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May 27, 2009 11:01 AM

Guide to Woodside

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..?

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

          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

            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

            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

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

              1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves

                I agree. Perlas' crispy pata is great!

                1. re: Da Vid

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

                  1. re: el jefe

                    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

                      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

                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

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

                    1. re:

                      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:

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

                        1. re: elbev

                          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

                            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:

                              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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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.

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

                      3. On another thread, I posted about Piemonte, a fresh pasta plant in Woodside:

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

                        1. 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

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                  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

                              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

                                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

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

                                  1. re: elbev

                                    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

                                  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

                                    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

                                    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: Jeffsayyes

                                        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


                                          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

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


                                    1. re: elbev

                                      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:

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

                                        1. re: bigjeff

                                          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:

                                          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

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

                                            1. re: 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

                                          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.

                                          77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                          57-17 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                          1. re: Widmark

                                            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

                                              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.

                                              57-17 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

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

                                        4. 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

                                            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:

                                            1. re: Joe MacBu

                                              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

                                                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:

                                                58-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                1. re: Joe MacBu

                                                  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,

                                                  65-40 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                                    place link

                                                    65-40 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                    1. re: bigjeff

                                                      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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                    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

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

                                                  2. re: Foodaholic

                                                    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

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

                                                  3. 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

                                                      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

                                                        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

                                                          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

                                                            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.