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Glendale! In. The. RAW!!!

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Christmas came early! I’ve been asking for a restaurant in my neighborhood that wasn’t the usual mediocre pizza parlor or spectacularly awful Chinese takeout joint and I have been rewarded. All things should be so easy! Now, if we could only replace some of those 99¢ stores and nail salons along Myrtle Avenue with awesome Indian and artisanal breakfast fare! (but I guess I shouldn’t get greedy!)

The reason I’m so excited? A raw food restaurant called Organic Village has opened up in, of all places, Glendale. (Address: 79-15 Cooper Avenue, Glendale) Web site here: http://organicvillagenyc.com/

This HAS to win the award for the most improbable restaurant in the most improbable location. Not only is it in franchise-heavy Glendale, it’s next to a motorcycle shop on a north service road of the Cooper Avenue railroad underpass just west of the intersection of 80th Street. Opening this kind of restaurant in a neighborhood like Glendale is downright radical, bordering on the subversive—and I LOVE IT!!! Of course, it helps that the food is really really good! SERIOUSLY good!

Fellow Chowhounder janie (many thanks janie!) was kind enough to clue me in about the place. So, the other day, I took a break from sipping my usual evening cup of warm bacon fat to try something totally different and I was not let down.

The place has a pleasantly relaxing sort of surfer vibe. And Ryan, the owner (grew up in Middle Village!), comes across as a knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic chef.

Items on the menu describe themselves as familiar things like a “sandwich” a “burrito” or “noodles” but really everything is really just vegetables, fruit and seeds very cleverly combined. Half the fun is finding out what their “burrito” or “sandwich” really is.

So far, my favorites include the Thai coconut noodles, the burrito, the cookies and cream smoothie and the hemp sandwich. The food here is full of intense flavors, vivid contrasts, wonderful textures and dramatic crunches. This is great stuff and all new to me, a bacon-lovin’ guy who occasionally swings organic. They use high quality ingredients and clearly know what they’re doing.

Even if you’re a carnivore, check this out. You won’t be disappointed. Having a car will help a lot—it’s off the beaten path. The nearest bus lines are the Q29, Q45 and the Q54. Subways? Really not doable, unfortunately.

Here’s hoping Organic Village finally puts Glendale on the Chowhound map!

Ciao,

Glendale is hungry…

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  1. oh great, you beat me to it...just starting health diet, will check it out very soon..thanks for the very entertaining review!

    1. hopefully this joint doesn't go the way of Tierra Sana on Queens Blvd in Rego Park; a short-lived experiment which, while not as extreme in going raw, just couldn't hang in the predominantly lamb fat kebab paradise that is Registan.

      -----
      Tierra Sana
      100-17 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

      5 Replies
      1. re: bigjeff

        Hi bigjeff,

        I read the old review for Tierra Sana here on Chowhound and really, it sounds nothing like Organic Village. The chefs at Organic Villlage I think have a better sense of what a wider audience would like. This, to me, is best exemplified by their Thai Coconut Noodles dish.

        Check out my review I posted for a little more detail on my favorites:

        http://www.chow.com/restaurants/91561...

        I'll admit that raw food does sound extreme but it can be really delicious (and ideal for a hot summer day). Also, the restaurant never gets hot since there's nothing being heated—ever!

        I'm no raw food convert, believe me, but every now and then I can see myself going for a nice change of pace.

        Hope you'll try it sometime and report back.

        Ciao,

        Glendale is hungry...

        -----
        Tierra Sana
        100-17 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375

        Organic Village
        79-15 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

        1. re: Glendale is hungry

          I sort of agree with Jeff on this one.

          I live a block from where Tierra Sana was. They had an organic vegetarian menu and a vegan menu. Since both included cooked food, in addition to raw, it was much, much more varied than the limited menu at Organic Village.

          But, it's location, location, location. Atlas Park might work. There was nothing wrong with Tierra Sana's food. But what were they thinking, opening in that location?? There's 7 Uzbek restaurants and 10 Chinese takeouts within walking distance. There's probably a reason why this is what stays in business on the Rego Park - Forest Hills frontier.

          If you think this is "the most improbable restaurant in the most improbable location", you're probably right. But let's hope not.
          the most improbable restaurant in the most improbable location

          -----
          Organic Village
          79-15 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

          1. re: el jefe

            Hi el jefe,

            When I google "Organic Village NYC" a meetup group for raw foodists comes up. I guess they have meetups there.

            I never really thought about it before (though duh! it should be obvious) but the Internet will build clientele for this niche restaurant. Who knows? This, combined with the fact that Trader Joe's on Woodhaven Boulevard is just down the road, maybe it's not such an odd location after all.

            In any case, I hope it survives right where it is just to get some more culinary variety into this neck of the woods.

            Ciao,

            Glendale is hungry...

            1. re: Glendale is hungry

              Well, last night I took two friends here and they LOVED it. Both are excellent cooks and love the interesting and the unusual (one is also a classically trained chef - French cuisine).

              They admitted that when I had invited them to check out a raw food restaurant that they were a bit skeptical and expected something akin to a bunch of broccoli.

              However, they were very pleasantly surprised - especially at the use of nuts and various nut milks and butters to achieve a nice "mouth feel" and creaminess in a lot of the dressings and fillings. One of my friends said that this sense of "fat" makes it so that you feel as though you've eaten something substantial and you don't go away hungry.

              Things we had that were especially noteworthy: a Middle Eastern plate that had falafel made from two different mixtures of ground nuts as well as quinoa sprouts, a taco made of chia seeds and filled with avocado and other delicious things, flax crackers, a wonderfully delicate cashew milk mousse and an unbelievably chocolately creamy chocolate mousse made from cacao nibs.

              This last one I'd had before but it was even better this time around. The owner reworked the recipe since then and it paid off.

              Summer's coming and this food is perfect for hot weather.

              If you can, check this out. You don't know what you're missing.

              Ciao,

              Glendale is hungry...

              1. re: Glendale is hungry

                sounds good; great description. ok ok, will check it out! summer weather = cool foods = better health!