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We got a car. Where do we go?

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

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    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

        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-

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                  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...

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          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!!

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            Brennan & Carr
            3432 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229

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

            1 Reply
            1. 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.

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              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.

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                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...

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                    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.