HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >

Discussion

Floral Park Update

Hello,

As I've been more or less trapped in Little Neck for the last month, I've been giving Floral Park a loooot more time than I normally would.

Taste of India right off Hillside has a chaat and sweets business which is quite good and is cheaper than any other in the area.

Kababchi on the same stretch of Hillside claims to be a "Pakistani Afghan" restaurant which made me light up at the prospect of it being NWFP/Northern Territories owned and operated. Unfortunately, I highly doubt that this is the case. I've had some extremely authentic NWFP food at a hole in the wall I discovered in London called New Khybar UK and the chapli kebabs were no comparison. Everything I had was decent, but the prices are a bit high and the actual authenticity of the kitchen staff is definitely in question.

Finally, I've almost totally switched from Mumbai Xpress to Usha. This is down to price and the quality of Usha's chaats which I believe exceed Mumbai Xpress' (except for the tokri chaat which Usha doesn't do.) Lovely staff in both places and I'm quite well acquainted with both but Usha actually gives me discounts as a result... Usha's snack counter is second to none in New York and even their thalis are good. The dosas are truck tires as one would expect from a North Indian place that doesn't have a Tamil in the kitchen.

I'll keep updating this thread as I finish my round up. I've got about 8 other restaurants in mind. Unrelated, but further down Hillside in Bengali Jamaica, Ghoroa (which took over Jhinuk in Bengali Church Ave btw) has gotten a bit more gram (village) and now has many more dried fish dishes and other more traditionally village Bengali dishes than it used to have.

-----
Ghoroa
168-41 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11432

Jhinuk
478 McDonald Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11218

Mumbai Xpress
256-05 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11004

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Thanks for the update. I've only hit Usha for desserts thus far, but have been tempted by some of their lunch items. I think they do a version of the Sichuan Paneer Sandwich (one of my favorite Mumbai Xpress offerings) if I'm not mistaken. Looking forward to more reports.
    P.

    -----
    Mumbai Xpress
    256-05 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11004

    1. And thanks for the word on Ghoroa-Jhinuk. When did the Church Ave. venue change hands?

      1. Also, as long as you're in the general area, I recommend giving this Keralan a try (if you haven't already): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6870...
        p.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Polecat

          I ate at New Kerala Kitchen today around 267th and Hillside and it was really quite good. The prices are high and they don't have everything at all times, but the quality was quite good. I wouldn't rate it all that close in quality to Thattukada (essentially my temple to Keralan food in East London) but it was definitely better than the "dying restaurant syndrome" appearance of the place suggested. For 30 dollars with tax and tip we had very good fish moilly with large chunks of pre-fried king fish stewed in coconut milk. It lacked the sheer quantity of chillies, cashews and raisins that make the one at Thattukada my favorite (not to mention the spice difference) but it was definitely a solid preparation. Shame it's 12 dollars...

          The other dish we ate was a pork dish. I'll double check the name but the menu has 3 and it was neither the curry nor the fry. It was fantastic with large chunks of pork stewed in a sauce akin to what mutton curry might normally be made in (minus the yogurt base.)

          Thattu dosa were a dollar each and those were our chosen utensil as parotha wouldn't match up well with the moilly and they didn't have appam ready.

          Again, good, but a bit pricey for what you're getting when you compare the prices to London (never thought I'd say that, but the prices here have really gone up since I moved there and back 3 years ago and I swear it's pricier to eat here than there now.)

          -----
          New Kerala Kitchen
          26705 Hillside Ave, Floral Park, NY 11004

        2. Check out Fiza Diner a few doors west of Kababchi. A small dump with great, spicy cheap food. Almost everyone gets their food to go. They have a huge selection and some exotic fare such as goat brain curry as well as your basics liken an excellent chicken keema. There is also a good Afghan joint further east on Hillside in New Hyde Park worth checking out.

          -----
          Fiza Diner
          25907 Hillside Ave, Floral Park, NY 11004

          8 Replies
          1. re: stuartlafonda

            Is the Afghan joint Kababchi about a block away? If so, it's not actually Afghan or Pashtun or NWFP or anything else they advertise.

            I've tried Fiza Diner and I've generally left the assessment at "a small dump." Nothing notably good that I had which I couldn't get cheaper and better at Ghoroa.

            -----
            Ghoroa
            168-41 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11432

            Fiza Diner
            25907 Hillside Ave, Floral Park, NY 11004

            1. re: JFores

              Your personal history/attachment to the place might be clouding your opinion of Ghoroa.I thought the place was good but not special. As for the Afghan joint........

              http://www.exploreli.com/restaurants/...&

              http://events.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/...

              While your out there try Hildebrandts for the old candy store place that were all over the city long ago. Excellent burgers, sandwiches and house made ice cream. Check out the Portugese joints in nearby Mineola as well. What no Sripaphrai visits? The best thing about Little Neck is the proximity to northern Queens.

              1. re: stuartlafonda

                I don't drive. I instead spend all of my time trekking to Jamaica or Flushing by bus.

                Ghoroa's particularly Bangladeshi dishes are very good. Karela, shutki, fish chutney, etc. I prefer a place in London called Gram Bangla, but some of their dishes are solid. I'd consider Gram special, but I'd consider Ghoroa to be properly good with some solid dishes on certain days. Unfortunately they do these dishes at random so for ei. my last two trips I've not been able to get shutki. That's pretty much what I go there for...

                Fiza's level of cleanliness is kind of unforgivable and when I ate there (4 years ago probably) the food was veeeeeery oily.

                Will have to do Hilde's. I've been to one Portugese place out there a few years ago... Name slips my mind... Pretty much a cross between Portugese and a Brazilian meat place...

                -----
                Ghoroa
                168-41 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11432

                1. re: JFores

                  Always appreciate your generous and well-informed reports, but the 4-years-ago date on your last Fiza meal gives me pause. As you know restaurant intel can have a relatively short shelf life. Anyone been there more recently?

                  1. re: squid kun

                    I've been hitting up Fiza for some years now, and have never noticed any cleanliness issues, nor have I had any overly oily food there. I feel the need to report this as reports of "uncleanliness" have the potential to hurt a business.

                    With all due respect to the OP - whose knowledge of and enthusiasm for Indian and Pakistani cuisine is to be commended - my experiences at Ghoroa can't compare with those at Fiza Diner. I've had much better food and service at the latter. I realize that you have to know what to order at Ghoroa, and you apparently have to know when to order it and you also have to be lucky enough to be there when they have it. What I've had there is very average, unexciting steamtable stuff that is on a par with the other venues in that immediate area . I don't doubt that these guys can do better if J. Fores says so, but there seems to be too many "ifs" involved with this place. I prefer Fiza Diner.

                    I'll throw in a hearty recommendation, once again, for 5 Star Indian Cuisine on Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park. A search on the NY State board will yield some recent threads and a few good reviews, including mine. The kingfish curry is superb, as are the spicy shrimp.

                    P.

                    P.

                    -----
                    Ghoroa
                    168-41 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11432

                    Fiza Diner
                    25907 Hillside Ave, Floral Park, NY 11004

                    1. re: Polecat

                      True Dat. Finally some love for Fiza. WhenI call it a dump it is my way of explaining that it is one small room with a steam table at one end, a few bare tables, some large bevarage cases and a small sink attached to the wall. It is not cute or interesting, it is spartan and a little depressing. They never write down your order or give you a check, you remind them what you had and they quote you a ridiciously low price. The food is excellent. They have a huge selection .The other day I got a tandoori bird of some sort, cornish hen probably ,but they didn't know the english name for it. The chaats are a bit weak, but for that you have Mumbai Xpress a couple of blocks away. My kids love a simple tikka roll or tikka masala. We all enjoy finishing the meal by fishing around in the freezer case for our favoite flavor kulfi. If It makes anyone feel better, take it to go.

                      -----
                      Mumbai Xpress
                      256-05 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11004

                      1. re: stuartlafonda

                        Alright I'll try Fiza again! I tried it twice yearse ago and the cleanliness was actually very bad. And I think that Golden Mall is immaculately clean so that's pretty bad.

                        Are they Bengali or Pakistani owned now? They seemed Bengali owned at the time, but all of their dishes always seem Pakistani...

                        -----
                        Golden Shopping Mall
                        41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                2. re: stuartlafonda

                  tried a cappuccino chip cone from Hildebrandts, it was good. soft, but still hard-packed ice cream. place has been open since 1927; very charming.

            2. thanks for the updates; I've relocated from the central asian paradise of Registan to the south asian paradise of glen oaks / bellerose / floral park so my chowing will move to that region.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bigjeff

                Rotflmao... Gradual Silk Road trip?

                BTW regarding the above Afghan place; that's not the one I thought it was. A place further down called Kababchi is attempting to pass itself off as an NWFP restaurant, but there's nothing authentic about it. The food's good. They have Afghan brown rice. But it's not what they're saying it is.

                1. re: JFores

                  haha, that's awesome! ya there are plenty of goodies; been riding up and down hillside avenue and jamaica avenue as well; lotta goodies and, I'm a big fan of ghoroa too.