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Jun 12, 2013 05:32 PM

Have car will travel

So after living in NYC for 11 years we finally got a car. Now I am curious what the best foodie destinations are that have nearby free or cheap parking (or would work for a pick up and return to Park Slope area). I’d like these places to also be kid friendly if the suggestion is to eat in. I’ve done Arthur Ave. Chinese in Flushing is very high on my list. I’ve picked up Thai from Ayada in Queens (and will again), and plan to pick up pizza from Giuseppina's. What else should be high on my list?

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  1. Wow, where to begin...
    Brighton Beach: Kashkar Café, Café Gletchik
    Bensonhurst/Bay Ridge: L&B Spumani, Bab al Yemen
    Staten Island: Sri Lankan in Lakruwana or Sanrasa, or Enoteca Maria
    Williamsburg: Too many to mention. start with Briskettown perhaps

    1. Nathan's hot dog on the boardwalk at Coney Island is a life changing experience.

      1. You've got some fun times ahead of you. Here are some places to start.

        Tacis Beyti - very good Turkish.

        Grand Sichuan House in Bay Ridge -

        Red Hook ballfields for great Mexican and Central American street food (Summer weekends only


        Nha Trang Palace in Sunset Park - good Vietnamese

        Davids Brisket House in Bay Ridge. Terrific pastrami. For my money, as good as Katz's and $5 cheaper.

        Hope and Anchor in Red Hook. Great funky atmosphere. Recommended - the regular burgers, the lamb burger, the roast pork hoagie, the shrimp po boy, and the buffalo chicken sandwich.

        Rosamunde Sausage in Williamsburg -

        Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park. Go to the larger one in the 40s. -

        Bosna Express in Ridgewood for Bosnian burgers. (A tiny place, best for takeout.) -

        Little Pepper in College Point - terrific Sichuan

        La Fusta in Elmhurst. Wonderful Argentine steakhouse

        Zum Stammtisch in Glendale. Very good German if you order right. The Goulash soup is excellent.

        That ought to hold you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bob Martinez

          Nothing against Tacos Matamoros, but it's a pretty fast bus or subway ride from most of Park Slope.

          1. re: Peter Cuce

            Picky picky picky.


            You've made some nice suggestions and explained why you like them. I think the OP can eat very well by using this thread as a starting point.

        2. Some of my favorites in Queens


          Hunan Kitchen
          Hunan House
          Spicy Tasty
          Nan Xiang
          Jade Restaurant
          Fu Run
          101 Taiwanese
          Mamak House
          White Bear
          Yi Lan Halal
          Dosa Hut and Ganesh Temple Canteen


          Tortilleria Nixtamal
          Leo's Latticini
          Lemon Ice King

          Elmhurst/Jackson Heights:

          Taste Good
          La Fusta


          Zum Stammtisch




          MP Taverna


          Salt and Fat
          Turkish Grill


          M. Wells Dinette
          LIC Market
          John Brown's Smokehouse

          Forest Hills:

          Nick's Pizza
          Danny Brown

          5 Replies
          1. re: Pookipichu

            What's good at Lemon Ice King? The things I've had, I found to be sickly sweet.

            Personally I wouldn't rate Takesushi as a destination place in any way - it's good for Woodside/Sunnyside or possibly for Queens as a whole, but it's not special Japanese food for a person who access to car. There are equally average Japanese places in Park Slope.

            1. re: Peter Cuce

              Lemon ice at lemon ice king, it's tangy and sweet and perfect for summer, it's not a "destination" but it's across the street from Parkside and close to Nixtamal. In any event, my post was sharing some of "my favorites" :)

              Takesushi is one of the best if not the best sushi restaurant in Queens and my response is focused on Queens, also I would disagree about places in Park Slope being equal. I used to live in Park Slope. The fish at Takesushi is MUCH better than Ten, Kiku(s), Taro, etc. I've eaten at them and they are as you describe, below average-average. The only place in Park Slope I've had better fish is Blue Ribbon Sushi and it's much more expensive. Takesushi is an excellent value. I think it's of interest to the original poster. There's not a surfeit of good sushi in the boroughs and value is hard to come by.

              1. re: Pookipichu

                I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about Lemon Ice King. I find it overly sweet. To my mind it's similar to a place like Totonno's - lots of accrued cred from over the years but somewhere they lost their way. I'd rather go to the new Taiwanese shaved ice stall that Joe DiStefano wrote about ( or try out the Korean version of shaved ice, called Papingsu, that is a new menu item at Cafe de Cupping, a specialty coffee shop in Flushing on Northern Blvd.

                Ten & Kiku are Chinese-run, terrible places, but Geido is roughly equivalent to Takesushi and I think Taro is pretty close - to my mind they're all just OK - none of them remotely fit the description of "best foodie destination."

                Blue Ribbon Sushi has closed btw. But my point was that this person has a car for the first time and is looking for excellent or different/better places to visit that he can't get either in the neighborhood or somewhere close by train. Not to say that Takesushi doesn't have its charms as a local place, but I just can't see sending someone there to celebrate their car-ification, especially as it isn't really that cheap for what it is. They can just head into Manhattan and have the wealth of the best Japanese in NYC, some of it at similar or cheaper price points than the aforementioned spots. Have you been to Yasaka in Manhattan, for example? I haven't been - but Japanese people I trust tell me it's the best sushi at that price point.

                1. re: Peter Cuce

                  Some people like sweet, some people don't. I'm not a fan of overly sweet things, part of the reason I love Cannelle, but as you said, Lemon Ice King has garnered a name over the years and if the poster is in the area, it's fun to check it out.

                  You are right, Takesushi is not the "best foodie destination", I didn't interpret the original poster literally and I may be completely in the wrong with mentioning Takesushi. But with all this back and forth, he/she can make an informed decision. I've been to many sushi places in Manhattan, while I have not been to Yasaka, I would disagree with you that the poster can find many restaurants that are of similar quality at the same price point or cheaper. There's too big a rent differential. I've been to too many "raved" about value Japanese places that truly do serve mediocre sushi or tiny portions. It's that they're in Manhattan that it's passable because the good places are so expensive "OMG it's such a value and I don't have to step off Manhattan". Yes the best sushi is in Manhattan, and it's very expensive.

                  In the same vein, would you consider Java Village and BCD Tofu House best foodie destinations? I personally find them underwhelming. BCD Tofu House I do not find a good value.

                  I know that Blue Ribbon Sushi closed as a standalone but they merged with Blue Ribbon American. Still a wonderful restaurant that I would recommend if I were writing about Brooklyn.

                  1. re: Pookipichu

                    BCD Tofu House is something along the lines of a Korean diner - I've heard it compared to Denny's. However, their Sundubu is pretty good, and given its other characteristics, including being great for families and being in the middle of Bayside's Korean onslaught, I think it's a good rec. They also have a banchan I love that I haven't had elsewhere - burdock root prepared with soy sauce in such a way that it tastes smoked. Real tasty.

                    Java Village is a crapshoot. My first couple of visits I thought it was terrible and didn't return for a long while until an Indonesian pal told me that the secret was to order dishes prepared in the kitchen and to make sure they're fresh. Their spicy soups are great and some of the rice dishes on the first page of the menu. You can't order just anything here - you have to order carefully. The snacks for takeaway on the counter top are almost all good - I especially like the Wingko Babat (a coconut gelatinous rice sweet that they will warm up for you) and the mixed fried snack that I can't remember the name of.

          2. As a fellow Slopian with car, I travel to Queens (and other places) often to eat using that transportation mode.

            In the Bronx, on Jerome Ave, is one of the better Vietnamese restaurants in NYC, called Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều. The menu's small, but it's run by full on ethnic Vietnamese and the pho is generally better than almost anywhere.

            My favorite Thai is Chao Thai, a hop, skip and a jump from Ayada, and they have a new branch that has much more seating. Their food runs more citrusy while crowd favorite Sripraphai tends to be more salty, and while I've been to Sripraphai probably 100 times, nearly all of my Thai eating the last couple of years has been at Chao Thai.

            Near Chao Thai is Java Village, a good Indonesian restaurant, as long as you get something made fresh in the kitchen. The steam table stuff can be pretty grim sometimes, but the pre-made snacks on the counter are good.

            In Jackson Heights/Elmhurst, there's a Korean snack shop called Pajunia with a window onto Broadway. They sell the best hotteok (sweet flour nut cakes) I've tried in NYC (not that that many places sell them) - these things are cheap and addictive.

            Also, there are some great Korean restaurants that are only easily accessible from Park Slope by car. Clustered around the Murray Hill LIRR station in Queens there are many good choices. Favorites include Hamjibach, some of the best Korean BBQ in NYC and Geo Si Gi, specializing in pork bone stew.

            Way out on Northern Blvd around 210th Street is the real branch of BCD Tofu House. There's a fake one around 150th St. And while there's a BCD in Manhattan, this one seems better, is more kid friendly (lots of families here), and you get the full-on Korean experience, including the neighborhood - you might feel like you're in another country. If you come here the back way using the Clearview Expressway, you'll miss it, but if you trundle along Northern Blvd from Flushing, you'll see around 80 blocks of almost all Korean shops and restaurants.

            Lots of other favorites of all stripes. This is just a sample.