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Good eats in Bayside

I'm a Queens kid who is moving back to Bayside - near Bell and 42 Ave. I'd like some suggestions for good pizza (and good to me is NOT brick oven but old fashioned, outer borough, thin crust, fold it in half, hear a nice crack, no frills slice) decent asian take-out (for nights I am not going to Flushing) Mexican and Greek --other than Fontanas on Franny Lou. Thanks

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  1. My family's favorite pizza in the neighborhood is VIPizza (43-02 Bell Boulevard). Nothing fancy, just good pizza.

    If you're looking for Chinese take-out, good luck. I haven't found a good place yet. I will occasionally drive out to Saigon (61-42 Springfield Blvd) for Chinese. It's a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant and it's run by Chinese people. They do a good job with stir frys. If you want just Vietnamese, there is Mekong East (43-13 Bell Boulevard) that is very good. My favorite Thai in the area is Bonne Saison (4004 Bell Blvd). There are also a lot of Korean places nearby, but I can't comment on them since my wife won't eat Korean food.

    As for Greek, go to Avli (3831 Bell Boulevard). Unlike Fontanas which seems like a greasy diner, Avli has a nice atmosphere and very good food. Decent prices, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robotron

      VIPizza has excellent sicilian and grandma pies. Really top notch classic NY style.

      1. re: NYJewboy

        Fino Wine & Tapas on 39-13 Bell Boulevard is a definite standout as well.
        http://finowinetapas.com/

    2. Erawan for Thai
      Il Toscano for Italian
      Mickey's Place for Japanese
      Avli for Greek

      These three, I would sooner travel elsewhere even if inconvenient:

      Pizza......
      Chinese......
      Mexican...

      1. Press 195 makes excellent sandwiches and fries with some nice beer selections.

        1. Guh Song for Korean Chinese (try their bone-on gunpunggi - coated fried chicken); Ham Ji Bach (Korean BBQ) moved around the corner to Bell, and there's also a Sam Gyap Sul joint (pork bbq) place right nearby. There's also a decent Chinese bakery (85 Express Asian? Express Asian? they keep changing their name) on 48th right near Bell - good spongecake.
          P.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Polecat

            I have had some excellent Korean meals at Cana Restaurant, 212-30 48th Ave.
            http://www.canakoreanfood.com/

          2. Mythos for Greek

            BKNY on Franny Lew for Thai.

            10 Replies
              1. re: Pookipichu

                Driven by several times. Strange set-up. No windows onto Frances Lewis. Always been dubious but, hey, who needs a view and have read your praise before. Plus, I dig the mural. Will try these guys out.

                If we're getting into the Flushing border here, I'll recommend Tang (Korean - best dishes: jukbol, seoullentang, bossam and hameul pajeun) and Kati Allo for Greek, further down Francis Lewis.

                P.

                1. re: Polecat

                  If you go, the banana leaf steamed fish special at BKNY is crazy good, the dipping sauce is addictive as well. Seriously an undiscovered dish, probably because BKNY is a little out of the way, no subways, the exterior is not really confidence inspiring and the name is confusing to people who automatically assume BK means Brooklyn. I haven't been back in a while but my last meal there was wonderful. The steamed fish, short rib special, crab fried rice were all really excellent. Curries are much stronger at Sripraphai but BKNY offers some dishes that Sri doesn't have.

                  1. re: Pookipichu

                    I definitely want to try that banana leaf steamed fish, I just saw it this week in the CHOW digest. I moved back to Queens last year after 6 years in Boston, and though some of my old faves are still solid (I enjoy Erawan, however $12 drinks at the bar really seems excessive), I am always on the lookout for a new spot to try. I love the curry noodles at Erawan, hopefully there is a similar dish at BKNY I can try.

                    1. re: rosie17

                      Their banana leaf steamed fish is SO good. It is the main reason I go to BKNY.

                      1. re: Pookipichu

                        I'm definitely making my way over there soon to try it. Any noodle dishes stand out to you? Thanks!

                        1. re: Pookipichu

                          Made it over there a few Fridays ago, on the heels of your recommendations. Had the crab fried rice.

                          The fried rice itself was good, with a nice wok flavor. 16 bucks, though, for fried rice with a barely noticeable tea-spoon size portion of crab meat, is my idea of overpriced. On the plus side, the prices for other dishes struck me as reasonable.

                          It's a huge, dark space, with one small window looking out onto Frances Lewis. On one wall the Statue of Liberty represents NY, but it was too dark for me to see if there was something representative of BK on the other side.

                          Thanks for the recommendation, and I'll be back for the BananaFish.

                          P.

                    2. re: Polecat

                      BKNY is really good. And the owner and servers are super nice.. That mural cost him $5K.. lol

                      I wouldn't have thought it would have been good based on the Francis Lewis view but the food is great and the place is comfortable.

                    3. re: Pookipichu

                      Definitely BKNY over Erawan, any day of the week.

                  2. Also, perenially overlooked but good, on the Horace Harding Expressway/ Springfield Blvd exit:

                    - Mt. Ararat Bakery (mixed Mediterranean)
                    - Patoug (Persian - always empty but I've gotten take-out a few times - has always been good)

                    P.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Polecat

                      What do you recommend at Mt. Ararat, Polecat? I've only seen the inside from the street and was leery of going. It didn't look very inviting, though I've heard some good things about it.

                      1. re: IWantFood

                        They're actually very nice there, although it's been hard to get names for some of the in-labeled items. If you're a carboholic, as I am, then go for any of their flatbread items. There's one that resembles a small pizza - four to a package - that's extremely chewy and covered in herbs. I can also get hooked on the salt cookies. These guys are a well-kept secret, but I consider myself lucky to work right around the corner.

                        Patoug seems far less inviting, but they're nice in there also.

                        P

                        1. re: Polecat

                          Thanks for the suggestions. Do you know if Mt. Ararat has sweets like baklava, fenekia, etc.?

                          1. re: IWantFood

                            They do have some sweets, yes. Haven't really sampled any but could have sworn I saw some baklava out when there yesterday. Give it a go and tell us what you think.
                            P

                            1. re: Polecat

                              Thanks. Will try to stop in next time I'm in the area. Will report back when I do.

                    2. Thanks for the recommendations! See ya in the hood.

                      1. Bayside Milk Farms on 36th and Bell is a small market with excellent cooked prepared foods by the pound, sandwiches, and salads to go.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: DarthEater

                          Darth-

                          I was gonna post a separate thread on where to shop for food, so thanks, for jumping in. I went into Milk Farms and it looked good - decent sale prices as well. For supermarkets it looks like we have Waldbaums, Waldbaums or Waldbaums (and Fairway in Douglaston).

                          1. re: Hank Stamper

                            For days when you don't want to go out, Empire Garden on Springfield Blvd delivers Taiwanese Pork chop or Chicken leg over rice. It includes a tea egg, meat sauce, and pickled vegetables.

                        2. Some potentially excellent news: a Taiwanese co-worker just handed me a take-out menu for Nan Be Ho, which she believes to be the newly relocated Nan Bei He, formerly of Flushing. It's located at 212-22 48th Avenue, right near Bell. (718-357-1838). She's already swearing by the beef noodle soup and the scallion pancake rolled with beef. The menu lists several Taiwanese staples, including breakfast items, as well as the Family Meal (choose 3 items) option. If this is actually the return of Nan Bei He, then I will be hitting this place hard and often.
                          P

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Polecat

                            ack!!! just saw this after posting my reply. this sounds amazing. i'll have to take a walk over there.

                          2. chinese take-out is hard to come by further east than flushing. if americanized chinese is acceptable for a quick fix, i recommend imperial taste. they're on horace harding just off of springfield, but they do deliver. they've been in business forever (well, at least the past 25+years i've been going there). good basics (lo mein, fried rice, egg foo young, general tso's chicken). the cons are that there are different chefs that work there, so sometimes you'll get something that isn't quite exactly the same as when you usually order it, but that's pretty rare, and they are a cash-only establishment.

                            i also happen to like mekong east on bell just off of northern. good pho, fried calamari, porkchop, and their version of pad thai is pretty good (it's spicy, which is unusual for pad thai).

                            i second the rec for VIPizza, but not for their regular slice, for that i'd make the trip to lucia in flushing. the grandma pie with garlic and basil is the way to go. there are a couple other pizza joints on bell all within a block or two, but i haven't tried any of the others.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: erised

                              Thanks. I don't think I will be heading to Flushing for a regular slice. I will check out a few of the places on Bell - VIPizza, Il Vesuvio and whatever is a few doors down from there. For Chinese, I might just pass on takeout and find a reason to head to Flushing for Spicy Tasty, etc.

                              BTW- For Greek, how is Avli on Bell and Gyro Corner on Francis Lewis?

                              1. re: Hank Stamper

                                Prefer Avli for souvlaki over Gyro Corner, which I believe is on Northern Blvd, a few blocks north of Frances Lewis. Perhaps you're thinking of Fontana? Kati Allo is also a better option.
                                P

                                1. re: Polecat

                                  Gyro Corner is on Francis Lewis and 33rd Fontana's is good but last few times the gyros were all meat -- no lettuce to speak of.

                                  1. re: Hank Stamper

                                    Ah, perhaps I was thinking of Gyro World? Sorry.
                                    P

                                    1. re: Polecat

                                      Gyro World (194-23 Northern Blvd - gyroworldnyc.com) is my current favorite for Greek takeout. I get the Gyro World Plate for 2 people and it's enough to feed 5 people. It's got 6 different kinds of meat with french fries at the bottom of the tray to absorb all the delicious grease.

                                      One side of the restaurant is made entirely of large doors that they open when the weather is nice. It's almost like sitting in an outdoor cafe.

                                      Avli also has outdoor dining at the back of the restaurant that is very nice.

                                    2. re: Hank Stamper

                                      fontana's gyro and souvlaki sandwiches, when ordered "with everything," only come with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce. they don't put lettuce on them. i'm not sure why this is, but they're consistent. if you want lettuce, you have to ask for it. fyi, fontana's has a pretty good charcoal calamari that you can order as an appetizer, or as a platter. and they have good lemon potatoes.

                                  2. re: Hank Stamper

                                    gyro corner used to be my go-to spot, until the guy who was running the show when i frequented the place left to open a new restaurant somewhere upstate. the food went downhill from there, although i do have to admit that i haven't been back there in years. kati allo has been inconsistent to me. after i stopped going to gyro corner, i started eating at kati allo, and i felt their food was way better than gyro corner back in their good days. then after several meals that were disappointing, i started going to fontana's. they're consistently okay, so i haven't went anywhere else. and yes, fontana's has zero ambiance, but i usually get takeout from them, and especially now that they take credit cards. i'll have to try this avli place. it's within walking distance for me.

                                    1. re: erised

                                      avli was average, med grill on willets in whitestone is excellent, gyro corner is a greasy spoon dive with not very good quality food, gyro world I have not been to, but have heard it's good, fontana is gross, mt ararat has great little spinach pies to a pkg, and some good cookies, and good pita they make there--their feta selection is ok in a pinch--and they actually have a good selection of string cheeses if this is your thing--they also make spinach pie you can buy by slice but it runs out quick--family run operation--lebanese--their pistachios etc never too fresh and over priced...better feta choice at greek emporioum on 150th st in whitestone

                                2. Excellent first lunch today at Nan Bei Ho - sliced fish with a side of white rice. Fish was tender, nicely coated, not overdone. Really liked the complimentary beef soup with seaweed. Most of the good stuff apart from humongous bowls of beef stew noodle soup seems to be off the family or snack menu. Lunch specials don't seem all that exciting. Did not experience any of the negative service issues reported on Yelp. Nice clean space. Delighted that this joint is a 5 minute drive from work. Will be back soon.
                                  P

                                  1. A poster above recommended Cana for Korean. Since it's only a few doors down from Nan Bei Ho on 48th, I grabbed a single order of Budae Jigae to go for dinner. My wife associates this dish with her college days in Seoul; it's damn good post-drinking fare, combining pork, kimchi, tofu, spam, instant ramen noodles and - the capper that brings it all together - spam. One reason college kids and young drunken revelers might like this is that it's the type of dish that only a young stomach can survive without doing somersaults, sort of like what mine is doing right now. That said, we both really liked Cana's version. The broth is informed nicely by decent quality pork and spam; it was a nice flavor burst of spicy and sour. Extra points for some decent spicy cucumber banchan.

                                    Some interesting menu items here in addition to the usual suspects, including a special Korean-style hotpot.

                                    I look forward to dining in next time.
                                    P