Saturday, December 17, 2011

On My Mind...

Just a few random things on my mind (very) early this Saturday morning:
  • European Debt Crisis: I know, I know. It's the weekend. What am I doing thinking about such things? Can't help it. Scary shit! Europe's financial situation is looking increasingly dire, and the shockwaves could hit here very hard (and pretty much everywhere else):  New York City Faces 'Extreme Downside Risk' From European Debt Crisis: Report
  • That's Impossible!! Oh, sorry, I am thinking now about Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. What?? This freakin' movie is like the best reviewed movie of the year?? A Tom Cruise movie?? How is this possible I ask you??!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bareburger Review

My review of Bareburger, the burger place that is coming to Austin St. this Spring, in the space where Lee Martin Salon used to be.

I visited the location on Laguardia Place at NYU in the Village last weekend.

I'd give the place an A+, pretty easily. The food was great and so was the atmosphere.

Quite frankly, this is just the kind of place Forest Hills has been lacking. A place to get a healthier burger, sandwich or salad, and drumroll please, the food is effortlessly delicious. Do you know what I mean by "effortlessly delicious"? It's hard to put it in words. It's more of a feeling actually. You feel it when you walk into a place and just know this is a really well-run business. That's the feeling I had walking into Bareburger. Before the food even came out, I started getting very excited just looking around, thinking of what this place will add to our neighborhood - how it will take things up a notch.

In some ways it feels like Forest Hills has been stuck in 1972 when it comes to its casual food offerings.  We've been doing quite well when it comes to more formal dining options—places like Agora Taverna, Aged, etc. But when it comes to more casual, or takeout food, we have sorely lacked. Europan just doesn't cut it.

With Bareburger, we finally enter the modern era. We will be getting an upscale, yet casual, place to take out high-quality, healthier but great-tasting, burgers, salads and sandwiches. You know, the kinds of places that you find, oh, almost anywhere else? :)

Here's my pictorial review of the NYU location:

The outside is very inviting and at this location they have outdoor seating. Ours won't though because it's on Austin St.

The NYU location is extremely popular with a younger crowd. It's very upscale, fun and relaxed. 

Stylish, too.

Everyone seemed to be having a really good time. It was obviously a local favorite.

Bareburger is very modern in explaining the thinking behind its food offerings. It treats its customers like they have a brain and want to learn. Hey, isn't that a novel concept for restaurants in Forest Hills??

Stylish, yet fun.

It's the little things that can add so much. A basket of sauces to choose from;  water in a caraffe at every table; descriptions of their artisanal brews.

One of my favorite things they offered: an appetizer with three different flavors of pickles and cole slaw. I've been trying to lose a few pounds these days, and this really was awesome! Pretty much guilt-free indulgence (if there is such a thing!)

I decided to go with the turkey burger, and also tried the regular burger. The regular burger was great. I'd give my turkey burger an A-. It wasn't the best turkey burger patty I've ever had, but what boosted it way up was all the fixin's and the great, fresh bun.

I'd give their milkshake an A. Loved the presentation! It was served really cold and nice and thick. And they let you customize it pretty much any way you like it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Top 5 Pizza Places in Forest Hills

Here are my top five. Obviously, these are my based on my own opinion. And I have not tried all of the pizza places in Forest Hills, so feel free to add your own (and I will try them soon if you do. I promise. Like it's very hard work).

1. Tuscan Hills
2. Nick's*
3. Portofino
4. Lillian
5. A J's

*I have to note one thing, though. If I was going by pepperoni pizza, I would have to put Nick's first. They have amazing pepperoni pizza, right up there with the best I have ever eaten, anywhere. But, I have not tried the pepperoni at the others on the list, so can't speak for those.

Oh, and I am eagerly awaiting the opening of Gloria's Pizza next to Midway. Such a loyal following! Can't wait to try it.

One other thing I just realized. Tuscan Hills is kind of new, having opened just a few years ago, and many of you may not yet know about it. While all of their food is simply phenomenal, I swear to you I am not exaggerating when I say I almost cry when I bite into their pizza. It is simply one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten, anywhere. I don't know how they do it. You know those books of lists of things to do before you die? If you know you are going to die (come to think of it, I do, just don't know when), you really must have a pie from Tuscan Hills before you do. Does that make sense?

Yes, Thar Be Pickles

Chalk the strange headline up to my writing this post at like 2:30 in the morning. I have Monday off, so I can. Anyway, the real point of this post is to tell you I visited the Bareburger in the Village over the weekend. I will post a full review soon of this new burger joint that is coming to Austin, but for now I just wanted to tantalize y'all with the flavored pickle appetizer Bareburger has. I am still thinking of them, days later...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bareburger For Austin Confirmed by Company

Bareburger has indeed confirmed on its website that it is coming to Forest Hills.  Now the bad news: It says we will have to wait until the Spring! 

I made the terrible mistake of reading the review here, and now I am starving beyond belief (is that slaw on that burger? I think I have all but died and gone to heaven) :

Movie Quickies

Haven't done this in a long time, mostly because the movies have been rather sucky. But, suddenly, I've seen some good ones...

Moneyball: I give this one an A+. Totally enjoyed this baseball film. I caught it in the Village at the Quad Theater, where it was still playing as of a week ago. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are both really great. Philip Seymour Hoffman is fantastic as usual, in a supporting role this time. It's a really interesting look at baseball today.

Margin Call: This one gets an A from me. It's a bit of an odd movie, kind of a half-fiction, half-real look at the financial meltdown. But Kevin Spacey is great, as is Jeremy Irons as the corporate CEO. Heck, I even liked Demi Moore in this one! It moves fast and is very enjoyable. Even if you're not into business/finance movies, this one is very entertaining.

My Week With Marilyn: I'd give this is a B+. Michelle Williams really steals this movie as the title character. And Kenneth Branagh does a spot-on impression of Sir Lawrence Olivier. I caught this in Kew Gardens, followed, of course, by dinner at Mood, my local favorite restaurant there.

J. Edgar: This one gets a B- from me. Not bad, but could have been sooo much better. Clint Eastwood, who directed, chose to try to stuff way too much of this amazing person's life into two hours. This easily should've been a mini-series or HBO series of several episodes to do it justice. And Leonardo DiCaprio, while much better than I've ever seen him, still has his "Tom Cruise" moments -- you know, the one's where try as he might he is just not that great an actor. Sorry Leo!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bareburger Coming to Austin St.

Hooray!! This may just be some of the most awesome news I have had a chance to report in the two years I have been doing this blog: Bareburger Rising

Heres' the link to Bareburger's site: I have never been to Bareburger, and don't know anyone who has. But that's not the point. The fact that this new burger place has chosen Austin St. as one of its locations, along with Astoria, Park Slope, Chelsea and the NYU neighborhood in the Village, says tons about our neighborhood and how it is changing. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Organizing a Blood Drive in Forest Hills

I was recently contacted by the person below who is interested in organizing a blood drive here in the Forest Hillls/Rego Park area. Please read on for details. They are looking for volunteers.
Potential organization of a blood campaign drive in Forest Hills/Rego Park area in or around end of January 2012. We are looking forward to creating an awareness amongst the community and stress the importance of having a healthy community. It would be great if we could get sponsors for the campaign in terms of location, set up etc. and also any one interested in volunteering, please contact us. I can be reached at We are keen on making the event a great success and working towards a better, healthy community.

The Forest Hills High Line?

Incredibly, it may just happen... Renewed Hopes for an Elevated Park in Queens

A group of civic leaders in Queens is proposing once again to turn an old rail line that runs through Forest Hills into an elevated park. Several community leaders proposed the idea a few years ago, but the project stalled.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Openings and (Temporary) Closings

Looks like YogoMonster, in the Austin St. "Mall", is on a winter hiatus...
While there's some construction getting started next to the Midway Theater, the site of what we believe will be Gloria's Pizza (formerly of Flushing)...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Little Holiday Poll

We haven't done a poll since the very popular tennis stadium one, so how about a holiday-themed question this time? Here ya go...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Too Much Debt...

What's all this European debt crisis about anyway?

I found this quite helpful:

It’s All Connected: An Overview of the Euro Crisis
A visual guide to the growing debt crisis.

My interest was piqued by this:

Published: November 28, 2011
Despite bleak reports from the O.E.C.D. and Moody’s, investors were optimistic that leaders would find a solution, and markets soared in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Eagerly Awaiting...

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
And what better thing to kick off the holiday season with than a post about more food? Only this time, instead of turkey, we're talkin' pizza!

.... Gloria's Pizza...  I was talking with a friend yesterday who expressed doubts about whether indeed the popular pizza place, Gloria's, which gained quite a following while it was open in Flushing, was actually going to open next to the Midway Theater. After all, the space has remained stubbornly devoid of any construction activity for quite a few weeks.

Well, the last I heard, it was indeed going to open there, by the end of December. This, according to this ltidbit of information, posted on Chowhound by the son of the owner:

Here's another post I did about all of the pizza excitement, in case you missed it:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Local School in the News

From The NY Times:

Parent Complains of Bias in Sixth-Grade Lesson

It was supposed to be a special learning opportunity for the sixth graders at Public School 101 School in the Gardens in Forest Hills, Queens. A popular second-grade teacher was invited to their social studies class to give a lecture about Israel, as part of a unit on the Middle East. ...

Introducing ... The Low Line

This is, quite frankly, amazing! It's still just in the planning stages, but just the fact that it seriously might happen is another reason why I live in New York City. :)

Envisioning a Park, With Sights Set Low
Published: November 21, 2011
Plans for a Manhattan green space on a former transit site come with a twist — the park would be underground, in a dank former trolley terminal under Delancey Street.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tennis Stadium Poll Results

Well, it looks like the Stadium Arts Alliance's plan to renovate the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, using it for major tennis matches, concerts, art exhibits and ice hockey, is proving the most popular choice as to what to do with the iconic landmark.

Here are the results of our latest poll so far.

  1. Ice skating during the winter and music events during the warm weather - 42 
  2. A new Farmer's Market - 30 
  3. Tennis again, or other sporting events - 16 
  4. Demolish it to make room for new condos - 7 
  5. A tennis museum - 5 
  6. Other - 3 
  7. A hotel - 2
Among the "Other" write-in choices were the rather creative: Bodega, Jail and Helipad. :)

You can still vote in the "Polls" section of the blog if you haven't already.