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Near Broadway/Roosevelt Subway, Open for Lunch

I work near the 53rd & 3rd E train. I discovered today that it takes 10-15 minutes to Jackson Heights, which makes it feasible for lunch on slow days. Zabb is closed for lunch, so I ended up at Shangri-La Tibetan--not very good.

What places near the subway are good and open for lunch? I know Coatzingo. I need places within a 5-minute walk. Thanks

http://petercherches.blogspot.com

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Zabb Elee
71-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

Shangri-La
7415 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

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  1. try villacolombia on 82nd st. massive lunches, good, real food.
    im a big fan of the thenthuk in shangrila.

    there's a bunch of thai along roosevelt. u dzika on 37th and mid 80s. there's a ton. all there is to do along roosevelt is eat and groom.

    1. Peter, if you're into Phillipino food, you might give Engeline's a try. It's on Roosevelt and 59th, and even closer to Manhattan than Jackson Heights. I've only enjoyed their breakfasts thus far, but have every indication that their regular menu has some high points. That's pretty much hard by the 61st Street 7 stop. Depending on how fast you walk, Ayada Thai(technically in Elmhurst) isn't far from the 74th street stop, but, admittedly, might set you back another 30 minutes. Some good, pungent flavors here. A nearby Thai grocery - Ally's - has take-out items from Ayada that hold up pretty well. And, if the spice and pungency are doing a number on your insides, there's also nearby Moon's Accupuncture, whose proprietor always warns me off of spicy food to begin with. Look for the gigantic grizzly bear in the storefront window.
      P.

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

      Ayada
      77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

      2 Replies
      1. re: Polecat

        along filipino lines, Krystal's has a nice buffet. around 7 dollars. buffets are great if you are narrow on time. muuuuch better than renee's

        1. re: Polecat

          For practicality, it needs to be an E express stop, no transfers, since it's lunch from the office, which is why I'm only looking for the immediate vicinity of the Broadway/Roosevelt station. So for my purposes, 59th Street isn't closer than 74th. But thanks for the suggestions.

        2. I drive to that area for lunch but only for TC. I go to 69th street more often for lunch at Tia Julia, Sri, UFC, and El Sitio. The 7 train goes to 69th, but it's walkable from the Roosevelt stop. Renee's is there too, but I still haven't been.

          Other Mexican places I've tried near TC, Azteca and tacolandia, weren't as good.

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          El Sitio
          6828 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

          Tia Julia
          91st St and Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

          El Azteca
          92-01 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

          1. MiDang - the Korean-Chinese place on Broadway and 75th - is worth trying. Food in my experience has been uniformly good, and the woman usually presiding over things is very kind and solicitous, though her English is not great.

            The large Asian supermarket across the street stocks 24oz cans of Blue Bull and Red Bull MALT LIQUOR (along with 16oz cans of Silver Thunder MALT LIQUOR) at favorable prices. These are increasingly tough to find elsewhere in Queens, and you'd be foolish not to have at least two cans before getting back on the train and returning to the office.

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            MiDang
            75-14 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

            1. There's Delhi Heights on 74 and 37th ave.(a few steps off of Roosevelt), I think you already know Mustang Thakali on 37 Ave and 74. They have lots of lunch specials including a delicious goat with pumpkin sauce. Also good is Rajbhog on 37th ave. and 73 street. All less than a 5 minute walk to the station.

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              Rajbhog
              72-27 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

              Delhi Heights
              37-66 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

              1. How about street carts? Anyone know if El Pasito is open for lunch? There are carts there in the day but I'm not sure which is which and I've heard some of the day carts aren't as good, why that would be I dont know.

                1. Has anybody been to La Portena? I'm also adding Arunee Thai to my list.

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                  Arunee
                  37-68 79th St, Queens, NY 11372

                  La Portena
                  74-25 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                    I was to La Portena a few months ago and had a pretty bad meal. It also won't qualify as a "quick" lunch.

                    In addition to Arunee, Rice Ave is right by the train station for Thai food. Note that I haven't been there in a few years so quality may have changed. If you like kababs, I like Kababish. Note there really isn't much seating -- similar to most of those 5 for $1 dumpling places in Manhattan. The made-to-order paratha place a few doors down from Kababish (forgot the name) is very tasty. Also no seating. The halal chicken cart on 73rd and Bdway is pretty tasty too. I think there are a couple of carts there. But look for the ones with the Vendy award signs on them. If you are looking for semi-decent Vietnamese, Thai Son is right by the station. Himalayan Yak is also pretty close by. I can't say that I'm super enthusiastic about it -- but I'm not a huge fan of Tibetan food in general.

                    And if you ever get lucky with the timing of the trains, you may want to take the G, R or V one more stop to Elmhurst for Taste Good -- my favorite Malaysian restaurant in NYC. Taste Good is right next to the train station. Make sure you're in the front car for easiest access.

                    I'm pretty impressed that you're willing to go all the way out to Jackson Heights on your lunch hour!

                    -----
                    Arunee
                    37-68 79th St, Queens, NY 11372

                    Taste Good
                    82-18 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                    Thai Son
                    40-10 74th St, Queens, NY 11373

                    La Portena
                    74-25 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                    Kababish
                    7064 Broadway, Queens, NY 11372

                    Himalayan Yak
                    72-20 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                  2. You have some choices if you're at 53rd/3rd. Sure, you can take the E train easily to Roosevelt, but you an also catch the V train to get to local stops like Steinway, 46th St, 65th St, just as easily as you would get to Roosevelt on the E.

                    So around Roosevelt station, you already know most of the usual CH joints. But some that haven't been mentioned yet. Kabab King Cafe. You can order from the counter downstairs for takeout or go upstairs for the buffet. I like this buffet when I'm wanting spicier south Asian fare. Otherwise, I also like Mehfil on 37th Ave/76th (or 77th?) for good quality, but more subtly spiced buffet. Their chutney bar set-up is a nice touch. I've never been for lunch, but Hae Woon Dae is one of the better Korean places around there. The Korean Noodle place, Midang, on the same block is also pretty good, serving up some Korean Chinese standards as well.

                    I realize that I get mostly take-out stuff around there, or things I eat on the run. Besides Coatzingo, I like to get tacos and quesadillas from the cart formerly known as El Pasito located at Roosevelt/75th in front of the bank there. They excel at lengua and carnitas, and their huitlacoche quesadillas are on my regular rotation. If you see the El Gallo Giro cart in front of Roosevelt station, you should go there for carne asada, and if that young taquero is working, you'll see an expert at work. Their other tacos are good too, but the asada is where it's at. Don't care much for the other carts.
                    There's a competition among 5 carts near the corner of Broadway and 73rd, with Sammy's hanging on to its 2008 Vendy Award, but they never did much for me, but with cart FKA Khan's gone, and replaced by another cart with Sammy's name on it, I'm confused if they're both the same operation or what. I usually go to the one called Nobi and Salam adjacent to Sammy's, and it's been pretty decent. I'll second the rec for Kababish. For something to get on the run, try the kabab rolls on their freshly baked nan. I think it's $3 these days (up from $2.50) with a good spicy kick in the kabab itself. Their other stuff is not easily eaten on the run.

                    If you do catch the V train, you can get off at 46th and be at Poodam (or Sumran, I saw a new name on the window) Thai within a minute. At 65th, there's Spicy Mina (but it may be unpredictable how quickly the meal will be served), or Hyderabadi around the corner, and the two Dominican places on either side of Broadway, La Casa del Pollo or Rinconcito de Mama.

                    If you find the local V/R train waiting when you get to Roosevelt, you might as well go one more stop to Elmhurst Ave station and you'll find another treasure trove of places to eat, like Chao Thai, Ploy Thai, Nusara, Pho Bac, Sweet Yummy House, Lao Bei Fang, Minangasli, Mie Jakarta, Boon Chu, Lin's, Taste Good, just to name a few.

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                    Kabab Cafe
                    25-12 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

                    Chao Thai
                    85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                    Spicy Mina
                    64-23 Broadway, Queens, NY 11377

                    Taste Good
                    82-18 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                    Mie Jakarta
                    86-20 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                    Hae Woon Dae
                    75-32 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                    Lao Bei Fang
                    83-05 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                    Nusara Thai Kitchen
                    82-80 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                    Pho Bac
                    82-78 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                    Ploy Thai
                    81-40 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                    Boon Chu
                    83-18 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                    Kababish
                    7064 Broadway, Queens, NY 11372

                    Hyderabadi
                    64-02 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                    Mehfil
                    76-05 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                    La Casa del Pollo
                    64-01 Broadway, Queens, NY 11377

                    Sumran
                    44-19 Broadway, Queens, NY 11103

                    Sweet Yummy House
                    83-12 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: E Eto

                      Good point about the V, though it's local. But I can play subway roulette and let the first train that comes choose my restaurant for me.

                      1. If you're not committed to JH then 5 Star Punjabi in LIC is an option. I haven't been able to convince any work friends to make the trip during lunch, but it seems totally feasible. The long-ish walk from the subway is balanced by it being the first stop in Queens. And you'd be indifferent to the E or V, which cuts down on wait time.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jaingmaster

                          Just a note that based on MTA plan for changes, the V will be no longer (though I think replaced by the M?)...yet another unfortunate casualty of service cuts -- the long-distance lunch :)

                          1. re: Peter Cherches

                            that place always looks like such a dump! I've gotten some takeout from there, fritters and such; the steamtable offerings looked pretty decent but I've always been there late and never hazarded actually picking something up from the indian part; will give it a shot next time. one advantage for sure is that they are open a bit later than the other south asian joints in the neighborhood; good for a little something if you aren't in the mood for taco carts.

                            this place got a brief thread a few years ago but not much action:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/448673

                            1. re: bigjeff

                              open a bit later? do they ever close??

                              lately, it seems that the place is filled with tibetan people. i feel bad for the indian business part.

                          2. Actually, when the V train goes, I still have the R from Lex as an option. I'm off to play subway roulette today--Whether the E or V comes first will determine where I end up.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Peter Cherches

                              V to 65th. Spicy Mina not open at 12:15. Went to Hyderabadi. Goat Biryani: OK, nothing special. Why is my time stamp above 3 hours early?

                              -----
                              Spicy Mina
                              64-23 Broadway, Queens, NY 11377

                              Hyderabadi
                              64-02 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                              1. re: Peter Cherches

                                E to Broadway/Roosevelt today. Mi Dang wasn't open (which I found odd), otherwise I'd have gone for jjamppong. Ended up at Arunee. Wasn't thrilled.

                                -----
                                Arunee
                                37-68 79th St, Queens, NY 11372

                                1. re: Peter Cherches

                                  I'll keep this to Roosevelt and 74th Street per your original request.

                                  If you're not going to do the 9 block walk to Sripraphai, I'd skip the rest of the closer Thais.

                                  From the Roos/74 station you can also walk one very long block to Upi Jaya (closed Mondays). Renee's and Ihawan are both worth of the walk to 70th Street. Crystals on 69th isn't worth the walk.

                                  I also agree with the Kababish recs. Mehfil (mentioned earlier) on 37th Ave betwn 76 and 77th Street has the best Indian buffet in JH, imho. I didn't know that Kebab King had a buffet upstairs. Based on E Eto's report above, that will be someplace for me to try soon.

                                  -----
                                  Ihawan
                                  40-06 70th St, Queens, NY 11377

                                  Upi Jaya
                                  76-04 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                  Mehfil
                                  76-05 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                  1. re: el jefe

                                    Thanks for reminding me that Upi Jaya is somewhat close--I love their jackfruit curry.

                                    -----
                                    Upi Jaya
                                    76-04 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                    1. re: el jefe

                                      I think Krystal's is superior to Renee's. in particular the buffet. renee's is drab, krystal's is rad.

                                      1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                        You already posted that earlier on this thread.
                                        Krystal's buffet occasionally has a nice dessert (they had good cannoli one time but they ran out before 12:30), but otherwise, imho, the drab vs rad is reverse. We can agree to disagree on Filipino buffets. For Peter's purposes it's a moot point since Renee's hasn't done a weekday buffet in over a year (unless that's changed in the last couple of months). I'd prefer fresh cooked food rather than either buffet, so my choices would be Renee's or Ihawan. Another option for quick Filipino food, which I haven't tried, is the "turo-turo" steam table at Fritzie's on the same block.

                                        1. re: el jefe

                                          fritzie's is a great deal, 3 dishes for around $8 and they are generous with each plate as well; being the new kids, the are paying much attention; their lechon (by the pound) is tasty too.

                                          1. re: bigjeff

                                            there is a new shop next door to fritzies called fiesta grill. They are basically a steam table shop. you can get 1 item for like 4 dollars or 2 items w rice for 6.
                                            I noticed that fritzies has a 2 item special too, being around 5.60.
                                            I think this means war.

                                            I had fiesta yesterday and fritzies today. what a wonderful world. the spreads at both are beautiful. lots of pork and coconut milk dishes...

                                            coincidentally, they are both 2nd locations of NJ restaurants.

                                            and theres another filipino restaurant moving in next to koba (formerly friends korean).

                              2. i love how this other thread:
                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/699461

                                is the opposite of this one.

                                1. Thai Son today. Bun Bo Lui Cha Gio -- pretty good; I'll go back.

                                  I did a separate thread about the wonderful sarson ka saag at RaJa Sweets the other day.

                                  -----
                                  Thai Son
                                  40-10 74th St, Queens, NY 11373

                                  1. this is turning out to be a great little JH list; check all the places listed under the map!

                                    1. Try Jackson Diner. Buffet is $9.95. All you can eat. Great food. Or you can try Indian Taj, which i s a few doors down.

                                      -----
                                      Jackson Diner
                                      37-47 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

                                      Indian Taj
                                      37-23 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: SeptemberRenegade

                                        While I might try one of the buffets at some point, I'm not especially inclined since I don't like to stuff myself at lunch buffets (and it's hard to say no), and also because I work so close to Chola.

                                        1. re: SeptemberRenegade

                                          September, the Jackson Diner seems pretty bland compared to any other buffet in the area. It's been spiced down for tourists for years. Indian Taj is ok, but you should try the earlier mentioned Delhi Heights across the street for a better buffet and atmosphere.

                                          -----
                                          Delhi Heights
                                          37-66 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

                                        2. I'm in a very similar situation except that I'm near the 57th St. F train.

                                          Today I went to Chao, which involves a quick same-platform transfer. Highly recommended.

                                          Glad to see someone else going out-of-borrough for lunch. I can never do it within an hour, though.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MRich

                                            Today I did Java Village--caught the V train. 40-minute commute, but since it's a steam table place, no waiting for preparation. Very good, though food was on the lukewarm side--but that's how it was at the Nasi Padang places I tried in Indonesia. The chicken with spicy coconut sauce was especially good, the jackfruit curry ok, but nothing like Upi Jaya, which does a great version. Last week, in the same neighborhood I did Tangra Masala. I thought the stuff I had--Tangra Masala fish and hot & sour soup were pretty awful. Two days ago I went even further out, to Ben's Best, and had a quite good pastrami sandwich, though I've had better.

                                            -----
                                            Tangra Masala
                                            87-09 Grand Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                            Upi Jaya
                                            76-04 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                          2. Today's lunch may have been the best since I started doing this. I got the E to B'Way/Roosevelt then took the local 1 stop and went to Mie Jakarta, which I haven't been to before. I had the nasi campur (which I think literally means mixed rice) with ayam goreng rica (fried chicken topped with a red chile sambal--Minangasli calls it ayam balado). The rice plates all come with an excellent vegetable coconut curry (w/ kale, jackfruit & I think bamboo shoots), fried tempeh. kroepoek (shrimp chips), sambal hard-boiled egg, and cucumber. The chicken was wonderful--a big, moist breast, with a killer sambal. A steal at $6.50.

                                            I notice some places call the mixed rice plates nasi rames, and some call it nasi campur. Not sure if it's regional or what. The places in Amsterdam usually say rames and the Indonesian restaurant in Philly's Chinatown (where I think most of the staff is Malaysian -Chinese) calls it nasi campur.

                                            -----
                                            Mie Jakarta
                                            86-20 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                            1. Have you tried Lali Guras? I liked them much better than Shangri-La. Try their Chicken Momos for 5 bucks or a thali with mutton curry (with thalis you get free refills of each item except the meat) for about $8.

                                              I have liked just about everything I've tried there.

                                              About 5 minute walk from the Roos/74 station.

                                              -----
                                              Lali Guras
                                              37-63 76th St, Queens, NY 11372

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: ferdia

                                                bottomless thali??!!??! what?!!??!

                                                1. re: bigjeff

                                                  That's traditional in India, both for thalis and banana leaf "meals"--not sure if Saravanaas will refill since I've never been hungry enough, but it was the policy at Thali, late of Greenwich Ave. (now Lassi), and I believe Ayurveda Cafe (though the food sucks).

                                                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                    ya i remember they were explicit about it at Thali on Greenwich but I never hit it.

                                              2. Mie Jakarta is SO GOOD. I went a second time and had the nasi campur again but this time with beef rendang. Unlike the dry style I've had at the Padang places it was more like a stew, closer to the Malaysian version, but the flavors were more complex than any I've had and had the consistency of a mole. I think the vegetable curry was even better this time--not hot-spicy, but a very complex herb mix. I still have to try noodles.

                                                -----
                                                Mie Jakarta
                                                86-20 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373