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We got a car. Where do we go?

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My gf and I live in Manhattan and just took delivery of a sweet, new Spice Orange Mini Cooper convertible. We've named her LuLu. We are determined to take LuLu on a tour of some of the better restaurants in the outer boroughs. Please help us compile a list.

We're generally not interested in expensive places. To give you an idea of our favorite Manhattan places, we love Frankies (our absolute favorite), Company, the new John Dory, Cafe le Grainne, DBGB, and Markt, among others. Some of the outer borough places we've already visited include Frankies, Roberta's (love it), Motorino (didn't love it), Franny's (can you tell we have a thing for pizza?), Paulie Gee's, Char 4 (thought it was ok), and Henry's End (a sentimental favorite from when I lived in the 'hood).

So let's have at it. Make us a list!

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  1. For dim sum, Pacificana in Brooklyn (8th Ave, in the 50s), and don't forget the soup dumplings.

    For pizza, a couple in Brooklyn: Lucali (get the calzone!), Totonno's in Coney Island

    For Italian, a couple: Al di La (Brooklyn), and Don Peppe in Queens (http://bit.ly/9msGwD

    )

    Gotta run

    -----
    Lucali
    575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

    Pacificana
    813 55th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

    Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano
    1524 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224

    Don Peppe
    135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

    8 Replies
    1. re: Mister Meatball

      Tottono's!!!!1

      1. re: 2slices

        Co-sign on the Tottono's rec

      2. re: Mister Meatball

        OMG - just got in from dinner tonight at Don Peppe - it was a trip from Rockland County but worth it. We had two bottles of their house red - not sure of the year but it doesn't matter - it washes down the yummy food quite well. We started with a Special Salad that had cheese, salami, sardines, roasted peppers, olives and a great balsamic dressing. We then proceeded on to linguini with white clam sauce with whole roasted garlic cloves swimming in the best sauce, followed by Don Peppe's chicken (fried chicken breasts that were light crispy and greaseless topped with diced tomatoes and red onions) and chicken scarparello with sausage (had to request this - the dish doesn't come with it). Too full for dessert. A terrific memorable meal. Be prepared for a wait - they told us 40 minutes but it ended up being about 75 minutes. No bar and cash only. GO and try it for a meal you will truly enjoy - the entire experience!

        1. re: smilingal

          So glad you liked. It has been my go-to place for some years now (though if you read my blog about it, you already know that!). I'll be down in a couple weeks. And can already taste the garlic!

          1. re: Mister Meatball

            I, too, have gone over the years however, it has been many years since my last visit. Of course, the wait is terribly discouraging - but after the meal you feel it was worth it! Also, I think they might have even gotten better (gotten??!!!).

            1. re: smilingal

              The wait only seems bad on the absolute prime time fri/sat night slots. If I go either of those nights I make sure to dine early, around 6:30, and don't have a problem.

              That said, my favorite time to go is on Sunday afternoon, when you can have a leisurely multi-course meal akin to what I always loved growing up at home and at family members' homes.

              As for it getting better, I don't know. But, as you may have seen from my blog, I always eat the same things, which has not failed me in years.

              1. re: Mister Meatball

                Guess it really depends on the day - as always - because this was this past Saturday - and we got there at 6:30 - and waited 75 minutes! And when we got there at 6:25 the glass enclosed vestibule was already jam packed!

                BUT - I look forward to the day I can wait there again! LOL

                1. re: Mister Meatball

                  it's a funny thing I worked at JFK for 12 years and passed this place many times every day and have never eaten there. My friends all love the place and for some reason or another I never nade it. Well this post has made it my mission to try Don Peppes! I will report back after I have been there. Thanks for reminding me about a place that I am sure I will love..

                  Ciao-

                  -----
                  Don Peppe
                  135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

        2. Hi Blumie,

          I highly recommend checking out Organic Village in Glendale. It's a raw food restaurant. I'm not a raw foodie. I'm not vegan. I'm not a vegetarian. I'm not even an all-organic, free-range guy.

          The food at this place is delicious and very different from most things you've probably had before. Here's my original post about it:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7032...

          It's small but really really good. Finding something delicious to eat here will be easy. Actually finding the restaurant, however, is another story. If you go (and you pretty much have to have a car) bring directions, a map or anything that will help guide you. This part of Queens really isn't that far from Manhattan but the streets are very confusing. It feels like a secret neighborhood.

          Ciao,

          Glendale is hungry...

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

          1. Take a ride to "Romantic" Coney Island if the weather is nice. Get a couple of dogs @ Nathan's and eat on the boardwalk. Great for people watching.
            Or, check out Brennan and Carr for a nice triple dipped roast beef sammich!!

            -----
            Brennan & Carr
            3432 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229

            Nathan's Famous
            1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224

            1 Reply
            1. re: Motosport

              Avenue U stuff

            2. Second Pacificana for Dim Sum and Al di La for Italian. Would also throw in Convivium Osteria in Park Slope. Other BK places on my list (but that I haven't made it to yet -- just moved from Manhattan to BK) are: Vinegar Hill House, Fatty Cue, Traif, Brooklyn Fare, Prime Meats, Good Fork, and Tacos Matamoras.

              -----
              Convivium Osteria
              68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

              Pacificana
              813 55th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

              The Good Fork
              391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              Vinegar Hill House
              72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Prime Meats
              465 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              Brooklyn Fare
              200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Traif
              229 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

              1 Reply
              1. re: kiworan79

                Yes, Convivium. A treasure!!!

                Maybe drive to Brighton Beach while at Coney Island, check out a Russian place.

              2. Floral Park for Usha Restaurant and Sweets and Mumbai Xpress. They're virtually unreachable without a car.

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

                Usha Foods
                255-03 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11004

                3 Replies
                1. re: JFores

                  Is it just me or are most of these suggestions a lot more reachable without a car? Jackson Heights and DUMBO? By car? Really?

                  1. re: JFores

                    Hi JFores,

                    Agreed. That's one reason I recommended Organic Village in Glendale. It sounds as though the original poster wanted to check out the the lesser-known corners of non-Manhattan NYC that aren't particularly transit friendly.

                    ciao,

                    Glendale is hungry...

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

                    1. re: Glendale is hungry

                      Thanks for all the recs, everyone. Keep 'em coming!

                      We're interested in all outer borough finds, even if they are easily accessible by public transportation. Sure it may be as fast, or faster, to take the subway to Jackson Heights or Williamsburg as it is to drive, but we still are more likely to go with a car than we previously had been.

                2. Hook up with a great group of fellow local MINI drivers at www.nemini.org where the motto is "it's all about the food".

                  Lot's of local rallies are planned throughout the year that always include a food component from diners, to ice cream places to who knows what, we luv to drive and eat!

                  1. Tanoreen in Bay Ridge for the very best meditterranean food. Umberto's, New Hyde Park for pizza.

                    -----
                    Tanoreen
                    7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mcf

                      I second Tanoreen.

                      -----
                      Tanoreen
                      7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                    2. Roll N Roaster in Sheepshead Bay for anything you can imagine covered with cheese sauce!!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Motosport

                        tasty, but not a destination IMO. Maybe on the way back from the beach in the summer tho.

                        1. re: 2slices

                          Sheepshead Bay and Roll and Roaster is a nice fair weather destination. Park and walk along the waterfront. Great if you get there when the fishing boats are coming back and selling their fresh catch. Eventually end up @ R&R for cheese slathered anything!

                          1. re: Motosport

                            I got a kick out of R&R's all-singing, all-dancing commercial from the '80s (office workers: video and music alert!) ... http://roll-n-roaster.com/custom/roll...

                            -----
                            Roll-N-Roaster
                            2901 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

                      2. 2010 brg mini/ist was o2 velvet red -welcome take a drive to westchester check out frank pepe for pizza (central ave) or even travel to fairfield or new haven, new haven needs several ppl as there really are that many great pizza shops. mt. vernon give lincoln lounge a shot or even aj's burgers in new rochelle, vg thin crust also try so dam hot valhalla ,nicer drive and good burgers/fries and wings

                        1. How about Sripraphai in Woodside (Qns) for fantastic Thai? Golden Mall in Flushing for incredible Chinese?

                          On second thought -- just take the 7 train. You won't have to worry about parking.

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

                          SriPraPhai
                          64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: stampita

                            I prefer Arharn Thai on 36th Ave in Astoria. The Thai community rates it quite a but higher than Sripraphai, and you almost never have the long wait that is standard there. The roasted duck with eggplant in red curry is FABULOUS

                            -----
                            SriPraPhai
                            64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                            Arharn Thai
                            3205 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                          2. Do you like Indian food? If so, Southern Spice in Flushing is an absolute must, I've never had better in the city.

                            -----
                            Southern Spice
                            1635 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

                            1. Saraghina in Bed-Stuy. Encapsulates what Brooklyn is all about. Italian food made by real Italians. Always delicious. Pizzas are good/great, but the small plates are amazing! Make sure to order the burrata!

                              -----
                              Saraghina
                              435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: ShanDeez

                                I can vouch for Saraghina - not only is the pizza quite good, the dandelion salad with mashed potatoes were fantastic and the mussels were the best I'd had in years (on the small side but expertly cooked in a perfectly savory, citrusy sauce).

                                -----
                                Saraghina
                                435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                                1. re: hackkerouac

                                  Lulu picked me up at LaGuardia this evening and took us to Saraghina for one of our most enjoyable meals in recent memory. In addition to a garden salad, we shared the octopus and the pizza with copa and baby artichokes, both of which were amazing. We totally get the "encapsulates what Brooklyn is all about" comment, and plan to return. Frequently.

                                  -----
                                  Saraghina
                                  435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                                  1. re: Blumie

                                    Lulu took us to Saraghina again last night. Man, we love that place!

                                    -----
                                    Saraghina
                                    435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                                    1. re: Blumie

                                      This is a note from Blumie's gf. I agree: Saraghina is a gem. Feels like a beachhouse to me. Tastes like vacation.

                                      -----
                                      Saraghina
                                      435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                                      1. re: Blumie

                                        Hi Blumie,

                                        Go back to Saraghina for breakfast/brunch sometime and have the French toast. After you have it, you'll wonder why everyone doesn't make French toast this way:

                                        Ciabatta bread marinated for days in a sweet custard flavored with a whole vanilla bean then fried up and topped with a drizzle of real maple syrup and slices of fresh fruit (strawberries, blackberries and sliced bananas the first time I had it). Amazing.

                                        Man, Saraghina deserves its own thread! And I agree with ilanars I guess in that oddly, in the middle of Bed Stuy, when I go to Saraghina, I feel as if I've gone to the country. It's just soooooooo relaxing.

                                        Ciao,

                                        Glendale is hungry...

                                        -----
                                        Saraghina
                                        435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                                        1. re: Glendale is hungry

                                          Wow that sounds amazing! Is there normally a wait for brunch?

                                          1. re: Blumie

                                            Hi Blumie,

                                            On week-ends they start brunch at 10AM. I've always been there pretty soon after that and never had to wait. By the time I've left (around noonish), I don't ever remember a line. However, as I've only started going there in the last two months, I don't know if things might get busier as the weather gets warmer. When I've been there in the morning on the week-ends it is totally laid back. It feels like a country store.

                                            Since you'll likely be driving, if you go on Saturday, you could easily combine this with a trip to the Brooklyn Flea (in nearby Fort Greene).

                                            Ciao,

                                            Glendale is hungry...

                                            -----
                                            Brooklyn Flea
                                            176 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

                                            1. re: Glendale is hungry

                                              Actually, ilanars and I just chatted about this and agreed we likely won't be driving on the weekends. We mapped it out: it's 6.2 miles from our Manhattan apartment -- a perfect run before sitting down to brunch!

                                2. Swing through Red Hook - Ballfields once they're open, goodies at Baked, groceries at Fairway, key lime pie at Steve's, dinner at Good Fork or other suggestions from the board (search Red Hook). Accessible by Subway+walk or Bus, but easier with a car.

                                  * (and shopping at Ikea, if you so desire)

                                  -----
                                  Red Hook Recreation Center soccer fields
                                  155 Bay St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                  Baked
                                  359 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                  Fairway Market
                                  480 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                  The Good Fork
                                  391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                  Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies
                                  204 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                  Ikea
                                  1 Beard St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: cazique

                                    Thanks. Definitely want to check out Red Hook. Was just on the Stumptown website checking out their Brew Bar in Red Hook:

                                    http://www.stumptowncoffee.com/locati...

                                    -----
                                    Stumptown
                                    219 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                    1. re: Blumie

                                      Hit up Defonte's for a sandwich in Red Hook if you can, but note that they close early-ish and aren't open on Sundays.

                                      -----
                                      Defonte's Sandwich Shop
                                      379 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                      1. re: Puppimus

                                        I think you can do better. And they're open in Manhattan now.

                                        1. re: Puppimus

                                          Actually, if you have a car and like to travel locally with it, like I do (I live in Brooklyn), then go for the sandwiches, if not the fresh mozzarella at Fiore Deli and Vito's Delicatessen, both in Hoboken. Both, IMO, whom create much better sandwiches than DeFonte's.

                                      2. re: cazique

                                        2nd these ideas!

                                      3. Corona Queens is a good place to check out. Good Argentinian steakhouses near the corner of Corona Ave and Junction (Esquina Criolla, El Gauchito, Rio de la Plata bakery), or or good Italian sandwiches from Leo's Latticini, or Mexican at Tortilleria Nixtamal, or dessert at Timmy O's frozen custard, as well as Peruvian at Don Alex. Rincon Criollo for Cuban as well.

                                        The Northern Blvd section of Jackson Heights has some of the better Peruvian places in NYC as well (Punto Fijo, El Sol, Anzuelo Fino, the original Pio Pio) and definitely worth checking out. If you go on a Saturday afternoon, you should also stop by Despaña's main shop when they open up for retail customers with a lot of samples to try and complimentary wine. Lots of Colombian places to try in this area as well.

                                        Flushing is an obvious choice as well. Away from the main center of Flushing are the NE chinese places off Kissena, like Golden Palace or M&T would be easier to hit with a car (i.e., better for parking). Further out towards Murray Hill/Auburndale/Bayside area off of Northern Blvd is where you'll find the best Korean food in NYC. Too many to mention.

                                        You can also get to the central Asian/Russian kosher places in Forest Hills off 108th St.

                                        Patisserie Cannelle is also a great place to try in East Elmhurst (near La Guardia airport) for some of the best French pastries in NYC.

                                        I also like to get to some of the old-timey places in Queens like Zum Stammtsich in Glendale for German or London Lennie's in Rego Park for good seafood.

                                        -----
                                        El Sol
                                        87-07 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

                                        Despana Brand Foods
                                        86-17 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

                                        Pio Pio
                                        84-02 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

                                        Rincon Criollo
                                        40-09 Junction Blvd, Queens, NY 11368

                                        Zum Stammtisch
                                        69-46 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385

                                        Leo's Latticini
                                        46-02 104th St, Queens, NY 11368

                                        Cannelle Patisserie
                                        75-59 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11370

                                        London Lennie's
                                        63-88 Woodhaven Blvd, Queens, NY 11374

                                        La Esquina Criolla
                                        94-67 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                        El Gauchito
                                        94-60 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                        Rio de la Plata
                                        94-65 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                        Timmy O's
                                        49-07 104th St, Queens, NY 11368

                                        Tortilleria Nixtamal
                                        104-05 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                                        Don Alex
                                        106-26 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                                        Golden Palace
                                        14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355

                                        SN New Restaurant
                                        44-09 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: E Eto

                                          Definitely heed E Eto's warnings about parking in Flushing's Main St, near the 7 and LIRR. Especially on the weekends!

                                          Once drove with friends to Flushing. It took only 20 minutes from Manhattan to get there, but then you'll spend another 20-30 minutes circling, looking for spots.

                                          1. re: kathryn

                                            The street to the right off of Main RIGHT by Kissena (you go across Kissena's flow of traffic to reach it) is so good for parking that my friends and I refer to it as parking street. Even people who have driven with me to Flushing only once have called it that. I can't remember the last time I haven't gotten a spot there.

                                            1. re: JFores

                                              A question to JFores- Does this street have a name? I can't figure out your directions!

                                              1. re: spicelover

                                                Same street as Henan Feng Wei. If you don't get a spot on that actual block then there's almost always something one block further up.

                                                -----
                                                Henan Feng Wei
                                                136-31 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11355

                                            2. re: kathryn

                                              don't forget the are municipal parking lots!

                                              1. re: daffyduck

                                                They've always been full when we have tried on weekend afternoons.

                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                  There's a big private lot on College Pt. Blvd. at the end of 37th Ave. It's not wildly expensive.

                                          2. ooh! When I lived in Queens, my husband and I used to go to La Fusta, an Argentinian steakhouse in Elmhurst. I loved the place--old school vibe, amazing shell steak. On a random side street, not at all trendy or scene-y. Now that we live in Brooklyn, I think about going back sometimes, but never do. Also, I LOVED Sapori D'Ischia--Salumeria by day, Italian restaurant by night. You'll definitely need Lulu to get you there--it's in a very industrial area in Woodside. Check it out! (And bring your Tom Tom, it's kinda hard to find ; )

                                            -----
                                            La Fusta
                                            80-32 Baxter Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                            Sapori d'Ischia
                                            55-15 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: piattoparla

                                              On another Platinean note, there's Esquina Criolla and its neighboring Uruguayan and Argentinian businesses. They're a bit of a pain to walk to from Junction (though that was the half way mark of my daily walk to the subway during a miserable stint in a Corona basement apartment a couple years ago) so having a car definitely helps in this case.

                                            2. Arturo's in Bellerose for excellent old school Italian. Ask the strolling mandolin player to play "Stairway to Heaven"

                                              If you want to head further East try an Tango Argentinian Steakhouse in Central Islip for fabulous Argentinian food. Tasty steaks that are bigger than the plate and live music.

                                              1. Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone. Just wanted to report that we took LuLu to Zero Otto Nove, on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, for pizza last night before a late night trip to Costco. We really enjoyed it, but were surprised that a place as well regarded as this was TOTALLY empty last night. When we arrived, there was one other couple; when we left, there were no others. Is that normal? Is Arthur Avenue generally just a weekend destination?

                                                -----
                                                Zero Otto Nove
                                                2357 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Blumie

                                                  It's big sister, Roberto's (far more expensive) is always packed , even midweek.

                                                  -----
                                                  Roberto
                                                  603 Crescent Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

                                                2. I second (or third) the recommendation for Sripraphai in Woodside. Also, De Mole in Sunnyside has great Mexican. Rego Park for Bukharian/Uzbekistani food - Cheburechnaya is a fave, or you can check out any of the spots mentioned in this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/18/din...

                                                  -----
                                                  Cheburechnaya
                                                  92-09 63rd Dr, Queens, NY 11374

                                                  SriPraPhai
                                                  64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                  De Mole
                                                  45-02 48th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                    I'm sure there's plenty of discussion of Sripraphai on the board, but I just need a quick cheat sheet: what should I order if I'm interested in maximum heat? Something that will turn my face spice orange to match my new car!

                                                    -----
                                                    SriPraPhai
                                                    64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                    1. re: Blumie

                                                      just say "pet pet", meaning very spicy.

                                                      Personally, I prefer Chao Thai in Elmhurst, but Sripraphai is quite good too.

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

                                                      SriPraPhai
                                                      64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                      1. re: Blumie

                                                        Jungle curry?

                                                        1. re: Blumie

                                                          Sri should get its own board.

                                                          1. re: Blumie

                                                            I had the sour curry once and the lady asked me like 5 times if I was sure I wanted it. I thought she was asking because of the "sour" taste, which is a little funky, but now I think she was asking because of the heat level. It was HOT, and I am not afraid of heat. However, as the other posters said, asking for things pet pet or "thai spicy" will get you some serious spice.

                                                            1. re: Blumie

                                                              LuLu took us to Sripraphai last night. Waited half an hour at about 730p. Given it was my first time, I ordered on the pedestrian side: tom yom soup and drunken noodles with minced pork. I told the waitress, "very spicy; I want to sweat." The soup was absolutely delicious, with a nice hint of spice. The noodles were very good, but not the least bit spicy. The flavors were good enough that I'll try it again, but I was very disappointed by the lack of heat.

                                                              -----
                                                              SriPraPhai
                                                              64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                              1. re: Blumie

                                                                surprised by the lack of heat. I like things quite hot but there have been a couple dishes that were almost too hot to enjoy. Cant recall exactly, but they get hot.

                                                                1. re: Blumie

                                                                  Next time try the pork larb, crispy watercress salad with seafood, or the sour or jungle curries.

                                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                                    Thanks. The only reasonable conclusion I can draw is that there was some sort of miscommunication. I asked for "very spicy," and was served something with no hint of spice at all.

                                                                    1. re: Blumie

                                                                      I actually had the drunken noodles with chicken and we asked for it medium on Sunday, and it had a bit of heat but not a whole ton, which is why your experience seems odd!

                                                                  2. re: Blumie

                                                                    Most of Thai restaurants including this one will produce pepper condiments when you ask if they aren't already on the table. There are different versions, but the ones I like the most and also I think most common are ground thai peppers (has wonderful smoky heat), thai peppers in fish sauce, and peppers in vinegar (usually the peppers are bit bigger and not very hot).

                                                                    Thai peppers in fish sauce goes really well with many noodle dishes, especially drunken noodle. So I usually end up lessening the spice level a bit to leave room for the condiments.

                                                              2. Last night we had to meet someone in Kew Gardens, so LuLu took us to Danny Brown in Forest Hills. What a wonderful neighborhood spot. The brussel sprout salad was amazingly good. Definitely a return spot.

                                                                -----
                                                                Danny Brown
                                                                104-02 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                1. L and B Spumoni Gardens once the weather warms up a bit...

                                                                  -----
                                                                  L&B Spumoni Gardens
                                                                  2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223

                                                                  1. My god where do I start...
                                                                    Totonnos,DiFaras,L&B,Roll & Roaster,Johns Deli,Roccos Calamari,Chip Shop,Original Nathans & Original Juniors, AlDi LA,LaVilla (any Location), Buttermilk Channel,Sams,Fernandos, This is just Bklyn.

                                                                    Let me know when you are full...
                                                                    Ciao-

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Atlantic Chip Shop
                                                                    129 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                    Ferdinando's Focacceria
                                                                    151 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                    Junior's
                                                                    386 Flatbush Avenue Ext, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                    Rocco's Calamari
                                                                    6408 Fort Hamilton Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11219

                                                                    La Villa
                                                                    82-07 153rd Ave, Queens, NY 11414

                                                                    Sam's
                                                                    238 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                    John's Deli
                                                                    2033 Stillwell Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11223

                                                                    La Villa
                                                                    6610 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11234

                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                    1. re: bklynsausage

                                                                      You know, we almost went to Buttermilk Channel tonight, but Lulu took us to Locanda Vino e Olii instead. I'm not sure anyone has mentioned this place on this thread yet, but we loved it: we loved the setting; we loved the incredibly warm, welcoming and friendly service; and we loved the food. Saraghina and Locanda Vino on back-to-back nights makes us think that we should learn Italian and move to Brooklyn!

                                                                      1. re: bklynsausage

                                                                        I would rule out the places that can be accessed by subway without too much trouble. DiFara and the Original Nathan's are really next to a subway station for example...
                                                                        I tried Chinar on the Island in Staten Island and was pleasantly surprised. Make a reservation and go there on a week-end night for the real deal.

                                                                        1. re: foodperestroika

                                                                          As the person doing the driving, please do not rule out anything. There are many places outside of Manhattan easily accessible by subway, but as we all know Manhattanites rarely bother to make the effort nonetheless. And while I know many like it that way (who needs Manhattanites crowding your restaurants?!?!), we are making a concerted effort to take Lulu to the best places the outer boroughs have to offer, irrespective of their proximity to public transportation!

                                                                        2. re: bklynsausage

                                                                          Al Di La does not get enough attention. Di Fara gets too much.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Al Di La
                                                                          248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                          1. re: NYJewboy

                                                                            It's already difficult enough to get a table at Al Di La...

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Al Di La
                                                                            248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                            1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                              Waaaay overrated anyway

                                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                                Agreed. It's a really good neighborhood Italian restaurant. I'm glad it's near me but if it was on the upper west side I'd never travel there from Brooklyn.

                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                  IMO it is MUCH better than a really good neighborhood restaurant.

                                                                                  OTOH Jesus himself could be serving mannah wrapped in bacon and I wouldn't travel to the UWS from Brooklyn for it.

                                                                          2. re: bklynsausage

                                                                            "My god where do I start...
                                                                            Totonnos,DiFaras,L&B,Roll & Roaster,Johns Deli,Roccos Calamari,Chip Shop,Original Nathans & Original Juniors, AlDi LA,LaVilla (any Location), Buttermilk Channel,Sams,Fernandos, This is just Bklyn"

                                                                            Sadly, most of these places are pretty dismal and 'touristy' Junior's and R&R are just dreadful.

                                                                            1. re: Tay

                                                                              You call Johns deli & Roccos Touristy? Where are you from?

                                                                              1. re: bklynsausage

                                                                                Note that I said "Most" not all. I was basically referring to:
                                                                                Totonnos,DiFaras,L&B,Roll & Roaster,Original Nathans & Original Juniors, AlDi LA

                                                                                Sorry but Junior's, R&R, and Nathan.s are esp awful.

                                                                                1. re: Tay

                                                                                  I agree. Juniors, R&R and Nathan's are pretty hideous.

                                                                                  1. re: David11238

                                                                                    Nathan's is a hot dog stand on the beach. Calling that "hideous" sort of misses the point. It would be like calling Coney Island "tacky."

                                                                                    I wouldn't travel to Coney Island just to eat at Nathan's. You can get their natural casing hot dogs at the supermarket or eat the identical dogs at their other outlets and avoid the long lines at the Coney Island location.

                                                                                    That said, if you were spending an afternoon at Coney Island anyway it would be fun to go to Nathan's.

                                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                      Thanks Bob,

                                                                                      Anybody calling CI hideous does not get it. I have been going to CI for at least 45 years. I have seen the place in many stages and to me they are all cool and worth visiting. If this type of historical urban playground is "hideous" then stay in the SAFE malls. And if you do venture to Nathans try the french fries there they are far better than any of the other locations.

                                                                                      Ciao-

                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                        The hot dogs at Nathans are hideous. As is the fried chicken. Their clams on the half shell and burgers are hit and miss. The french fries is their only item that's consistently good. I have nothing against Coney Island, which is pretty much looking like a boarded up town, or places like Gray's Papaya, which have less than clean looking premises but excellent hot dogs. I will include Junor's, where ecxept for the breakfast menu, the food sucks. The same thing for R&R. Dreadful. I disagree with Tay on Difara, where the pizza is great, but the interior and long wait are both freadful. I also liked AlDi La, Chip Shop's fried fish filet and Rocco's very much. I haven't been to the other places he's listed so it's not my place to reccomend or not reccomend.

                                                                                    2. re: Tay

                                                                                      I"m not sure how Al Di La is touristy. We must have different ideas about what that means. But it certainly isn't dismal, dreadful, or awful.

                                                                                      Totonnos, DiFaras and L&B are all top notch pizza places and worth the trip IMO.

                                                                                      Just because people travel to eat somewhere doesn't mean it's "touristy", just that it's good enough to attract people from afar.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Al Di La
                                                                                      248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                                      1. re: MRich

                                                                                        "Totonnos, DiFaras and L&B are all top notch pizza places and worth the trip IMO"

                                                                                        Sorry but all of the above listed pizza places are either less than clean or way overpriced. In the caes of Al Di La it's mainly overhyped.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Al Di La
                                                                                        248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                              2. A convertible, huh? Get yourselves on the Belt Parkway West and head over to Tommaso's in Dyker Heights (1464 86th Street). Preferably on a Friday or Saturday night. Or, take the Belt westbound to Cross Bay Blvd, hook a right, and go to New Park Pizza. There's also Lenny's and Vincent's. Both clam bars on Crossbay as well. If there are recommendations in Staten Island, I can't think of anything more pleasant than driving top down on the Verrazano. I'll add Saratoga Country Kitchen on Atlantic Ave. & Saratoga in East New York, Brooklyn, for delicious soul food (fried pork chops, fried chicken, green, etc.) and Fish & Wings on Atlantic Ave. between Warwick and Ashford (also in E.NY) for the best mac n' cheese in NYC, IMO, and really good fried fish, chicken and very popular red velvet cake.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                New Park Pizza
                                                                                156-71 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11414

                                                                                Tommaso
                                                                                1464 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11228

                                                                                Fish and Wings
                                                                                2928 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207

                                                                                Old-Time Vincent's Clam Bar
                                                                                159-13 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11414

                                                                                Lenny's Clam Bar
                                                                                161-03 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11414

                                                                                The Country Kitchen
                                                                                1991 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: David11238

                                                                                  Decades ago we used to swear that New Park Pizza was the best in the city. I haven't been there in years!

                                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                                    New Park is still great the only thing is you need to ask for well done. This is a real throw back to the old NY Pizza. These places must survive so go there and eat the pizza... You will love it..

                                                                                    Ciao-

                                                                                  2. re: David11238

                                                                                    Staten Island? I'd go to Lee's Tavern for the great NY pizza and local color. Dosa Garden for South Indian. Or one of the better Sri Lankan places, as there is that ethnic community here (New Asha, SanRasa, etc.)

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Lee's Tavern
                                                                                    60 Hancock St, Staten Island, NY 10305

                                                                                    New Asha
                                                                                    322 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10301

                                                                                    Dosa Garden
                                                                                    323 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10301

                                                                                    San Rasa
                                                                                    226 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10301

                                                                                    1. re: David11238

                                                                                      Tommaso's? I havent been in quite awhile and I was just thinking about them, since they're having a Carnivale dinner. You think this is up there as worth a visit?

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Tommaso
                                                                                      1464 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11228

                                                                                      1. re: Steve R

                                                                                        During Carnivale? Absolutely. Although too be honest, the last time I was there (around two years ago) the interior needed drastic renovation. A freshening at the least. The food was still excellent.

                                                                                    2. Just want to update this thread to report that:

                                                                                      (1) Saraghina now is one of our favorite NYC restaurants. We've been at least four times since starting this thread and love introducing others to it.

                                                                                      (2) We went for a nostalgia tour of Brooklyn Heights recently -- I lived there for six years in the 90s -- and ended up eating at Noodle Pudding. It was around when I lived in the neighborhood, but I was always loyal to Henry's End. We had a wonderful meal there, and certainly will return.

                                                                                      (3) We returned to Sripraphai last night and had a wonderful meal. We had a waiter who was perfectly fluent in English. We explained that I had ordered drunken noodles "very spicy" on my last visit and was served a dish with no spice at all. He made sure I was sweating this time. My girlfriend had a wonderful (and also very spicy) green papaya salad.

                                                                                      We also got Lulu a much needed bath on Queens Blvd, not far from Sripraphai. At $5, it was a lot cheaper than in Manhattan, and she's now gleeming in the sunlight!

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Noodle Pudding
                                                                                      38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                                      Henry's End
                                                                                      44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                                      Saraghina
                                                                                      435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

                                                                                      1. The latest update: we've discovered Red Hook!! Had dinner at Good Fork on Sat night, and loved it. We only read afterwards that the steak and eggs is their go-to dish, so after watching some spirited soccer matches at the ball fields on Sun, we returned to Good Fork for dinner again. And we loved it again. Now we need to hit Ft. Defiance, the Ice House, the lobster pound, Kevin's, etc., etc., etc. Look for Lulu to be spending a lot of time in Red Hook in the near future!

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        The Good Fork
                                                                                        391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Blumie

                                                                                          I'd hit Sunny's bar while its still around if I were you & I'm also hearing from a reputable source on CH that Hope & Anchor has a very good lamb burger.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Sunny's Bar
                                                                                          253 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                                          Hope & Anchor
                                                                                          347 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                                          1. re: Steve R

                                                                                            Thanks for the tip, Steve. We did see the lamb burger on the H&A menu. It's on the list!

                                                                                          2. re: Blumie

                                                                                            Hi Blumie,

                                                                                            You probably already know about this place but what the hey. The next time you're in Red Hook I recommend you go here:

                                                                                            Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies
                                                                                            204 Van Dyke St
                                                                                            Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                                            This is their bakery location as well as a retail spot for them.

                                                                                            On a hot day, I really like the "swingle." A swingle is a frozen slice of key lime pie on a stick. Oh, and it's been dipped in bittersweet chocolate. (Now why didn't I think of that?)

                                                                                            The bakery location is by the water and feels laid-back and wonderfully lost. If you haven't yet found the nearby park at the end of Coffey Street where there's free kayaking, a pier and wall murals depicting tidal waves in Japanese painting style, now is the time to do so (with swingle in hand).

                                                                                            Ciao,

                                                                                            Glendale is hungry...

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies
                                                                                            204 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                                            1. re: Glendale is hungry

                                                                                              A 40 minute drive north to Westchester- Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Very much worth it, if you wait till the leaves start to change even better!

                                                                                              1. re: MsAlyp

                                                                                                While not in the outer boroughs, it's certainly on our radar screen!

                                                                                                1. re: Blumie

                                                                                                  If you want to go this fall, I'd book ASAP if I were you. Blue Hill at Stone Barns accepts phone reservations up to two months prior to the calendar date. And IIRC, last year, the leaf-peeping in Tarrytown was almost over by first week of November.