          I was just thinking the same thing! I liked it way more then the Sabor Mexicana one, judged only by carnitas and pollo tacos.

                          1. re: Widmark
                            w
                            Widmark Jul 11, 2009 08:10 AM

                            In other taco news...El Huarache seems to be no more and is now Tio Julio. Walked by last night and a Tio Julio truck was parked outside. Anyone familiar with this truck?

                            Also walked by La Copenita (old ecuamex) the other day and it was empty. We ate there once and loved it, then I ordered from them and it took forever because the guy kept getting lost, even though we live like 4 blocks away! It's good! People need to go there before they go out of business!

                            1. re: Widmark
                              E Eto Jul 11, 2009 12:52 PM

                              Tia Julia is my favorite Mexican antojitos truck.
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/561077

                              I'm thrilled to have another quality Mexican place in the 'hood.
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/635018

                              1. re: Widmark
                                squid kun Jul 13, 2009 03:07 AM

                                I see what you mean about La Copeñita's empty dining room. I walked in around 7 p.m. Sunday and was the only person there. The one employee on duty, it turned out, was outside talking on the phone, presumably to a plumber, because the first thing he said on coming back inside was that there was a bad water leak in the bathroom.

                                They seem to be winging it. I asked if they had beer. He said sure, then left to pick up a six-pack at a store. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the service. This fellow's been friendly and welcoming on both my visits. It's just that they seem to be doing things on the fly.

                                More important, I agree about the food. I've had only tacos: chivo, lengua, carnitas, chorizo, all first-rate. Salsas, as others have said, are fresh and tasty. I lack the Queens Mexican background many of you have - never been to Coatzingo, for example. But I'm a native Angeleno who once lived on the UWS and was grateful for the affiliated Super Tacos Sobre Ruedas truck on 96th. La Copeñita is better. That may be faint praise - some place Super Tacos in the middle of the pack citywide - but take it for what it's worth.

                                -----
                                La Copenita
                                4108 55th St, Queens, NY 11377

                                1. re: squid kun
                                  Joe MacBu Jul 15, 2009 06:56 PM

                                  The deal with La Copenita is that the owner is more concerned with his 3 trucks than he is with the brick and mortar. The main role of the restaurant is to prep food for the trucks, so little concern is paid to actually serving the Woodside clientele.

                                  So while it doesn't look like business will really ever pick up at the restaurant, there is still decent turnover of the food thanks to the trucks. And the restaurant just might hang around longer than the previous occupant.

                                  I just had an excellent tlacoyo de chivo.

                              2. re: Widmark
                                bigjeff Mar 13, 2010 09:34 AM

                                tried Sabor Mexicano recently and . . . this was a big huge new truck; on Roosevelt around 66th or 67th street; this is possibly not the original? anyway, had an excellent suadero taco although for some reason, I don't think I actually got suadero. amazingly generous pile of big chunks of meat that tasted of pork, with some crispy skin parts but also juicy parts, topped with onion, cilantro, a splash of guac sauce. a green sauce was available (not that hot) and a red one (smoky) plus very good pickled jalapeno and onion, as well as those smaller dry-fried red ones that are discussed below; indeed looks very much like the kind strewn over sichuan chongqing chicken, for instance. This was the most meat I ever got on a taco and, very tasty. but, doesn't sound like suadero right? suadero should be beef stomach/paunch/diaphragm, some funky parts and a lot more wet, more like a stew is how I've had it, what I got was almost like pernil. tasty.

                                they also had huitlacoche and a bunch of interesting quesadilla options (flor de calabaza, many many other fillings), as well some interesting gordita options (chicharron, etc.).

                                1. re: bigjeff
                                  E Eto Mar 13, 2010 10:30 AM

                                  If you were at Roosevelt/66th after 9pm, that's the Cuatro Vientos truck, not the Sabor Mexicano cart. Their suadero is very good. And what you had is suadero, steamed beef paunch, or skirt, or whatever the cut, that is pulled or shredded to get that texture. It is one of my favorite taco fillings there. One of the top taco trucks along Roosevelt IMHO.
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/626743

                                  1. re: E Eto
                                    bigjeff Mar 13, 2010 11:32 AM

                                    indeed it was around 11pm (I was headed to Tia Julia but they were closed!) but this was definitely Sabor Mexicano because I also saw the Cuatro Vientos truck a couple blocks down, but on the opposite side of the street. the Cuatro Vientos truck had a pretty good crowd around it, an older truck with plexi-glass windows built up all around the front, and a narrow-ish window in the middle to get the food, and pay the cash.

                                    The Sabor Mexicano one was really really big, with one man and two women manning the truck; very nice people and if that is what suadero is supposed to be, then holy crap I will be ordering suadero forever. the color of the meat was white like pork tenderloin though, almost 1" cubes, which is what also threw me off, as opposed to a "beefy" color. maybe I'm mixing up that stewy wet one with something else (last time I had it was at a Taco Mix in the bronx) and the guy combo'd it with oreja so . . . possibly that was it. but you know how some mexican places have the round butcher block in the middle, and pieces of meat floating in a moat around it, that they fish out and then chop up and throw into a taco or torta? that's what I thought suadero was.
                                    of course, the easy solution to this question is . . . additional research. yes please!

                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                      Jeffsayyes Mar 13, 2010 03:23 PM

                                      suadero sounds really fatty, being a beef "paunch"... and it might be, but the fat is within the meat, from my experience it doesnt have fat like a pork belly has. So yes, it is a lighter colored meat, softer.

                                      I'm also surprised this wasnt cuatro vientos (my new fav truck) . their version is a big slop of suadero. oh so good. but this new sabor mexicano truck has me interested. They normally have one cart at the 74th street station and another one under the tracks in woodside.

                                      1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                        bigjeff Mar 21, 2010 08:08 PM

                                        sabor mexicano's suadero is amazing! had one from their cart near the 74th st subway (they are the ones in the middle) and indeed, it was suadero I had the first time (at their big truck). wow. it is the best. will now embark on a search for the best suadero. I tried to go to cuatro vientos but they were sold out unfortunately.

                                        ever have the non-tacos at sabor mexicano? saw a lot of people getting quesadillas) gave me ordering envy and also curious about their gorditas. suadero on any of that stuff should be sick!

                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                          E Eto Mar 21, 2010 08:17 PM

                                          Interesting. I've had a bunch of stuff from that Sabor Mexicano cart, but never had the suadero. Everything I've had was pretty middle-of-the-road in quality, and I've preferred the other carts in front of Roosevelt station, especially the El Gallo Giro cart when they're around (I have no idea what their schedule is). By the way, in the couple times I've passed Roosevelt/67th, I've never seen a Sabor Mexicano truck. Was it during a weekend when you went by? Also, I haven't seen the Sabor Mexicano cart under the LIRR tunnel at 61st St in a few weeks.

                                          1. re: E Eto
                                            bigjeff Mar 22, 2010 07:32 AM

                                            I think this was the first time I got something in a long time from one of those 3 carts; I will hit up El Gallo Giro, they were there last night. pretty even number of customers between the 3 carts.

                                            the suadero I had was better at the Sabor Mexicano big truck I reported on a couple of weeks ago but the 74th street cart was not bad; they had it served and wrapped up in the half-cone of wax paper with the avocado sauce on it; I think the first time I had it at the cart it was served flat with no sauce, just onion and cilantro but I can't remember.

                                            I was looking for that truck that night too and it was gone! maybe its a phantom or just moves around a lot; I'm not usually down as far as Woodside station so I don't know too many of the carts there; how is that one that is right under the tunnel with all the murals?

                                            1. re: bigjeff
                                              E Eto Mar 22, 2010 07:48 AM

                                              The main cart under the LIRR tracks is called Tacos y Quesadillas Mexico, and it is one of the better carts along Roosevelt. I've always thought it much better than the Sabor Mexicano cart when they were side by side there. This cart is there all day long. Of course, what matters most with any of these carts is who is making the food. Some are just better cooks than others, and I have my favorite at this one too. But what I didn't like about Sabor Mexicano is their preparation of the meats. It seemed similar across the board of all 3 carts I've visited (excluding the phantom truck).

                                            2. re: E Eto
                                              bigjeff Apr 8, 2010 03:59 PM

                                              check this; an El Gallo Giro storefront!
                                              http://iwantmorefood.com/2010/04/04/e...

                                              1. re: bigjeff
                                                m
                                                MahatmaKanejeeves Apr 9, 2010 07:11 AM

                                                This location appears to have been "El Rocio Restaurant" previously.

                                                1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves
                                                  bigjeff Apr 9, 2010 07:44 AM

                                                  google maps street view is so cool! wonder when was the last time the google tricycle passed through corona!

                                                   
                                          2. re: Jeffsayyes
                                            bigjeff Mar 29, 2010 07:21 AM

                                            try the suadero from Sabor Mexicano sometime (the 74th street cart might be the most consistently appearing place) to get a comparison of the one against Los Cuatros Vientos: definitely a different creature. I tried Los Cuatros Vientos' suadero/sobrebarrigas last night:
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6267...

                                            -----
                                            Sabor
                                            159 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

                                  2. re: Passingthru
                                    w
                                    Widmark Jul 20, 2009 10:35 AM

                                    There is a new Taco car under the LIRR, it doesn't seem to have the same signs as the old one, and is not Sabor Mexicana. I got Pollo, Carnitas and Pastor. The Pollo was bland but the other two were awesome. The woman was nice, the food was fast, hot sauce was good. Hope they stick around.

                                    1. re: Widmark
                                      h
                                      HLing Aug 26, 2009 12:59 AM

                                      Been meaning to post 2 things about the old taco truck under the LIRR:
                                      1) before they disappeared for a while in July, I saw someone asked for peppers, and got these amazing looking dark brownish red pods of chili peppers, shiny, but not dripping with oil. The man bit into it like it was cornichon or something. So i asked for one, too. The young woman just smiled and gave me a couple, wrapped in aluminum. First chance I got, when i got to the 7 train platform with my lengua tacos, (as this is the ritual - i buy them, bring to 7 train Manhattan bound track, eat them leisurely, then catch the 7 train back), I bit into the pepper. It had the aroma of being fried, smoked, and maybe a hint of vinegar (?) and yet it was as good as a good potato chip. Not sure how to describe it. It was really spicy though. My subsequent bites into the hot tacos were burning with excitement.

                                      2)Sometime in early August, I believe, I went to get taco. It was a man there, who claimed to be the owner, (The women worked for him, he said) and a new father. He said with the baby coming and the need for new signs, and new permit, they just decided to close for 2 weeks. So now he's back, waiting for new signs (I assume by now he's got them), and will from now on be opened 24/7 !

                                      This might explain the appearance of a new Taco truck.

                                      Has anyone else had the special whole chili peppers?

                                      1. re: HLing
                                        bigjeff Aug 26, 2009 07:14 AM

                                        are they grilled red jalapenos or something? what size were the suckers?

                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                          Joe MacBu Aug 26, 2009 08:17 AM

                                          I think what HLing is referring to is a whole dried red chili that has been deep-fried or at least sauteed. They're a little longer and skinnier than my pinky. I get them at the taco truck on 52nd and Roosevelt.

                                          1. re: Joe MacBu
                                            bigjeff Mar 29, 2010 07:22 AM

                                            those hot peppers from Los Cuatros Vientos were very good: fried hard almost to the point where the chili heat has dissipated somewhat, and then sprinkled with salt (or maybe the other way around) and a very tasty, almost addictive snack, like eating chili pepper chips.

                                          2. re: bigjeff
                                            h
                                            HLing Aug 26, 2009 08:49 PM

                                            Yeah, bigjeff, what Joe MacBu said...

                                            They look kind of like those you see in Sichuan dishes. In fact I might still have one in the fridge from a couple of months ago. I have a feeling they will last forever.

                                          3. re: HLing
                                            E Eto Aug 26, 2009 10:39 PM

                                            If you go by a number of the taco carts on Roosevelt, you'll find the same fried chiles. They're pretty ubiquitous to me, so it's hard to keep track where I've seen them, but I know they're available at El Pasito (on 75th), I think I've seen them at Guicho (at 83rd). Even the mediocre truck on 63rd has them. For you chiliheads, I noticed that El Pasito has the habanero salsa again.

                                            1. re: E Eto
                                              h
                                              HLing Jan 3, 2011 06:16 PM

                                              Went by the 61st street Woodside station Taco truck tonight to get the usual tender lengua tacos, though tonight they weren't as good as before. Then I saw that there is a new hand-written sign for "TACO ARABES" for $3. Ordered one. It was tender and juicy pieces of pork with chipotle sauce, wrapped in flour tortilla. This tortilla is thinner and slightly flakier than most flour tortilla i've had. At that point I wished I had order the Arabes first, because then I might have room for a 2nd one.

                                              After getting home I looked up Taco Arabes, and found that it's also called Al Pastor, and that if there wasn't a vertical spit, it's not authentic (?). Well, there wasn't a vertical spit here, but I definitely would order it again.

                                              1. re: HLing
                                                h
                                                HLing Jan 10, 2011 01:42 PM

                                                Well, perhaps I spoke too soon. I got to the taco truck just when they were changing shifts. This time the Taco Arabes came in a smaller, strangely stretchy wrapper that didn't work as well in bringing out the strong flavor of the meat. I would have said something had I gotten to eat it right then, but I didn't get to see it and eat it until I got home.

                                      2. welle Jun 17, 2009 01:05 PM

                                        I like living in Woodside - while there are only handful of restaurants I go to in the neighborhood itself, I like how it is in between Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and some parts of Astoria - all within walking distance or short subway/bus ride.

                                        1. g
                                          grisaille Jun 11, 2009 02:11 PM

                                          I'm sorry. I love Pizza Boy II on 59th and Roosevelt. Especially a pie with fresh garlic and onions. So savory. The sausage rolls are good, too, especially with a side of sauce (though you need to ask for it). It can be inconsistent here and there, but it's honest-to-God, cretinous comfort food.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: grisaille
                                            d
                                            donovt Jun 14, 2009 09:14 AM

                                            I agree. It's the only pizza I'll eat in the neighborhood. I also really like their chicken parm (not on a hero, don't love the bread).

                                            1. re: donovt
                                              d
                                              david sprague Jun 14, 2009 11:14 AM

                                              you folks prefer pizza boy to peppino's? i'll have to give it another shot. i dig peppino's enough that i order delivery here in jackson hts.

                                              1. re: david sprague
                                                w
                                                Widmark Jun 14, 2009 04:27 PM

                                                the one time we got Pizza Boy delivery, the pizza had almost no sauce on it. It was really mediocre. Peppino's I only like sometimes, when I get lucky with the grandma pie. Sometimes I drive to Maspeth to go to Rosa's instead of these local places.

                                                1. re: david sprague
                                                  d
                                                  donovt Jun 18, 2009 04:25 AM

                                                  I've only had Peppino's once, years ago when I first moved into the neighborhood. I wasn't crazy about it, but maybe it was just an off day.

                                            2. Jeffsayyes Jun 2, 2009 10:32 PM

                                              TJ Asian Bistro has the most passable sushi in the area - that I've found (although haven't been to all the choices in astoria. nice restaurant with artistic, pretty presentation. I highly doubt it's japanese, and I found the sushi to be just 'good' (why am I such a snob?) - but it's a nice place, nonetheless. expensive for queens, but not for sushi.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                w
                                                Widmark Jun 3, 2009 07:23 AM

                                                I've only had bad experiences w/ TJ. When we want somewhat local sushi we go to JJ's in Astoria, which is trendy and fusion-y, but tasty enough.

                                                1. re: Widmark
                                                  Joe MacBu Jun 3, 2009 03:02 PM

                                                  The one time I went to TJ, I found there to be a huge difference in the quality of the fish used in the standard rolls vs that used in the pricier specials. The fish in the rolls was almost inedible, while the specials were surprisingly sublime. Aside from that, I don't recall what I ordered since it was a long time ago.

                                                  1. re: Joe MacBu
                                                    Jeffsayyes Jun 3, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                    hmm, that's very interesting. the specials ARE around 11 dollars and the regulars about half that.
                                                    I'm not going to be back, but that's not to say I didn't have a good time there. Should be included in the Guide to Woodside though.

                                                    1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                      tracyk Aug 26, 2009 08:05 PM

                                                      i think the sushi is awful at TJ's. It was decent when they first opened, but it was a fast decline. I'd rather get pedestrian sushi at Rainbow. It's cheaper and opened pretty late, if you're desperate.

                                              2. p
                                                puretoast Jun 2, 2009 03:00 PM

                                                Beware of Mt Kailash buffet-- formerly Potala, formerly Top of the world. It's basically the same food as any midtown "gourmet deli" salad bar, but you pay something like $12 for all you can eat. interesting items included "cheese seafood," which appeared to be melted american cheese on clams. 50% of my party left the meal with some physical discomfort.

                                                i usually don't like greasy, cheap chinese takeout places but No. 1 on broadway and 63rd is definitely the best ive had.

                                                judging from a limited sampling, i also preferred frontera to el paso and tequiliero. One of the better salsa verdes ive had and definitely the best quesadilla.

                                                also, i believe the korean grocery store on your block makes fresh tofu for cheap. havent tried it yet, though.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: puretoast
                                                  Joe MacBu Jun 2, 2009 06:00 PM

                                                  I agree, the buffet place is absolutely awful.

                                                  H-Mart (the Korean grocery) has good prepared food in addition to their stellar tofu.

                                                  For Filipino, I prefer Engeline's on Roosevelt/59th. But maybe it's cuz I don't really seem to like Filipino food.

                                                  Chu Ying for good Korean-Chinese on Woodside/67th: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/249649

                                                  1. re: Joe MacBu
                                                    d
                                                    Da Vid Oct 7, 2009 09:04 AM

                                                    I don't get it. You don't like Filipino food, but you prefer Engeline's. What gives? So, am I to deduce that you think Engeline's food is mediocre.

                                                    1. re: Da Vid
                                                      Joe MacBu Oct 7, 2009 10:53 AM

                                                      I think that Engeline's is good compared to most of the Filipino food I've had in NY, LA and Chicago. But yes, I do find it (and Filipino cuisine in general) to be mediocre compared the offerings of other Asian cuisines in the area.

                                                      Your timing was good on this one. There's an article on Engeline's in today's Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/din...

                                                      -----
                                                      Engeline's
                                                      58-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                      1. re: Joe MacBu
                                                        bigjeff Oct 7, 2009 11:44 AM

                                                        good for them! I still haven't eaten there but I've been meaning to; I still thoroughly enjoy my meals at Ihawan but i think i got sick of eating all that pork so I haven't had filipino food in quite some time.

                                                        anyone eaten at go2 king? passed it many times but usually late and i think the takeout seems to suffer; wonder if they have any great specialties,

                                                        -----
                                                        Go2King
                                                        65-40 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                                          bigjeff Oct 7, 2009 11:45 AM

                                                          place link

                                                          -----
                                                          Go2King
                                                          65-40 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                          1. re: bigjeff
                                                            Jeffsayyes Oct 7, 2009 05:27 PM

                                                            I think go2king is top notch. I'm just getting started in filipino food again (after turned off by renee's kitchen buffet a while ago). I thought the stuff from the steam tables were amazing. really, a revelation.

                                                            I saw them closed the other day and I got really scared they were out already. The location is not great, but if they get a reputation, they may thrive from it. They aren't that busy, and as a result the rotisserie chicken suffered from dryness. If you have a hankering, I would ask them how long ago the chicken was first cooked (they have no problems with microwaves).

                                                            Not sure if anyone was at the original, but they used to be in Jamaica until the landlord kicked them out after 6 months in business.

                                                            supposed to be open 24 hours... we'll see what happens.

                                                    2. re: puretoast
                                                      f
                                                      Foodaholic Jul 9, 2009 11:49 PM

                                                      How bad are we talking here for Mount Kailash? I heard they've now cranked up the Himalayan / Nepalese specialties ... I'd like to see it to believe it.

                                                      1. re: Foodaholic
                                                        Joe MacBu Jul 10, 2009 12:20 AM

                                                        Mt Kailash was really really bad.
                                                        I would have rather eaten anything else in Woodside.
                                                        But if you're willing to take one for the team, please be my guest.

                                                        1. re: Joe MacBu
                                                          w
                                                          Widmark Jul 10, 2009 01:17 PM

                                                          I noticed the rebranding and the emphasis on Himalayan/Nepalese but haven't taken the chance...and probably won't.

                                                          But also new on that strip, in what used to be a Sushi place, is Friend's Kitchen (or something), really cute looking Korean place. Anyone try it yet?

                                                          1. re: Widmark
                                                            Joe MacBu Jul 10, 2009 02:48 PM

                                                            Yep, the Korean place is good. I posted a snippet about it above on May 28.

                                                        2. re: Foodaholic
                                                          a
                                                          adamantius Aug 5, 2009 08:51 AM

                                                          I haven't tried the Chinese stuff or the buffet; I have on a few occasions gone in and ordered steamed momo, which were quite good. On one occasion they may have used some decent-quality frozen beef dumplings from the various Chinese purveyors, say in Elmhurst, but the rest of the time they were hand-made and excellent, and served with a basic but aggressive chili paste. The dropa khasa (chilled, shredded tripe "salad" with chili oil and scallion shreds) has been good, if a bit different (veal book tripe once, beef honeycomb the next) between two instances. Beef thukpa was basically Chinese-type yat gaw mein, made with the usual 1/8 inch thick American-style lo mein egg noodle. Not bad, but nothing special. I'd go back for the momo, though, they're right in the neighborhood for me.

                                                          1. re: Foodaholic
                                                            bigjeff Aug 6, 2009 11:02 AM

                                                            ya saw the same thing but still, it seemed gross when I took a peek.

                                                        3. elbev May 29, 2009 03:03 PM

                                                          I heartily agree with everything that E Eto has to say (one exception: I find the Roosevelt/65th truck not very good). On the other suggestions, I am not a fan of Braulio y Familia, Woodside Cafe (ex Rainbow Cafe) is highly inconsistent, and I doubt you will find a better burger than Donovan's in the borough (though sometimes they do cook it beyond the level requested). The latter also have very good baked clams, French onion soup and (allegedly) shepherd's pie. Otherwise you are at your own risk.

                                                          A few additions to the list:
                                                          *Bagels Plus (58th/Woodside) for excellent bagels. They open at the crack of dawn, which is sometimes useful.
                                                          *Rumphool (Roosevelt/58th) for high quality Thai food, with delivery. Lunch special a bit generic, so order off the menu (which is cheap in any case). Best option other than Sri this side of Elmhurst.
                                                          *Mango's (61st below Roosevelt) for good and cheap Columbian food. Specials and soups are never disappoint.
                                                          *Stop Inn (Roosevelt/61st) for consistently good diner food. Open late most night, reliable specials, and massive portions.
                                                          *Butcher (forget name, Roosevelt/59th) for meats of all kind, plus house made Mexican chorizo and Italian sausage. Cheaper, equal or better in quality, and infinitely less snooty compared to Ottomanelli.
                                                          *Cositas Ricas (Woodside/59th) for delicious Colombian baked goods. I recommend arepas de choclo con queso blanco (corn patties with white cheese), bunuelos, pan de bono, and besitos de guayaba. They also have a curious and delicious desert of figs filled with dulce de leche, and good fruit shakes.
                                                          *Mexican bodega (61th a few blocks north of Roosevelt, on E side next to New Mexico car service) for very good basic Mexican food (cemitas, tortas, breakfast egg dishes, etc).
                                                          *Antojitos mexicanos (under LIRR/7 station) for the best tamales in town.
                                                          *La Hacienda (Roosevelt just east of station) for solid Ecuadorian and Mexican food. Not spectacular but good, and they are open late and deliver until 10 (this changes sometimes, not sure why).
                                                          *Various Mexican sit-down places, of which I think La Frontera (Roosevelt/64th) is the best. Nearby El Paso and Tacos Mexico are not bad. The one on 61st north under the tracks is to be avoided. Have not tried Mariachi.

                                                          24 Replies
                                                          1. re: elbev
                                                            E Eto May 29, 2009 09:51 PM

                                                            You've had more luck at La Frontera than I've had. I guess I'll give it another try one of these days, but I've preferred El Paso to Frontera, but only mildly. Tacos Mexico needed a lot of work after they opened and I never really gave them a chance, since there are better tacos from nearby mobile vendors. For the longest time, I didn't care for the truck parked at 65th St, but at some point (I'm guessing 6-10 months ago) there was a whole new crew (and new truck?) manned by two ladies, and they make some of the better tacos around Roosevelt that I've had. Much better than ones I've had at Tacos Mexico, La Frontera, El Paso or the truck parked at 63rd. I still prefer the tacos from the cart under the LIRR track, but they are a close second, especially judging on the carnitas and lengua.

                                                            1. re: E Eto
                                                              elbev May 30, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                              I agree that the truck under the LIRR (the original one, not the interloping Sabor Mex franchise) beats all of the restaurant places nearby. That said, it is sometimes nice to have a more options, a table, beer, etc. At Frontera, I have found reliable anything with carne asada ( the sopes are a good vehicle if fresh - just ask), nachos tejanos, and pozole, which comes with tostadas. Last time there I had a very tasty puerco adobo from the specials board (which I do not think they change much). Also looked on jealously on a family chowing down on steaks and grilled nopales. I suppose this is a logical move in a place called 'Steakhouse', but it never occurred to me.

                                                              Will have to try the 65th St truck again. I still think that all of the Mexican options within a few blocks of 61st-Woodside pale in comparison to Coatzingo in Jackson Hts (Roosevelt/76th), several trucks in JH, the 52nd St truck, and even the few options on the La Flor (Roosevelt/52nd) menu.

                                                              1. re: elbev
                                                                w
                                                                Widmark May 31, 2009 08:03 AM

                                                                The new mexican place in the place that used to be EcuaMex, at Roosevelt and 57th or 56th, has pretty good tacos. People should go and keep it open and see if it can't stay a go-to sit-down mexican place.

                                                                1. re: Widmark
                                                                  Joe MacBu Jun 4, 2009 02:30 PM

                                                                  I tried their Wednesday special, chileajo. Two decent-sized chunks of tender pork ribs in a delicious tomato and roasted chile sauce. Comes with rice and beans for $7. Their goat was even better this time, being tender yet with some crispy parts. It was very flavorful. Despite the vibe, I am digging the food.

                                                            2. re: elbev
                                                              b
                                                              burton May 31, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                              Small note but I don't recall a Cositas Ricas at Woodside/59th. There's a different spot on Woodside between 58/59th and another on Roosevelt near 62nd. Where exactly is CR located?

                                                              1. re: burton
                                                                elbev Jun 1, 2009 11:06 AM

                                                                Oops - I meant to say Rico Pan, which is on Woodside/59th near the crossing with Roosevelt. Cositas Ricas, is another place entirely, a full sit down Colombian restaurant in Jax Hts. I think Rico Pan is the best Colombian bakery around here. Mango's is also decent. The newish one closer to 61st on the north side of Roosevelt has been disappointing.

                                                                1. re: elbev
                                                                  b
                                                                  burton Jun 1, 2009 11:20 AM

                                                                  Thanks - and agreed on Rico Pan (really good) and Pan y Mas (just ok).

                                                                  1. re: elbev
                                                                    w
                                                                    Widmark Jun 1, 2009 11:25 AM

                                                                    I love Rico Pan's empanadas, the beef and occasionally they have chicken. Also the arepas with cheese is outstanding. Last time they had some sort of corn fritter that was amazing.

                                                                    Even though I think they raised the prices a bit, it's still my go-to snack place. A few bucks for a couple of those empanadas gets me through the afternoon just fine.

                                                                2. re: elbev
                                                                  bigjeff Aug 26, 2009 07:17 AM

                                                                  elbev, can you expand on your thoughts on Rumphool? not as good as Sri; have you been to some of the other elmhurst places, e.g. ayada, chao? what I've read paints the place as snacky (which is good) and northern-y (which is also good); specific recs? anyone else? thoughts?

                                                                  1. re: bigjeff
                                                                    w
                                                                    Widmark Aug 26, 2009 06:56 PM

                                                                    I think Central Point's noodle dishes are better, but Rumphool's duck salad is awesome. The duck is super crispy, maybe too much if you prefer it more fatty, but I like it. Better then Zabb's on an off day, but not as good as Zabb's when they're at their best.

                                                                  2. re: elbev
                                                                    bigjeff Feb 27, 2010 08:55 PM

                                                                    had a cemita milanesa res and it was ok. the beef was fresh-fried, layers of it, but seconds overcooked so it was a bit tough and big pieces kept coming out. there seemed to be roasted guajillo paste but not whole peppers like at other places; the papalo was there and two cheese, also a little bean, a little avocado and lettuce/tomato; the bread was a little crumbly but pretty good. overall, a steal at $5.50 but ultimately not satisfying due to the toughness of the meat.

                                                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                                                      Jeffsayyes Feb 28, 2010 08:38 AM

                                                                      from where?

                                                                      1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                                        bigjeff Mar 1, 2010 05:15 AM

                                                                        oops, sorry, I added that; it was from La Frontera. Next time, will definitely get from Tia Julia (but they were closed at the time). I still prefer coatzingo's over La Frontera's but we'll see with Tia Julia.

                                                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                                                          2slices Mar 2, 2010 09:13 AM

                                                                          FYI

                                                                          I go to Tia on weekdays for lunch and they usually do not have papalo so I've not yet ordered it. Also I'm too addicted to their amazing and unique (to me) quesadillas.

                                                                          1. re: 2slices
                                                                            bigjeff Mar 2, 2010 10:07 AM

                                                                            that's that weird item that you recently wrote about right?

                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/670896

                                                                    2. re: elbev
                                                                      c
                                                                      c.rogers Mar 15, 2010 01:30 PM

                                                                      Wanted to add a note about La Hacienda, as our visit last night for dinner was mildly entertaining. Let me state that I have never had a bad meal food-wise, but the experience almost always proves to be awkward.

                                                                      We've been here a few times and enjoy the place, but it's mostly because we want to tuck it under our wing and help it thrive. I don't think I've ever seen La Hacienda busy (we're normally the only ones there, actually), but we've never had any complaints about the flavors of the food -- when it is actually Mexican that they are serving [more on that later].

                                                                      To be blunt, my boyfriend and I are white and speak only limited conversational Spanish. I'm always very cordial, but I feel like the waitstaff is so intimidated by the notion of having us there. (One time while dining in another Mexican spot out in Jackson Heights, they literally turned off their music and put Coldplay on -- "White people, quick! Put on the Coldplay!".. we laughed so hard). We shrug it off because in Woodside, we are certainly the minority, but there's a reason we go to La Hacienda and they always act like we must not know where we are..! Our server spoke very minimal English, which is absolutely fine, but I think the service went down the drain a bit because of it -- she was so hesitant.

                                                                      We were so utterly perplexed last night, for a number of reasons:

                                                                      1. Cloth napkins on the tables and silverware wrapped in paper napkins -- plus MORE paper napkins when we were brought our drinks and meals.. what a waste of money for this place! Choose one or the other. Don't bother wrapping the silverware in paper if you set the table with cloth.

                                                                      2. Same with utensils -- silverware presented on the tables, but plastic spoons brought out with our complimentary appetizer.

                                                                      3. The appetizer wasn't chips and salsa like usual, but instead four small pieces of bread with two little packets of jam -- like you would get off of a hotel continental breakfast counter or cheap diner! We really did not know what to make of this.. bread and jam..? At a Mexican place..? That's new. What's the point -- why do they even waste their money stocking that stuff..? I'm hoping that perhaps this is not the norm, and maybe they just ran out of chips or something? I can't even imagine them making a decision to serve that pathetic little plate to everyone. Don't even bother!

                                                                      4. Water glasses pre-set on all of the tables -- but our waters were brought out in plastic tumblers..! So confusing..! Why waste your time setting all of the tables when you don't even use the glasses?

                                                                      5. The side salad to my boyfriend's burrito was presented with a bottle of Italian dressing "Pear & Walnut" right from Champion supermarket down the street..! Oh goodness, we were just having a field day at this point.

                                                                      We both have restaurant backgrounds and we were so perplexed by all of these quirks -- altogether a waste of time and money on behalf of La Hacienda. They're little things, but likely add up. I feel like they're trying to be a fancy little spot (fake flowers eeeeverywhere -- the decor is really bad) but don't know how to do it correctly. I just wanted to reach out to the manager and give him/her some tips. I think they should take a cue from De Mole in Sunnyside and tone down the tacky interior and focus on the food. We joked that we will only be ordering take out from now on -- it's just too awkward to go eat in the restaurant and their bottom line must be hurting from all of those nonsensical items..!

                                                                      -----
                                                                      La Hacienda
                                                                      61-17 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                                      1. re: c.rogers
                                                                        bigjeff Mar 15, 2010 01:36 PM

                                                                        can you provide more thoughts on the food itself? any specialties or anything?

                                                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                                                          c
                                                                          c.rogers Mar 16, 2010 10:18 AM

                                                                          Not sure of any specialties as I've never actually inquired -- honestly, there is little excess communication with the waitstaff when we visit La Hacienda because of the language barrier (ie. when I asked about the portion sizes I got a "good" in response and just had to run with it).

                                                                          Their menu is very extensive and we're usually craving traditional dishes when we go -- I can't speak on the Ecuadorian side of things, but they've never faltered with the burritos (they are huge and a great value). I found the tacos a bit bland, but workable (I also sort of feel that way about De Mole's too, though, so it could just be that tacos are generally pretty basic items -- I always crave something bursting with guacamole and pico afterwards ). I normally hit a home run with their chicken dishes -- they are prepared so well. The Pollo a la Mexicana is piled high with sauteed bell peppers & comes with rice & beans. Not spicy, but some really great flavors. It hits the spot. Salads I didn't particularly care for -- lots of iceberg lettuce and wasn't necessarily appetizing.

                                                                          It has been a while since we've gone (before our most recent visit) but I think we're going to be doing take out more often & I'll update when that happens.

                                                                        2. re: c.rogers
                                                                          elbev Mar 16, 2010 07:50 PM

                                                                          My distinct impression is that La Hacienda does the majority of their business delivery and take-out rather than sit-down. I also have the sense, and this has been confirmed by some of the staff, that they serve considerably more Ecuadorian food than Mexican. The several things I have had from that side of the menu (hornado plate, fish soup, pargo rojo frito, seco de chivo, something with pozole and chorizo) have been reliably good but never truly great. The Mexican fare has been more or less on par with other nearby sit-down places (El Paso, Frontera). It is a delivery standby for me, but certainly more about convenience than quality.

                                                                          1. re: elbev
                                                                            bigjeff Mar 16, 2010 08:52 PM

                                                                            i do love me some ecua food; do you have a better place you'd rather go to than this joint?

                                                                            1. re: bigjeff
                                                                              elbev Mar 18, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                                              bigjeff:
                                                                              The best sit-down place I know of is Hornado Ecuatoriano on 76th and Roosevelt, on the Elmhurst (south) side. There are also quite a few trucks/carts of different sizes in east JH shading towards Corona, some of which are excellent (cannot remember exactly which), and also in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park when the weather gets nice where apparently you can even get cuy (~=guinea pig). Have enjoyed late night soups at Picada Azuaya on 37th near 84th in JH. Heard about an excellent storefront that has more snacky Ecuadorian fare up in that area (or maybe on Northern Blvd) but have yet to search it out. There are a couple of places on Roosevelt in the western half of Woodside towards Sunnyside that I have heard are good, but have not tried them. The one time I went to Braulio y Familia, on 63rd north of Roosevelt, I was not especially impressed with the food or some other elements (attitude of staff, cleanliness).

                                                                              Hacienda is solid, though, and quite good as delivery goes. There are several other posts on Ecuadorian food in the OBs and NYC, probably mostly outdated. If others have more info I would love to hear it here or in a separate post. Finally, you could also ask folks at the Ecuadorian Consulate office in Woodside (!!!) on 67th and Roosevelt for recos.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Hornado Ecuatoriano
                                                                              81-10 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                              Woodside Cafe
                                                                              60-06 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                                        3. re: elbev
                                                                          w
                                                                          Widmark Nov 22, 2011 06:54 PM

                                                                          Haven't been reading the board lately and haven't seen it anywhere else, but looks like Rumphool is gone...replaced by another Thai that someone on yelp says is no good. Shame, while it's nice being able to walk to Srip, Ayada and Chao (on a nice day), Rumphool was my quick delivery option. Never got the cred of the others but was often really good.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Ayada
                                                                          77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                          Rumphool
                                                                          57-17 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                                          1. re: Widmark
                                                                            Jeffsayyes Nov 22, 2011 07:33 PM

                                                                            give them a chance, it's a nice family that runs it. it may take a bit to hit their stride. I had their thanksgiving special: turkey fried rice (eh), and pumpkin curry dessert (really good). The menu is veeerrry interesting. I'd like to see what's up with the rest of their curries.

                                                                            1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                                              p
                                                                              Paulomet Nov 23, 2011 03:04 AM

                                                                              We loved Rumphool, too, but we ordered our usual from the new place, Pad Kra-praw and Drunkman noodles and thought they were even better than Rumphool. It was like the take out from Thai Center Point, who we also love, but they rarely deliver. There is a larger menu to explore, too. The place is called Thai Home Kitchen.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Rumphool
                                                                              57-17 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                                              Thai Home Kitchen
                                                                              57-17 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                                        4. Joe MacBu May 29, 2009 02:19 PM

                                                                          On another thread, I posted about Piemonte, a fresh pasta plant in Woodside: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4354...

                                                                          You can also get pasta made by Cassenelli (in Astoria) at Ottomanelli and at the butcher on Roosevelt/59th.

                                                                          1. E Eto May 27, 2009 12:41 PM

                                                                            Some places I like:
                                                                            *Donovan's for burgers and simple fare (Roosevelt/58th)
                                                                            *Peppino's Pizza (61st/Roosevelt) for a grandma slice. One of the better pizzas in Queens in my limited experience.
                                                                            *Peking Chicken (Woodside/59th) for Peruvian rotisserie chicken.
                                                                            *Sripraphai (39th/65th) kind of goes without saying... if only they delivered. If you're desperate for Thai delivery, there's the little shop a block west of Sripraphai (Center Point? or something?) that's probably the best option.
                                                                            *Izalco (Roosevelt/64th) for good Salvadoran food.
                                                                            *Sapori d'Ischia (37th Ave/56th-ish) for one of the best Italian places in Queens.
                                                                            *Taco cart under the LIRR tracks in the evening. A new Sabor Mexicano cart has opened up here, and I find them OK, but I really like the other cart. They're around in the evenings and weekends all day, I think.
                                                                            *Cuatro Vientos taco truck (Roosevelt/65th) for another good option for tacos and antojitos. They're around from 8pm till the wee hours of the morning.
                                                                            *El Huarache (Roosevelt/68th) does good Mexican inspired diner food. Good prices for breakfasts, sandwiches, burgers, and Mexican items like chilaquiles.
                                                                            *El Sitio (Roosevelt/69th) for decent Cuban fare. They've been inconsistent over the years, but the last couple times I've been there, they've been better than the past. Definite upswing going on there.
                                                                            *Renee's (Roosevelt/70th) and Ihawan (70th/Roosevelt) are my two regular places for Filipino food. I like the grilled meats better at Ihawan, but pretty much everything else at Renee's better. Both places close by 8:30 -9:00pm so don't get there too late. Otherwise, try Engeline's (Roosevelt/59th). I'm lukewarm on Perlas Ng Silangan since most everything I've tried there hasn't lived up to the Renee's or Ihawan. I can't figure out their food angle or if it's just popular since they're open late and have entertainment space.
                                                                            *Casa del Pollo (Broadway/64th) is a little luncheonette serving decent Colombian fare. Good daily specials and lechon on the weekends.
                                                                            *Spicy Mina (Broadway/65th) is a CH favorite for South Asian/Bengali food, at a little chef driven place.

                                                                            24 Replies
                                                                            1. re: E Eto
                                                                              Jeffsayyes May 27, 2009 05:04 PM

                                                                              cuckoos nest - surprisingly excellent food, good beer, and poor music from the speakers, but good when played live.
                                                                              Braulio's Y Familia Restaurant - Nice family salvadorean restaurant.
                                                                              Hyberadabi - small, meticulous hyberadabi Indian food
                                                                              Rinconcito de Mama - new, dominican restaurant. steam tables. cheap and clean
                                                                              Lincoln Ave Deli - Great latin american steam tables. different menu every day.
                                                                              Ottomanelli - butcher shop
                                                                              Thailand's Center Point - when sriprapai's lines are too long.

                                                                              there's a ton.
                                                                              Add a star for eEto's Peking BBQ, sitio, and donovans.

                                                                              1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                                                E Eto May 27, 2009 07:35 PM

                                                                                Forgot about Braulio & Familia, but it's an Ecuadorian restaurant.
                                                                                Hyderabadi's been mostly a miss for me. I've tried a few things, but haven't found their better items.
                                                                                Is Rinconcito de Mama any better than Casa del Pollo?
                                                                                Which is Lincoln Ave Deli? Maybe I don't know it by name.
                                                                                Don't agree with you about Cuckoo's Nest. Everything I've had there has been mediocre to poor. I'd rather take my chances at Saint's and Sinners, but I don't really care for their food either.

                                                                                1. re: E Eto
                                                                                  Jeffsayyes May 28, 2009 08:05 PM

                                                                                  good call on braulio, I think I had salvadorean on my mind...
                                                                                  Lincoln ave is just off roosevelt, nearer to sunnyside. New green signage, but theyve been there for a while.

                                                                                  rinconcito is cheap. and new. id like to see what happens with them. ive been there once and wasn't too impressed, but i got my 5 dollars worth. worth another shot.

                                                                                  and i stand by cuckoos nest for food. again, not music.

                                                                                2. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  c.rogers Aug 12, 2009 02:29 PM

                                                                                  We were actually impressed with the food at Cuckoo's Nest -- I try to steer clear of pub-type food, 'cause it makes an instant impact on my hips, but we stop in every once in a while because it's so close. Their burgers are really fantastic, and I can't remember if they have a veggie or turkey burger on the menu, but whichever it is, I ordered it and thought it was SO good. (Excuse my memory, I try to order those two on several locations and I can't remember which was at Cuckoo's Nest). At any rate, my boyfriend and I enjoyed their burgers much more than Donovan's.

                                                                                  1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    mkennethamon Nov 3, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                                                    I second the Cuckoo's Nest recommendation, especially if you live at 61st and Woodside like I do. While I like Donovan's much-touted burger, it doesn't stand up to the Nest's angus burger with blue cheese or even its regular burger.

                                                                                  2. re: E Eto
                                                                                    Joe MacBu May 27, 2009 09:25 PM

                                                                                    There's a new Korean place that's pretty good. I'm blurry regarding the details, but I think it's called Friend's and is on the south side of Roosevelt at 64th St. Former location of Soho Tomo sushi.

                                                                                    Woodside Cafe (formerly Rainbows?) has very good burgers that are better than Donovan's on some nights. Incidentally, Donovan's for burgers only - I find most of the other stuff on the menu to be inedible.

                                                                                    1. re: E Eto
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      MahatmaKanejeeves May 28, 2009 04:05 PM

                                                                                      I think that Perlas is the best place for Crispy Pata.

                                                                                      1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves
                                                                                        d
                                                                                        Da Vid Oct 7, 2009 09:01 AM

                                                                                        I agree. Perlas' crispy pata is great!

                                                                                        1. re: Da Vid
                                                                                          el jefe Oct 8, 2009 05:27 PM

                                                                                          Perlas has been closed for months. Supposedly it's for renovations, but I've never seen any work going on.

                                                                                          1. re: el jefe
                                                                                            bigjeff Oct 8, 2009 10:26 PM

                                                                                            have you been to the new place across the street? i thought i saw signs for a new "bakery" where renee's old space used to be (i think)

                                                                                            1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                              el jefe Oct 14, 2009 01:30 PM

                                                                                              Renee's hasn't moved in at least 5-10 years. There was a short-lived Filipino restaurant next door but that space is still empty. The new bakery is further down the block and wasn't open yet when I went by a week ago.

                                                                                      2. re: E Eto
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        c.rogers May 29, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                                                        Bliss..!! Cannot wait to get started. We knew looking around that we were going to be in luck -- with great food for a great price. Quite the fantastic selection, thank you for all the information!

                                                                                        1. re: E Eto
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          c.rogers Jun 2, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                                                          We're big breakfast people. Any suggestions in the area other than Woodside Cafe..?

                                                                                          1. re: c.rogers
                                                                                            w
                                                                                            Widmark Jun 2, 2009 09:58 AM

                                                                                            La Flor and Cuckoos Nest

                                                                                            1. re: c.rogers
                                                                                              E Eto Jun 2, 2009 02:39 PM

                                                                                              I'm not so much of a breakfast person, but I like El Huarache for the big chilaquiles plate. I like that their breakfast portions aren't so huge. Most of the Mexican joints in the morning would be making things like huevos rancheros or huevos con chorizo, which are generally consistent. The Filipino places do eggs with longaniza, tocino, or tapa, with garlic fried rice.

                                                                                              1. re: c.rogers
                                                                                                elbev Jun 4, 2009 01:07 PM

                                                                                                La Flor is definitely best for nice breakfast/brunch out. Stop Inn is great for no frills diner fare .

                                                                                                1. re: elbev
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  CKOne Jun 25, 2009 06:33 AM

                                                                                                  I agree with the Stop Inn rec. Great diner breakfast with real hash browns rather than warmed up mushy home fries that many diners serve.

                                                                                                  1. re: CKOne
                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                    c.rogers Aug 12, 2009 02:31 PM

                                                                                                    I haven't tried Stop Inn yet, but my boyfriend went and was sorely, sorely disappointed. Ridiculously overcooked eggs, he said. I'm thinking that perhaps their other items are better, or someone in the kitchen was having an off morning.. but for a chef that specializes in breakfast, he would not return.

                                                                                                    We like the Woodside Cafe and La Flor for breakfast thus far. I like Woodside's space too -- very neat and streamlined.

                                                                                                    1. re: c.rogers
                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                      jaingmaster Aug 12, 2009 03:56 PM

                                                                                                      I've had eggs from Stop Inn slightly overcooked, but never "ridiculously" so. I rarely order eggs, though - unusual as it may seem, I can't keep away from the chocolate chip pancakes at this place. The plain pancakes are nothing special, and the fruit pancakes tend to be on the soggy side, but the chocolate chip pancakes are just wonderful.

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Stop Inn
                                                                                                      60-22 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                                                              2. re: E Eto
                                                                                                n
                                                                                                nooyawka Jun 19, 2009 03:36 PM

                                                                                                I used to eat at El Sitio more often. I've been away and recently, I went back and had the Roumanian steak (my usual). It used to be much better (tastier) and larger. And service was slow. I didn't mind since I wasn't in a hurry. But I think definitely worth a try for someone new to the neighborhood. Especially the Cuban specialties, like the bread and sandwiches, etc.

                                                                                                A lady I've worked with for many years is from Ischia. She knows good and fresh food. She loves Sapori d'Ischia. I have not tried it. The reviews I've read are uniformly positive. Would be interested in getting your opinion if you do try it.

                                                                                                I wholeheartedly second E Eto's suggestion of Donovan's as definitely worth a try, even if you may ultimately disagree with Time Out New York's poll ranking it the #1 burger in NYC.

                                                                                                I've tried Filipino food in Woodside. I couldn't remember the name. It was definitely on Roosevelt Ave. My recollection is that it was within blocks of 65th. I think that, of the 2 places that E Eto mentions, Renee's sounds familiar. It was pretty darn good, tasty and filling.

                                                                                                There's a rotisserie chicken joint on the diagonal corner from El Sitio. The time I tried it, it was pretty unremarkable. I'd say skip this one and try others instead.

                                                                                                (Slightly off point: since you're from Sunnyside, certainly you've tried Pio Pio Riko for their rotisserie chicken? On the remote chance you haven't, their chicken is pretty tasty. Though I've read about them possibly scamming customers on the bill. I suspect I may have been taken last time as well.)

                                                                                                elbey below mentions Cositas Ricas at 59th/Woodside. I didn't know CR had a location there. I go to the one in Jackson Heights regularly (corner of Roosevelt and 80th?), and they are consistently decent and relatively inexpensive ($25 and under) for a meal that will satisfy you.

                                                                                                I also look forward to trying some of the suggestions on this thread. Thanks Hounds!

                                                                                                1. re: nooyawka
                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                  dietndesire Jul 10, 2009 03:31 PM

                                                                                                  Sapori d'Ischia is overrated. It has declined a bit. Not terribly so but enough.
                                                                                                  If you are of the "there is nothing else around that is comparable and thus I accept what is around" type, then you would probably love it. If graded on an absolute scale, the reviews of the masses are too high.
                                                                                                  Again, it is not bad but it is also overpriced as far as I see it.
                                                                                                  If you go, I hope yours is as good as when I first went, at least.

                                                                                                  1. re: dietndesire
                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                    grisaille Jul 10, 2009 05:24 PM

                                                                                                    I agree - I've only been twice, but I found the food...incredibly salty. And I LIKE salt. And the hovering water-bearing waiters didn't help. I like it as a grocery store, though - great sausage (fresh and dried) and cheese and other imported odds and ends - good prices, too.

                                                                                                    1. re: grisaille
                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                      donovt Jul 13, 2009 04:39 AM

                                                                                                      I completely disagree on sapori. I've been going there for about 4 years now and always love it. I highly recommend getting the Fettucine as an appetizer along with the baby octopus. I'll often get the risotto of the day as an app instead of the pasta. The only meal I've ever been disappointed in is the rabbit which I find a little dry.

                                                                                                      1. re: donovt
                                                                                                        z
                                                                                                        zemilideias Nov 7, 2009 04:14 PM

                                                                                                        I totally agree that sapori is overrated. Hovering waiters commenting on diners in Spanish, poorly cooked pasta (!) and attempts to pad the bill by getting you to drink a ton on top of only mediocre food mean that although I live close and hit nearby Northern Blvd. for staples shopping on a regular basis I will never go back.

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                                                                                                        Sapori d'Ischia
                                                                                                        55-15 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

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