Glendale Is Hungry
This post is my username and with good reason. If anyone knows of anyone looking to open up a restaurant with interesting food made from fresh high-quality ingredients, please tell them, "Glendale is hungry."
My partner and I moved to Glendale about two years ago and while we love our house, our neighbors, the pumpkins and herbs we grew in our backyard this summer and that we can walk to and from the L train, we realize now just how spoiled we were back in Astoria when it came to restaurants.
In Astoria we were either close to or reasonably close to Sunnyside, Woodside, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, etc. So, as you all know, we therefore had easy access to a number of amazing ethnic and inexpensive places to eat.
We have a few gems here in Glendale or nearby Ridgewood (Artisanal Ice Cream on Myrtle Ave. - unfortunately only open from May to September, Bosnian Burger on Fairview Ave., two Muncans Meat locations on Myrtle Ave. and on Seneca Ave.) but almost everything else is either ho-hum (ok-but-not-unusual pizza), dated (think vegetables from a can), or downright weird (how about cold sesame noodles sprinkled liberally with granulated sugar? - I kid you not!).
We've tried most of the tried-and-true restaurants in our neighborhood that people always mention and, without naming names, frankly we don't see what all the fuss is about.
To give you all a better idea of what I miss, here are some of the restaurants that I wish were a lot closer to Glendale: Egg (Williamsburg), Georgia Diner and Mie Jakarta (Elmhurst), De Mole and La Flor's (Sunnyside), Le Tournesol (LIC), Kebab Cafe (Astoria), Valdiano's (Greenpoint), Donovan's and Sri Praiphai (Woodside).
Yes, in Astoria we were spoiled. Horribly horribly spoiled. But I still think that Ridgewood and Glendale are untapped markets for a restaurant like Egg or Donovan's or really good Mexican like De Mole. Hey, there's already a sizeable Mexican/Dominican/Puerto Rican community that straddles the Ridgewood/Bushwick line but I haven't been able to find any good Latino restaurants so far unless I go down Wyckoff Ave. all the way to the tortilleria factory on Starr St.
If anyone has any new restaurants in Glendale/Ridgewood that they love, please let me know.
Glendale is hungry...
not sure what you thought of La Tavernetta before they moved, or their replacement which has gotten good reviews. I have always really liked the grilled chicken mozzarella shallot vinegrett sandwich there, and their eggplant parm is excellent--both very reasonable as takeout heros..they moved from 88th st to Metrop not too far from Trader Joes, so close enough....You've got 5 guys now, which seems to be pleasing many in Glendale, and let's be grateful we've got Trader Joe's. Have you headed over Metrop to Wafa's Mediterrean--tiny little place with sweet lady that cranks out some good and reasonable lebanese fare. --lots of posts here on chowhound--there is supposed to be a new greek bistro opening up across on metrop in the old mexican place that was there, --let's hope for something decent---you didn't mention Uvarara, I'm assuming you've gone and didn't like it? I haven't been there but it's gotten favorable reviews--I find Rosa's Pizza on Fresh Pond Road reliable for good slices and great garlic rolls, and a friend of mine likes Antica a lot for Italian.--also on fresh pond road
No, we do not have a Srip here, but then no one else has one either in most areas, so if you've got a car, it's a quick dash over there--the way I look at it, it's a trade off,--you've got some nice houses and proximity to Forest Park, if you live in Glendale, North Richmond Hill area, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills area...and it's quiet, and small town like ....--unfortunately, the demographics for Glendale perfectly match a place like 5 Guys, that's why they are doing well....more esoteric and trendy type places might not do so well...and really authentic ethnic places, need to cater to a surrounding community....what's great about queens is that it's a more sprawling area, and you just have to work a bit harder to find places that you might not otherwise find in your own immediate settings...I do not care for Kebab Cafe, never did, found the food overpriced, overhyped, and the clientele pretentious ---of course this was after a few visits many years ago, so perhaps it's different now...Just to give you a comparison for the places you mentioned, because some I like and others not so much,,,,so this becomes important when you are considering the places I've mentioned if it's not your cup of tea.--Love De Mole, old time customers there, --La Flor, I think went downhill, raised their prices and changed their baked goods, and got sort of unfriendly --so don't go too often there anymore....Never cared for Georgia Diner, anyplace that serves syrup in a plastic peel back little container I run from...this is not where I want to have breakfast--it's not a bad place, but the few times I went there, nothing tasted like I'd remember it for any reason.
You've got Pio Pio on Woodhaven, although I prefer the Jackson Heights location for niceness and space---
You've got Tortilla Nixtimal a short ride away in Corona, the mecca that Flushing has to offer, the Bukharian joints in Rego Park,--granted, lots of mediocrity in Forest hIlls, but Danny Brown certainly seems like a place you'd like, but it's not cheap---and the new Japanese place on Metrop across the street has some fans, also not cheap----
Someone that would open a restauant in Glendale would think that their clientele comes by car, is more family oriented, and looking for value, hence why the chain restaurants have survived at Atlas Park---It's not like Miami which is suburban but has cosmopolitan appeal that operates on word of mouth...---
I too wish there was just more in general, for lots of options, soup places, salad and sandwiches, a citeralla or Fairway type place, or whole foods---but, I travel all over to get what I need--a great Spanish restaurant is what I'd like to see--Spanish, SPAIN, not dominican, columbian, peruvian....etc---
It would be great if Metropolitan Avenue could become restaurant row, and get rid of the old dirty places in between--restaurants that would be both low end to high end...heck, I'd love to see Jamaica Ave under the J, transform--there certainly is possiblity for pioneers out there, but unfortunately there is little community spirit in place in many areas, not like Brooklyn...and this is a shame, because there are really some very cool people living in queens.
Thanks for your reply! Lots of great suggestions. I'm most intrigued with Wafa and plan to go there soon.
The funny thing is that Glendale is a very long and narrow neighborhood and the part that we're in is on the Bushwick/Ridgewood side that is focused on the L train due to its proximity. So it's sort of car oriented but still mass transit friendly. And, the stretch of Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Wyckoff Avenue definitely bustles with foot traffic. This, combined with the increasing number of creative types that get off at the Myrtle/Wyckoff stop on the L train, have led me to believe that a restaurant like Egg, De Mole or say Tom's Luncheonette (very family oriented and wonderful!) would do well here.
For most existing restaurants here though, it's odd. It is as if they don't Get It.
I got very excited when a new independent coffee shop opened on Myrtle recently only to go in and get hit in the face with a powerful stale cigarette smoke odor and see nothing but prepackaged baked goods in the display case (the espresso wasn't very good either).
I tried a recommended local diner and the portions were huge but everything was overcooked and the whole place smelled like a urinal cake. (and it was expensive for a diner)
This is what puzzles me. Good intentions, perhaps, but an inability to put it all together.
Oh well, as I said before, we were very very spoiled. Sorry to end this on a bit of a down note. I'll make an effort to try Wafa soon and look more closely at Metropolitan Avenue. It sounds as though that may be where things are happening.
Glendale is hungry...
re: Glendale is hungry
my polish babysitter lives over in your area, and I know from her and the young people her age, that they tend to eat a lot in Brooklyn, like places you describe, also a lot in Greenpoint, and that they view where they live as the place where they sleep....other than grabbing slices at Rosa's and the few Polish places on Fresh Pond, and Antica that I mentioned--and the Bosnian Burger joint...yes, there is a shortage of places that are good...what about that soup place that's further down on myrtle near the cemetary, they can be decent sometimes....there is a decent 'Thai place that's off of Woodhaven 8605 Jamaica Ave
(718) 847-4700 Thai Kitchen that you might want to check out--and there's also a good Peruivan, El Anzuelo Fino, see link.http://www.villagevoice.com/locations...
They also long for a good bakery, and good chinese, both defecits in that neighborhood...once tried some chinese place in Glendale, can't remember the name at the moment, but it was pretty bad, after reading good reviews here...i tend to just head to flushing anyway for Chinese....
The area you describe has been a traditionally hardcore working class neighborhood--it's a strange area, because although it's queens, the brownstones and the layout, make it feel like parts of brooklyn, and since it's so close to the brooklyn line, it has the strange transition....
I would see the restaurants you're describing only coming to an area that is in a state of transformation--eventually it will happen to many areas, but with the economy it's a long way off--------there is no Starbucks or modern clean looking coffee shop on Jamaica Ave anywhere from Richmond Hill to Woodhaven area, and this area is bustling with people all the time, but the Columbian little bakeries do okay----
It's so expensive and risky to open a restuarant, especially one that involves so much renovation, so for someone to come into a neighborhood that borders to close to Bushwick, they are probably living there themselves, having invested in real estate.
Williamsburg did not transform overnight, friends of mine were the first to move into those lofts in 1989-1990, and it was not a safe area, they were held up several times..it took a good 10 years for that area to transform into what it is today. It's proximity and views, and larger spaces, and better prices back then are what allowed that to happen. If there's no community in place, I doubt that will happen. What you need to do, is attract more people into your area, and invest there----
Let us know what you discover.....
I've had a similarly barren Glendale experience, moving here a year ago from Sunset Park. After a year of intensive exploration, I have very little to recommend that's not over the border into Bushwick or Forest Hills. Given that (and beyond Bosnian Burger, which you already mentioned), here's what I recommend:
If you're traveling as far as Wafa's (which is fine but not spectacular), go a block further down Metropolitan to Katsuno, an incredible, authentic, unique, and totally unappreciated mid-priced Japanese restaurant, followed by dessert at Eddy's Sweet Shop, particularly anything with caramel or butterscotch on it (they're real!). La Tavernetta, as mentioned, is pretty good.
On the Bushwick side of things the original taco truck at the Myrtle Wyckoff stop is incredible, and almost always open. The original truck is the one on Wyckoff, not the '100% Mexicano' place which is okay and maybe a buck cheaper. A block or two south on Myrtle is Cholula Deli, which is a gem of a Mexican place.
The Salvadoran place on Myrtle at Irving has decent pupusas.
Rosa's Pizza on upper Fresh Pond is actually pretty solid for a neighborhood pizza place.
And that's it. I realize I've listed three places in Bushwick, one in Forest Hills, and one in Ridgewood, which totally validates your complaint. But I hope it's still some help. And really, give Katsuno a try--they're great.
Hmm. Our neighborhood really does suck for food. Alas.
I'll have to try the taco truck on Wyckoff, Cholula Deli and the pupusas at the Salvadorean place. I'm also curious about Rosa's. It seems to be generally well liked in the area in a no-nonsense sort of way.
Also, the Artisanal Ice Cream place on Myrtle next to the fire station in downtown Glendale I believe might have plans to turn into a complete restaurant (and still serve ice cream as well). If you haven't been there yet I recommend checking it out once it reopens in May. They make really good hazenut gelato, lemon sorbet, vanilla and amaretto ice cream and other flavors as well.
Glendale is hungry...
re: Glendale is hungry
glad you liked Wafa's--Tavernetta recently changed owners and I haven't been since the change and heard serious downhill reports, so go forewarned, try the grillen chicken mozzrella hero with shallot vinagrette to go, if it sucks then never return, if it's transcendent then things are okay there....have not been to Katsuno as I'm not a big fan of Japanese food, but I have read ripoff reports about this place on several diff sites, so go prepared...Rosa's is fine for pizza, stay away from the soup, it sucks, and the pastas are average at best...but the grandma and the one with onions and breadcrumbs, and the caesar chicken and fresh mozzarell slice are good, so's the eggplant, and delicious garlic rolls...........and they are cheap!! and open until 1am which makes it a late night spot when it's hard to otherwise find a good one in the area...also, don't forget Pio Pio,...
re: Glendale is hungry
Not sure if you were talking about the taco truck on Wyckoff shown in the above link but I have now tried it and had the best cemita ever. If this isn't the truck you were talking about it might as well be. It's very promising. I look forward to going back and sampling their huaraches.
Glendale is hungry...
If you like Donovan's in Woodside then you should definitely try Danny Boy's on Dry Harbor road in Middle Village. It has Donovan's beat hands down. The burgers are as good if not better and the rest of the menu is heads above,
60-06 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377
64-56 Dry Harbor Rd, Queens, NY 11379
I've been looking for a really good burger closer to Glendale than Donovan's. I will definitely check this place out.
Also, since the original "Glendale Is Hungry" post, a rather unusual restaurant has opened in Glendale. I wrote about it here:
I also did a Chowhound review of it here:
The review is mostly the same info as in the post but also goes into a little more detail in describing the food. I highly recommend checking this place out if only for the novelty of it.
Thanks again for the burger info!
Glendale is hungry...