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Does this even exist in Jackson Heights?

Hi. I've got a bit of a tall order. I'm looking for a restaurant that:

1. Is vegetarian friendly (dairy, eggs OK)
2. Has many non-spicy options
3. Has fish and chicken options (also needs to coincide with #2)
4. Is not Indian or Latin American
5. Is not a dive -- eg. restaurant like Srirpraphai is OK; Kabab King is not
6. Can accommodate baby strollers
7. Is within a 10-12 block radius of 74th and Roosevelt

So far I've got Srirpraphai and La Portena on my list. How are La Portena's non-beef options? Something like Sapori d'Ischia would have been good except it's too far and I don't know how exactly stroller friendly they are. Any other restaurants that fit the bill?

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  1. Ayada might be a good choice for you. That place called Novo might also fit with your parameters, but can't vouch for the quality though.

    78-23 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

    77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

    1 Reply
    1. re: E Eto

      Try Uncle Peter's Continental on Northern/84th...Great Italian/Argentinean inspired food in a white tablecloth setting. Probably the best overall restaurant in JH. Also, try Trieste on Northern for very good Italian food (and great fish) in a pretty room. The new El Coyote on Northern also has many food options--its a "high-end" Mexican restaurant with nice decor and great service.

    2. Thanks guys for the recommendations! Good to know there are a few more options around.

      1. rejecting latin american fare takes out a ton of places, but I'm game...

        you might want to find a surprisingly hidden gem - jackson house. hidden by a big tree so you can't see the awning. 37th and approx 82nd. my fav diner in the area... although I wonder if the stroller will fit. they must have tables for kid stuff. ..

        the thai places fit your parameters: rice ave, zabb, ayada, arunee -- all great places.

        that chinese (not korean) place on woodside and like 69th... chu ying or something

        wasabi point -woodside ave/ ~75th - japanese / tibetan

        spicy shallot

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jeffsayyes

          Yeah, the no Latin American makes it a bit difficult. One of the people isn't too fond of the cuisine and there's just too much hidden meat for the vegetarian. I think the more nuevo places like Novo should be fine though. Thanks for the additional recs.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            I've never had a desire to go into novo. but if a person isn't fond of an entire continent plus then maybe they will like Novo.

        2. som thai (believe thats what its called) next to the gay bar at 74th and roosevelt, its nice veitnamese cuisine, good beer

          1. Unless the extra walk or couple of bucks per entree is a big deal, I'd certainly choose Uncle Peter's over Novo.

            El Chivito de Oro has a solid roast chicken, their beef on average is better than La Portena, surely they have a pasta or two and salads that are veggie friendly.

            I suppose all those options are technically Latin American though.

            I can't imagine any of these places, or Sapori, turning away someone with a stroller, you could always call to ask.

            Sapori is probably be the best option of all those, if you can't convince someone to trek all the way there, I'd go w/ Uncle Peter's, but I doubt it's all that much closer to 74th & Roosevelt.

            1. We ended up at La Portena (worked out logistically for us). I've only ordered steak there before and ordered a filet mignon this time. It wasn't bad at all. They cooked it a perfect rare, and I enjoyed it. And the fries were pretty good (though they didn't salt them right after cooking -- a pet peeve of mine). But I'm afraid the other people didn't enjoy their dishes. After sampling them, I understood why. Somebody ordered the mixed grill. While there were some OK stuff (sausage, sweetbreads), the short ribs were inedible, the flank steak was burnt to a char and completely dry and overcooked (even though he requested medium rare) and the intestines weren't cleaned very well. The grill was supposed to come with tripe as well, but none was found. Another person ordered the grilled short ribs and I don't think she enjoyed it at all. If it was similar to the ribs on the mixed grill, it was really tough and gristly. I know most Americans are used to eating their short ribs braised, but I've eaten grilled short ribs and it has been fabulous. This one -- not so much. Not sure if it's because it was grass-fed beef (leaner) and doesn't grill up as well. Somebody ordered the salmon and it was overcooked and not very flavorful. I didn't taste the vegetarian's pasta dish so I don't have an opinion of it. So in terms of food, I would probably say the meal was a bust (except for my dish).

              Thanks for the list. Now we have many more options to choose from next time.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Miss Needle

                I find the Argie Steakhouses to be generally overrated. I was brought up on meat and woudl eat it 2-3 times a week if I could, and not keel over. However, most of these steakhouses don't have great meats and the prices have crept up there. I used to love the Uruguyan place 18 of July on 37 Ave. They have an amazing Lomo sandwich, tasty, just the right amoung of chew and even at the end it was a great deal. If I want a good steak In Queens, Albertos on MetropolitanAve does it right.

                1. re: MOREKASHA

                  While I normally love grass-fed beef, when it comes to eating steak, I'm a fan of the fattier grain-fed one. The filet mignon at Portena was good, but paled in comparison to the porterhouse (filet part) that I had at Wolfgang's (in Manhattan) a couple of months ago. But I did prefer the grass-fed beef that I've had at a couple of Argentinian steakhouses in Manhattan than to La Portena. But I still think I had the best meal compared to everybody else.

                2. re: Miss Needle

                  I love chivito d'oro - excellent quality and stupid large portions. but this is latin american. and so is la portena where you went.

                  1. re: Jeffsayyes

                    La Portena worked for us because of the large selection of Italian menu items. Restaurants like Tacqueria Coatzingo would not be the best choice. The person who did not like Latin American food ended up ordering salmon scampi.

                3. I usually order the bife de chorizo and a watercress salad at La Portena or Chivito de Oro though I've probably tried most of the cuts at the latter. Chivito de Oro can have issues with overcooking as well, but not to the point of burnt or dryness. Even besides the grass vs grain fed meat, I wouldn't expect any Argentine or Uruguayan parilla in Queens to compare to the big name steak houses.

                  If you like short ribs in general, you might want to try the BBQ short ribs at Texas Ranger, they're usually quite good. Not that I'd necessarily plan on bringing a kid in a stroller there, but Legends can actually be quiet enough sometimes.