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Aug 18, 2014 08:34 PM

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

A similar post on the Manhattan Board has so far generated 450 responses, so I thought a NYC-non Manhattan post could also bring back memories. For a start:

Alex and Henry's (East 161 St.)
Joe and Joe's (pronounced jo-jos) on Bruckner Blvd.
Patricia Murphey's on Tremont Ave.

Niedersteins(?) a sprawling German restaurant on Metropolitan Ave. on the Cemetery side of the street.
(a name I forget-please help if you remember): an upscale restaurant in the Mansion previously owned by Oscar Hammerstein in Bayside (or College Point)

(of course) Lundy's; and Gage and Tollner
Grillo's: Fish restaurant and market in the Newkirk Ave. subway station mall;
Adele (upscale in then downscale Park Slope) in space that is now Applewood
Lisanne: First upscale restaurant in east Boerum Hill (now Betty's Bakery)
Aunt Suzie's (not great food, but still a special place)
Patois: the first restaurant to inspire the Smith St. restaurant row
La Bouillabaise: First Brooklyn Zagat superstar
Garden Cafe: A super restaurant in Prospect Heights when PH was edgy
Laila: Middle Eastern with huge portions in what is now Greenwood Heights.
Near East: Great Moroccan on Atlantic Ave.
Brawta (and more recently Fisherman's Dawta); Jamaican on Atlantic Ave.
Christie's Jamaican Patties

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  1. I remember fondly The New Prospect Cafe on Flatbush, one of the first in the area of its kind.

    A vegetarian restaurant that had burritos and other things -- had a branch on Henry Street and also somewhere in Park Slope. I just liked the place, especially the one in the Heights. What was it called?

    Great Shanghai in Sunset Park (my replacement for Little Shanghai in Chinatown, which had closed.)

    Spicy Mina and Southern Spice in Queens.

    Cino's on DeKalb. Red Sauce neighborhood place.

    Helen's on Court Street. Ditto above.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gnosh

      How dare I forget Mina's (her original restaurant in Sunnyside) and Spicy Mina?

    2. I haven't been around long enough in Bklyn to go far back in the way back machine.

      We loved La Bouillabaisse in its early days. Actually went the first week it was open. Neil came out of the kitchen to chat with us since there were only a few tables at the time. He told us his story and how he used to cook on cruise ships. That was a great place. It seemed so tiny then. The places that have come and gone in the space have had better design but not better food.

      I really miss Leaf & Bean that was on Montague. Great coffee and brunch.

      Also liked Coq Hardi on Montague. Never got a fair chance as it was on the second floor. Great french food and the owner was a really good guy.

      Tanpopo and its later incarnation as Bistro. Tanpopo had the best and most authentic sushi in Brooklyn at its time. Spent a lot of time sitting at the sushi bar. When it turned into a french bistro, it morphed into a family hangout. Pictures of our kids along with half the neighborhood kids were hung up behind the bar. Jim was such a curmudgeon but Helen was always a wonderful hostess.

      I started a thread years ago about "ghosts on Montague" and it got deleted after only a few posts because threads about past places was verboten then. Nice that they have changed the policy.

      Thanks for starting the thread.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bkeats

        Yes I forgot Le Coq Hardi. I don't think it lasted very long though. The chef was Moroccan/French, if I remember correctly.

        1. re: Bkeats

          I'll repeat some of what others mentioned only because they were memorable.
          Jahn's ( kitchen sink)
          Don Peppe's is not long gone it's alive and well (Ozone Park)
          Mrs. Stahl's great knishes ( Brighton)
          Someone actually remembered Grillo's( good fish) ( Foster Ave)
          Lundy's ( new one didn't come close to the old one) ( Sheepshead Bay)
          Crisci's ( great italian_( Williamsburg)
          Nino's ( New Lots Ave.)
          Herbie's International ( original roast pork on garlic bread ( Flatlands)
          Big Bow Wow ( Cross Bay Blvd)
          Coney Island Joe's ( Brownsville)
          Joe's ( italian food by Pratt)
          Grabstein's Deli ( Canarsie)
          Mitchell's ( bensonhurst)
          Nedick's ( hot dogs) Flatlands Ave.
          Wetson's ( pre McDonald's)
          Wee Three Cafe ( Park Slope)
          New China Inn ( Flatbush)
          Grotta D''Oro ( Flatbush)
          Tad's $1.19 steaks ( 14th St.)
          The Pawlding ( Morris Pk. Ave.Bx)
          Pizza City ( Howard Beach)
          Su Su's Yum Yum ( Henry St. Bklyn)
          Galaxy Diner ( East New York)
          Cono The Fisherman ( Maspeth)
          Hero Inn ( Downtown Bklyn)
          Solaways ( Downtown Bklyn)
          Ariola's Bakery ( best cannoli, City Line)
          The Pit ( great ribs, Bed Sty)
          Dubrow's ( Kings Hwy)
          Willy's Lemon Ice ( Atlantic Ave,)

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            SuSu's??? Really? Well, maybe the piano bar or late night "parties". Btw, if you want to reacquaint yourself with the family, I'm pretty sure her brother still owns Jakes on Columbia, just down from Alma.

            1. re: Steve R

              Yes Susu's was a fun place to eat, and was packed all the time. The food was really good ( for that style of Chinese-American food). The family had opened the first Chinese restaurant in Riverdale.
              Su Su ( the daughter has passed away) and yes one brother has Jake's on Columbia St. But SuSu's restaurant is a long gone but not forgotten restaurant.

        2. Also, did you see the recent story about Alan Harding, the owner of Patois?

          Its too bad that the guy who started the Brooklyn dining renaissance has been left behind. Hope he starts something new.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bkeats

            Yes--that was kind of sad. I remember when everyone loved to hate him, jealous of his success.

          2. I didn't know Christie's closed. I remember going there around when they opened. I sent all my friends there too.

            Mrs. Stahl's in Brighton Beach. I miss their knishes.

            Loft's Candy store. Ice cream, egg creams, candy, rum balls, etc.

            Jahn's on Ave. U. Amazing how much of the world opens up to you when you get your driver's license. Late night hangs w/o having to worry about catching the bus.

            Wetson's. Dunno why, but I miss this place and Jack in the Box. Dallas BBQ isn't the same.

            Frank & Sonny's pizzeria. Absolutely nothing special about this place except it was my neighborhood pizzeria and the center of our grammar school universe. And the pizza was a good Brooklyn slice.

            Carvel's on Empire Blvd. Sure, there's other Carvel's, but this was my Carvel's. It was a treat to go there after Prospect Park or the roller rink when I was a kid.

            2 Replies
            1. re: GoodGravy

              How dare I leave out Mrs. Stahl's. Thank you GG.

              1. re: GoodGravy

                I believe the last location of Christie's is slated to become the new location of El Gran Castillo de Jagua. (Or is it El Rey -- whichever one wasn't replaced by Duane Reade.)

                I just never liked Brawta -- lived across from it on and off for decades and just never thought it was better than average.

                I pass by the old Gage & Tollner space every day and it makes me so sad -- it's a s**thole now. My dad had an epic buffalo steak there.

                Garden Cafe, and in particular it's Monday to Thursday 3-course, $25 fixed price menu were awesome. The last time we went we sat next to Bloomberg hobnobbing with Markowitz before he was elected mayor. Talk about a power dinner!

                I really miss Vaux, which was a grown-up resto in Park Slope in the space now inhabited by Blue Ribbon and Calexico. Great brunch.

                Long Tan had passable Thai food and a great late-night happy hour (11 to 1 am or something) - I miss it more for the scene than the food or drink.

                There was a place called Mexican Pizza Company or something like that on 5th in Park Slope that had really good quesadillas. Like, really good. I think they were only around a year or so.

                Banania Cafe's brunch, most notably the excellent bread basket and the low price tag.

              2. Acadia Parish on Atlantic. Great cajun.