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?
You've got some fun times ahead of you. Here are some places to start.
Tacis Beyti - very good Turkish. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/855232
Grand Sichuan House in Bay Ridge - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/461890
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. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869826
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. http://www.hopeandanchorredhook.com/menu.php
Rosamunde Sausage in Williamsburg - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/870381
Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park. Go to the larger one in the 40s. - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/670404#5844144
Bosna Express in Ridgewood for Bosnian burgers. (A tiny place, best for takeout.) - http://www.villagevoice.com/2001-07-1...
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.
Some of my favorites in Queens
Yi Lan Halal
Dosa Hut and Ganesh Temple Canteen
Lemon Ice King
Salt and Fat
M. Wells Dinette
John Brown's Smokehouse
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.
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.
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 (http://chopsticksandmarrow.com/2013/0...) 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.
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.
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.
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.
I think people are just listing places...
Places not accessible by train, worth the trip....
The Murray hill lirr area w all the Korean.
Lemon ice king plus spaghetti park.
Amore pizza in flushing.
Pizza town USA in jersey
And jersey in general
Maybe bunker in Ridgewood
Rhbf is good for salvadoran but I haven't had anywhere Mexican as good as tortas Neza on 111/Roosevelt combined w all the street food visible from that corner ESP at 9pm.
I'd say Flushing proper, the part accessible by the 7 train, is not off limits for this discussion. Even if you don't have kids, the train ride from Park Slope to Flushing is pretty brutal, especially if you're heading there when the 7 train isn't running express. I wouldn't visit anywhere near as much as I do if I didn't have a car. When there's no traffic I can get there in around 25 minutes as opposed to 1-1.5 hours by train, depending on day/time.
There's lots of good places there, but the OP can delve into the Outerboroughs board and search for himself. I don't think we need to reprise all of the suggestions here.
re: Peter Cuce
re: Bob Martinez
Yeah I do a variation on that sometimes but didn't know that particular one. Interesting. Thanks much.
If it's 8:30 or later, I do BQE/Grand Central Parkway , A) because I'm often headed to the Northern Blvd corridor, and B) Because I live close to Hamilton Ave on-ramp. That's very quick.
re: Peter Cuce
At 8:30 I'd take the highway too.
The beauty of Eastern Parkway is that there's never any significant traffic. The trip always takes the same amount of time. No nasty surprises. I always use it if I expect the BQE to be busy.
Another tip. (I am full of them today.) If you take Eastern Parkway to Atlantic Ave. and then make a right Atlantic will take you straight into Conduit Blvd. which leads right into Kennedy airport.
No more Belt Parkway and it's hideous traffic jams! It takes 35 minutes from Grand Army Plaza to JFK. I've done it many times.