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Nov 29, 2009 06:08 PM

Looking for suggestions for Sunnyside

Hey gang....visiting friends for a couple of days at the end of December. They live on 46th Street. Are there any good breakfast, lunch and dinner places nearby (also willing to travel a bit for great food). Not too worried about meal costs, but trying to keep it pretty reasonable as we are headed into Manhattan for our splurge meals after New Year's. Open to most types of cuisine, however not really looking for Mexican as we eat that all the time here in Houston. Our friends don't eat out that much, so I would like to surprise them with some great local food recs.....thanks!

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  1. One place you and your friends might like is Turkish Grill on Queens Boulevard and 42nd Street. They have great food, not too expensive, and it's a pretty nice atmosphere for treating your friends to lunch or dinner.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nom De Plume

      Quaint on Skillman has a nice brunch ( I like their regular menu, too), better and cheaper than any of the diners in the area, atmosphere, too. I like Quaint more than Bliss Bistro, but the Bistro is very nice too. I second Turkish Grill, but Mangal also has excellent Turkish, with a bit of a pizzaria atmosphere. I always order and take out to a bar on Queens Blvd, most welcome food.
      Although there are some good Mexican options, De Mole, and Mexicanish, La Flor, to get some seriously good food take your friends for a walk over to Woodside or Jackson Heights. Both have more options, some great Thai, Indian and various Latin places. But that's another board. Both areas are a close and interesting walk up Roosevelt Ave. Check Roosevelt Ave on this board.

      1. re: Nom De Plume

        Turkish grill is good, but Mangal is Great. If you've never had Lamuchan try it, it looks like a thin crust pizza but it has a light spread of ground lamb and some kind tomato, it's my fav thing there. And the fresh baked bread.

        Pio Pio Riko on 47th and Greenpoint is really good for peruvian chicken, also the Hen Soup.

        I've found De Mole boring and stopped going last year. I agree with Paulomet, walk up to Coatzingo or something.

        Pio Pio Riko
        996 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

        46-20 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11104

      2. Howdy,

        My guess is that Houston probably doesn't have much Romanian food. If you and your friends are game, I've enjoyed Romanian Garden (4604 Skillman Ave., Sunnyside) and there are a number of threads discussing it on this board. Most memorable to me was the mititei (grilled, skewered, spiced ground meat cylinders) and mamaliga (think mashed potatoes made of corn meal with tangy shredded cheese on top - it's a LOT better than it sounds, trust me). This is a place I would go for dinner or lunch.

        For breakfast, consider an Irish one. I like Rose (4407 Queens Blvd. Sunnyside). If you go, make sure to order things Irish (otherwise, what's the point, right?). So try the black pudding, the white pudding (both sausages) and get grilled tomatoes and beans and such. If you're lucky, they might even have the banoffee pie that day (banana and toffee pie). This is rib stickin' food in a casual setting. Nothing fancy, but satisfying.

        If you're in the mood for something a bit more exotic perhaps try Tangra Asian Fusion (3923 Queens Blvd, Sunnyside). From what I understand the food here is like that found in the ethnic Chinese neighborhoods of India—specifically Calcutta I believe. If you go, the lollipop chicken is a must. Almost everything on the menu looks familiar (fried rice, etc.) but is spiced to please an Indian palate. The results can be quite intriguing.

        I hope that gets you started for ideas.

        Good luck!

        Glendale is hungry...

        22 Replies
        1. re: Glendale is hungry

          Whoa!!! forgot I had posted this during the holidays - turkey-induced coma I guess....just posted again today. Thanks for all the suggestions. Looking forward to my visit!

          1. re: HTownCowboy

            Funny, you mention that you don't need Mexican recs and that's what you get.

            If you don't mind heading a mile or so down Roosevelt Ave, there's Sripraphai (off 65th St) arguably the best Thai restaurant on the east coast. Go a few blocks further to 69th Street and there are 4 Filipino restaurants. imho Renee's is the best of the bunch. Go early or at lunch. Most close at 9:00pm.

            I'll also counter the Pio Pio Riko recommendation above. I doubt you came to NY for rotisserie chicken, not to mention that I don't even think it;s a very good rendition.

            1. re: el jefe

              It's ok...I wasn't looking for Mexican recs, but I can always eat Mexican (well, Tex-Mex anyway). do you know if the Thai place is open on Wednesdays - I thought I saw a post that said it wasn't?

              1. re: el jefe

                I work near Riko and LOVE it! I go once a week minimum, I've had alot of doubts that the other Pio pios can be that much better, but it surely seems to be the consensus. I can't imagine it gets that much better, but there have been times when my chicken at Riko wasnt piping hot and that's a bit of a let down. Also want to try the chinese/peruvian chicken place, blanking on the name. I've heard arguments it's the best, and the idea of pork fried rice with peruvian chicken is mind boggling.

                1. re: 2slices

                  Pio Pio in Jackson Heights is a million times better then Pio Pio Riko! If you're doubting it, go there and get some chicken already!

                  1. re: Widmark

                    I've been putting it off forever, it's too far for lunch and home is in manhattan This is going to be a dinner mission. Seriously can't wait. Do you get the free corn?

                    1. re: 2slices

                      I don't remember. You mean the dry snacky stuff they put on tables? That was good. I used to order from Pio Pio Riko all the time and went once or twice. Went to their other location in Greenpoint as well. It's fine, but Pio Pio is just more food, a nicer location, more festive, and generally better chicken. Be careful on weekends though, it gets really crowded. It's the same style chicken, the same "salchipapas" plate of fries and hot dogs, similar enough that I think one was started by or influenced by the other.

                      1. re: Widmark

                        yeah the snacky stuff. i always ask for more. made it at home once or twice, u can buy the right corn at supermarkets around there, it's called cancha corn.

                      2. re: 2slices

                        why don't you go to the Pio Pio in Manhattan then? Here's their website, there are several in the city now.

                        Disagree with you about Demole, always enjoy eating there, not sure what you mean by boring exactly, --are you looking for more daily specials, or more unusual protein offerings? I definitely think they could revamp the menu a bit, also, but I always find what I get to be freshly prepared, and they are very nice there.

                        1. re: janie

                          I'm a big fan of De Mole as well but sort of understand a lot of the critique. I do think their food is often more fresh and simple then heavily seasoned and "exciting". I also think it depends on what you base the opinions on, I happen to think most of the tacos aren't that special, and often dry, though I love the pastor. However stuff like the Chicken Mole burrito, the Tinga entree and tinga quesadilla, the chorizo and eggs breakfast and the enchiladas all float my boat.

                            1. re: janie

                              I get chicken, verde or raja depending on my mood. The chicken has this nice stewed juicy quality and they come with a bit of raw onion garnish, which I've never seen but I really like.

                          1. re: janie

                            I'm having trouble understanding what you mean by "freshly prepared" and why that differentiates De Mole from any other place. Frankly, many of the better Mexican places don't "freshly" prepare things, like carnitas that have been prepared much earlier or a day before, or tamales or stews that have been sitting in the steam table pans. Those can be excellent items that are not freshly prepared, among many other items. I've only been to De Mole once, but found the menu rather uninspiring and never gave it another chance. Seems they have an overabundance of menu items that are more or less gringo-friendly for the neighborhood. So unless I hear of some items that are demonstrably better than I can get at the joints around Roosevelt Ave that cater to local Mexican folks, I don't feel the pull to rush over to De Mole.

                            For 2Slices, the Peruvian chicken place is called Peking Chicken in Woodside near 59th/Roosevelt. It's not at all strange to find good fried rice at Peruvian places. Just look for arroz chaufa on any menu (the fried rice at Peking is OK, I stick to the rice/beans there). If you really want to get Peruvian style Chinese food, you should check out Chifa Union on Corona Ave in Corona/Elmhurst.

                            One more thing for the OP, the doner sandwich on the homemade pide bread at Mangal Kabab is one of the best sandwiches in Queens IMO. It's quite a monster too.

                            1. re: E Eto

                              I just go by my gut, and tastebuds...I'm not saying De Mole's food is inherently "fresher", just that it has a lighter, less heavy flavor to me. I've been to many of the joints around Roosevelt avenue, they're actually closer to where I live then De Mole is, and while I've had some good food, I've also had some tough gristly stuff, some stuff that did taste like it had been sitting around, some stuff that was smothered in pounds of sauces, that really didn't excite me.

                              I don't always need or want inspired, sometimes I prefer simple and well prepared. Not to mention friendly service and prompt delivery!

                              1. re: Widmark

                                I agree.

                                I should be fair. I think the food is really good, freshly prepared real tasty and all that. But if you're traveling from another hood to get some great Mexican I wouldn't recommend De Mole. Queens, and Roosevelt ave of course, is defintely a destination meal at a number of places, and that's not just because of the food. I would just want someone to know that they're probably not going to find items here that can't be found elsewhere, and it's not an exciting trip. There are definitely things there I like alot, especially that Tilapia salad that I wrote up last year. But if I take friends from Manhattan out to Queens for dinner, De Mole isn't in the running.

                                1. re: 2slices

                                  I wouldn't say "fresher" -- my best attempt at describing De Mole is that it's more refined, and less seasoned. Most everything I've had there has been good, and I the spinach enchiladas are quite a draw, but the seasoning has grown very bland. I've also had too many nights of sitting and waiting forever and ever and ever to be served. I live just a block away but I've stopped going. The food at Azteca is just so much more zippy and alive. (Of course eating in at Azteca is not as pleasant and requires serious earlplugs.) Has anyone been to the Haab? It was very crowded one day at lunch but I've not yet made my way over there.

                                  1. re: Up With Olives

                                    Never been to the Haab, always wondered. Went to Azteca one night very late for some tacos, which were fine but not as good as my favorite truck just up the st (52nd and Roosevelt), but my god it was the loudest thing I've ever heard. And I'm a DJ.

                                    1. re: Widmark

                                      Yes, Azteca is crazy loud. Sometimes the TV is on at the same time (shudder). Last time we just got take-out. I've never ordered tacos at Azteca. I am always over the moon about the specials. Anything stew-like is usually excellent. You really want sauced things there to take advantage of the chiles and spicing.

                                    2. re: Up With Olives

                                      Have been to Haab. Had a torta but that was over a year ago, I do remember it being pretty good. Asked about it on here and there are 1 or 2 mentions, but I dont think its about any of the mexican food.

                                      I work in your neighborhood so it's a different perspective. Have you eaten at The Bolivian place a block from De Mole? I could use some help ordering there.

                                      1. re: 2slices

                                        I ate there many moons ago and from what I remember the salteñas (empañada-like thingys) were wonderful. They were the best part of the meal. (don't try to eat them too quickly—mine arrived scorching hot)

                                        Also of interest were items (stews, etc.) containing chuños, the Andean freez-dried potato. These were worth trying just out of curiosity but honestly they were not my favorite thing.

                                        I can't remember anything else. Good luck! And if you go, please let us know what you liked.


                                        Glendale is hungry...

                                        1. re: 2slices

                                          Oops! My post about salteñas et al applies to the Bolivian restaurant not Haab. I realize now it seems a little unclear.

                                          Sorry about that!