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Jun 7, 2013 04:17 PM

Jury Duty Jamaica Queens

Any recs for either lunch and/or a decent cup of coffee near the courts in Jamaica? (i.e. the area between the Sutphin Blvd stop on the F train and the Sutphin Blvd/Archer Ave stop on the E train.)

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  1. Popeyes. Not a lot of options. At least when I was on jury duty 4 years ago.

    1. No. I just had jury duty a couple of months ago and the best option I found was to go to the grocery store across the street from the courthouse (a new and fairly clean/well-stocked store). I grabbed some hummus and pre-cut fruit there, along with some deli cold cuts, and made do (the deli does a brisk sandwich business at lunch as well). They also sell coffee - it's not good, but it's not terrible. Otherwise, there's Popeyes/Subway/McDs/scary Chinese places/street meat carts.

      1. Thanks for your replies! Since I originally posted I did find El Rey (via an old thread on Chow) - a Dominican place just around the corner from Sutphin on Hillside where I had pretty good Mofongo w. chicken. But otherwise it's agreed that the food choices are quite bleak near the courts. Seems like a good opportunity for someone to open a cafe, restaurant or even a great food cart (with coffee)!!!

        1. I had something passable a while back at El Familiar, 87-81 Sutphin Blvd. Everything on styrofoam, but I would certainly return if it was jury duty time again. That neighborhood is seriously lacking options.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Up With Olives

            The options around the courts in Jamaica AND Kew Gardens are terrible. It's mind boggling considering how much money could be made by a decent restaurant(s).

            1. re: Pookipichu

              I just finished jury duty today. On most days I tried to bring lunch from home (I discovered the Rufus King historical house situated in a nearby grassy park, a lovely place to sit if it's not raining!).

              Agreed, Pookipichu - the opportunity to make money with a decent food business in this neighborhood is outstanding!

            1. re: squid kun

              I'll second Sietsema's rec of Mataheko. imho, it's the best west African restaurant around. There's another one nearby that get more press but Mataheko has a far bigger selection with most items available everyday and much better service. Pretty easy to be in and out in under an hour.

              There's also a brand new bbq restaurant -- City Rib -- on Parsons at 89th but I haven't been.

              1. re: el jefe

                What do you recommend at Mataheko?

                1. re: DaveCook

                  The peanut soup is excellent (if you saw my post in the Filipino thread you'll see the theme here) as is the goat pepper soup. I much prefer both with the fufu rather than the ebaa. The ebaa's texture is somewhere between silly putty and taffy, but that may just be my taste. The kenkey is also very good but that may be a Saturday-only special. The goat khebabs app are perfectly done, even though they usually have too many organs for me. The other app I like is the koosee akara (fried bean cakes) but just about anything hot and crispy, just out of the fryer, would be equally good.

                  1. re: el jefe

                    Thanks. Since I found myself near Mataheko a day before your reply, I took a flyer and ordered a dish I'd never tried. Garifoto, for everyone else who's never crossed its path, consists of cassava farina stir-fried with vegetables (here, onions and bell peppers), eggs, and for my order chunks of goat. It didn't rival the attieke at Maima's -- another dish based on granulated cassava, albeit fermented -- but Mataheko certainly deserves further visits, especially in light of your recommendations.

                    Dave Cook

                    1. re: DaveCook

                      West African is not my expertise, if I have one. Most of my experience with West African comes from long-gone Florence's on the upper upper west side and from my own cooking. I do a great Mafe. But I'm not about to try to make fufu or ebaa.

                      Mataheko has a "Atseke" on the menu which might be the same as Attieke. I haven't tried it. A quick google search says attieke is specific to Cote d'Ivoire. Any of the fermented starches sound good.

                      The food at Maima's may be equal to Mataheko. My issue at Maima's is that from everything I've read and my one experience there, they never have more than a few items available. Even worse was the service which went from strange to rude.