Friday, April 6, 2012

Now Delivering - Bareburger

Bareburger says it now delivers throughout the Forest Hills/Rego Park area.

I had lunch there yesterday, trying one of their salads for the first time instead of a burger. The Mexican salad (shown below) was just perfect. I also had a side of panko covered chicken strips, which were just awesome. It was all washed down by their terrific diet root beer (free refills included :) )

As you can tell, I really can't find anything lacking about the food at Bareburger. My only "complaint"— it would be great if they could eventually move to an even bigger space.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finally Filled Forever?

I was just thinking—especially now that I've tried Gloria Pizza for myself a couple of hours ago and already want to go back for more—that I now can predict that the record-long streak of failing businesses that occupied that space next to the Midway Theater has now officially come to an end. I predict that as long as Gloria Pizza wants to remain in that spot, and can afford the rent, they will be there.

I will now try to recount all the different businesses that have been in that spot since I've lived in Forest Hills.

Let's see, first there was Krispy Kreme, followed by a pet store I think, then a pizza place, followed I think by new owners of another pizza place? And now Gloria Pizza.

How'd I do? Did I forget anyone? I feel like I may have....

Gloria Pizza's Menu

Click on the photos for bigger versions...



Gloria Pizza - Early Review

I just visited our newest pizza place, Gloria Pizza, next to the Midway Theater and took home a couple of regular slices. My verdict: the pizza was very good. And, I also like what they've done with the place.

My first two regular slices from the new Gloria Pizza in Forest Hills.
First, the pizza. My impression is that it is a traditional type of New York City pizza, helped by a sauce that is both sweet and a tad more spicy (garlic I think) than is typical. And the combination of that and the excellent, crunchy crust, lands a regular slice at Gloria a notch above your typical NY style pizza. I want to try their pizza again, but on first impressions I might rework my ranking of my favorite local pizza to this:

1. Tuscan Hills
2. Nick's (pepperoni pizza)
3. Gloria Pizza
4. Nick's (regular pizza)
5. Portofino

If you prefer a more traditionally cheesy NY style pizza, then I would rank them this way:

1. Tuscan Hills
2. Gloria Pizza
3. Portofino

Gloria is a very close second to Tuscan Hills, by the way. For me, it depends on whether I'm looking for a more filling couple of slices (Gloria) or a lighter pizza with amazing flavor (Tuscan Hills).

As I mentioned above, I am also impressed by what Gloria did with the inside of the new place. It's a very airy, comfortable space. They did an excellent job.

So my initial, early grades:
Pizza (regular slices only, mind you): A
Restaurant: A


Gloria Pizza Now Open

Gloria Pizza is now open for business. If you stop by for a slice today, drop us a line below about what you think of Forest Hills' newest pizza place. I'm especially interested in hearing from people who used to love the place when it was in Flushing. Does it live up to your memories of it?


Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to the Future

Brilliant testimony from a truly brilliant man that I think everyone should take 8:38 minutes to watch. (I have to admit, the final seconds actually brought tears to my eyes.)

I have always believed this simple concept: that our country, in fact, humanity, needs to keep dreaming about the possibilities of tomorrow. It fuels not only science, but economic growth.

It's funny, the only single idea spewed from all those Republican debates that I actually agreed with was one——and I can't believe I'm writing this——by Newt Gingrich. We should establish a colony on the moon. And, of course, that's the one that received the most ridicule. If you want to know why I agree with Newt, please watch the video below:

Mad Men and Pizza

  • Forest Hills, specifically the Tennis Stadium, found itself center-stage in last night's episode of Mad Men. A good chunk of the episode was set at the Stadium as they tried to pitch a Heinz commercial to the Rolling Stones who were performing there.* Gothamist has a nice write-up about it, along with a bunch of photos and a couple of related videos:  As Seen On Mad Men: 14 Photos Of The Rolling Stones At Forest Hills Stadium In 1966
  • Good news for all you pizza lovers! Gloria Pizza opens tomorrow at 11 a.m.!
  • I was told Bareburger may start home deliveries some time this week. They will also start serving craft beer in the next couple of weeks or so.
*Just a side note: Those really looked like White Castle burgers they were eating afterwards. Lord did those look good.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Close, But No Cigar...

Just one damn ball away from riches!
“Arrrrrrghh! That could have been $640 million if only I had that one number!” said Diancai Zhou 38, the owner of Fuji Japanese Cuisine, a Forest Hills restaurant where a dozen staffers and their friends will split a second place prize.

Whole Foods Beats Out Apple For Coveted Forest Hills Subway Station Deal!

Very exciting news! In fact, I would dare to venture that this is THE most exciting news to hit Forest Hills since the opening of our new Bareburger just a few weeks ago!

In my humble opinion as by far the most influential blogger in Forest Hills, the only downside I see to this deal is the requirement reached by Whole Foods, MTA, Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce and Bloomberg Administration officials that all residents of Forest Hills must sign up for rodent control duty to keep the varmints from encroaching upon the new subterranean store.


I also am told that the new store will be accessible only, I repeat only, via one of the new glass elevators currently under construction at the Forest Hills station. A Whole Foods spokesperson said this was a "win-win" for everyone, as it will insure a constant trickle of shoppers that will not overwhelm the new store given its expected popularity since it will be the only one in all of Queens. "Accessibility to the store via the MTA elevator should keep crowds down to a very manageable total of about five shoppers per hour," she said.

The spokesperson added that a special organic grapes/Metrocard combo deal will become available soon only, I repeat, only, to holders of monthly cards.

Please post your opinions about this extremely exciting news below so I can react with the appropriate level of hostility.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Springtime!

My favorite season by far! And this is why I love it!



Just Not That Concerned?


Today, we learn of this...

WORLD
On the Run, Bin Laden Had 4 Children and 5 Houses, a Wife Says
By DECLAN WALSH
Published: March 29, 2012
Testimony to Pakistani investigators by Osama Bin Laden’s youngest wife offered the most detailed account yet of the family’s life on the run preceding the raid in May 2011 that killed the Al Qaeda leader.


Which made me immediately recall this:



And while all those people were still mourning their loved ones here... It just made, and still makes me, so incredibly angry!


Is it any coincidence that just a short time after we got rid of the Bush Administration we then brought Bin Laden to justice? I don't think so... Something never sat right with me about the whole damn thing. Still doesn't. One day, hopefully, the whole truth will come out...


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Restaurant Update Time

I can't believe the last time I updated the Recommended Restaurants page was back in December. Seems like yesterday. Scary! Anyway, I plan on doing so in the next 24 hours (if all goes as planned!).. Check back to see who made "The List!"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Some Loose Ends

With the excitement over Bareburger's opening having died down here in Blog-land while we wait for the next big restaurant or shopping news, here are some other smaller items of note:

  • Bareburger says it may start home delivery next week.
  • Gloria Pizza says it may open on April 2nd.
  • Readers have told me that medical offices are planned for the former Mandee/Annie Sez building on the Western end of Austin. Not sure if that means the entire building will be medical offices, or just a portion of it. The facade was very good for a retailer, so that seems like a huge waste to me.
  • I have to remember to get myself down to Metropolitan Avenue where there are some delectable restaurants awaiting me down there. Wafa's and Taci's, the new Turkish restaurant. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Trouble in Park Slope

Just thought some of you might be interested in the controversy raging in Park Slope. Kind of an interesting situation roiling their famed food co-op:

N.Y. / REGION
At Food Co-op, a Splintering Debate and Indifference
By KIRK SEMPLE
Published: March 23, 2012
A debate at the Park Slope Food Co-op over whether to boycott products from Israel is dividing its members, and annoying some of them.

We don't even have a farmer's market any more to argue about, let alone a food co-op. :(

Latest Tennis Stadium Coverage

While We Wait For Pizza

Just a little diddy in honor of our soon-to-be newest pizza place... I think I speak for most of the readers of this blog when I ask, "When are you guys going to freakin' open already????"



While the above is indeed an annoyingly catchy song, please listen to the following only at your own risk.

Tsunami and Our Mild Winter

One of the more interesting theories I've seen on what caused our unusually mild winter:

AccuWeather.com - Meteo Madness | Wild Warm Winter Theory, Plus Snow Cover and Storms

Basically, in a nutshell he is saying that the debris field pulled into the Pacific Ocean by Japan's tsunami has actually disrupted the global weather patterns. Hmmmm....

Movie Happenings...

This film opened today, at midnight I think, and while I haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it based on what I've heard, and the fact that I've read the books (somehow stumbled upon them like a year ago on my Kindle and could not put them down, all three of them).



I've seen these books listed as for "teens." I have to laugh at that. I think the themes in these books are extremely important and speak to a lot of the injustices in the world today. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are the most "adult" novels I have read in a long time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

TV Happenings...

Looking forward to this.....



Very disappointed in this... As if the "SyFy" Channel is so loaded with good shows it can afford to pass on this. Although, that's probably it. They can't afford much of anything?

‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome’ Not Moving Forward As TV Series On Syfy, May Become Digital Series

By the way, while I'm on the topic of sad cable TV channels. Why is the History Channel called the History Channel? I think the last time that channel had a show about history on it was like 2002. I haven't checked in a while, but aren't they mostly showing shows about ice road trucking or something like that? Why not change the name to the trucking channel. Or is that the wrong channel I am thinking of. I forget. But I do know they seemed to have abandoned history shows years ago.... so sad.

And by the way, "documentaries" about ancient aliens don't count as history shows. They are entertainment shows. You might as well put them on the SyFy Channel... now that's an idea!

Foggy Night

Thick fog cast an eerie glow over Forest Hills last night as the warm air moved in... The thermometer is expected to reach a summery 74 degrees today.






Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Continental Photo's New Home



I was recently contacted by the owners of Continental Photo, which used to be located in the 71st/Continental mini-mall (above). But they have recently moved and asked if I would help them get the word out:
"Continental Photo & Video has been in business for the past 23 years at 5 Continental Avenue, inside the Forest Hills Mini-Mall but we recently decided to move to a new location. We're now at the office building 70-50 Austin Street, Lower Level, Suite 124B.Please see attached images & info. on the services we provide. I also want to thank our loyal customers who've been coming and just wishing us all the best in our new location. It's such a good feeling to be appreciated!"


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gloria Pizza's New Sign

I really like the new sign Gloria Pizza's put up, next to the Midway Theater. To me it seems to fit the location really well. And they smartly made it very visible during the night along Queens Blvd. My (blurry) pic at the bottom was shot from across the street. I'm still not sure when they're opening. Word was possibly this month. Now that they have the sign up, they are one step closer, so soon...



Monday, March 19, 2012

Laytner's on Austin has gone all out for Spring this year.

The first trees are already blooming in Central Park.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Detachment Trailer

If you recall, this movie was partly filmed in Forest Hills two summers ago (in an apartment in the building at the corner of 72nd Ave. and 112th St.). Now it's hitting the theaters.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Comes After J ?

I guess the Etc. now stands for nothing as J has gone up and vacated the premises...


Now You See It....

.... Now you dont!... Hmm, Didn't there used to be a subway entrance here in front of the T-Bone Diner?



On the Set of Blue Bloods in Forest Hills

Pink Slimed

So this is what that commenter was referring to on this blog a few days ago. I had no idea: Where You Can Get 'Pink-Slime'-Free Beef
"After an ABC News investigation detailing the use of a cheap meat filler, finely textured lean beef, commonly called pink slime, which is in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets, J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute, defended the practice as a way to safely use what otherwise would be wasted."

I have to say that I haven't trusted ground beef, or pretty much any meat, brought from lower-end supermarkets since the first television news reports uncovering their meat preparation practices decades ago. I am referring to the reports where they took hidden cameras into the backroom kitchens of the grocers and discovered them mixing old, out of date meat in with fresh meat. That was the deal breaker for me. Ever since, I go out of my way to shop only at reputable markets now, or as reputable as I can possibly find, in the rare times I actually buy meat at grocery stores.

I cannot begin to tell you how strongly I feel about this issue. As a business, when the health and well-being of your customers can depend on what you do, and then you go and violate that, you have lost me forever as a customer. There are no second-chances here. You have shown your true colors and nothing you will do will earn my trust again.

And, by the way, if the entire supermarket industry is harmed by these reports, then they deserve to be -- even those who are not responsible for it. It is a very powerful industry with a lot of money and should be using those resources to police itself and pressure those companies among them that are using such disgusting practices.

Peak Bloom for DC Cherry Blossoms Moved Up
WASHINGTON (AP) — A continuing streak of warm weather means the famed cherry blossoms in the nation's capital will reach their peak bloom earlier than expected.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Apple Store Of My Eye

Over the weekend I went to take a look at the former Mandee store on Austin because someone on the Facebook page was wondering what they're doing there. There is some construction going on, but lord knows what is being done. There were no clues from looking at it.

And then I turned around and right in front of my face I realized is the absolutely perfect building in Forest Hills for the much-rumored Apple Store....
Enough space? Check. More than enough.
Perfect location? Check.
Cool, urban-chic architecture? Check...

What more could they ask for?!




Prepare for Lunacy in May

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bareburger's Menu

Here's their menu... Click on the images to see a larger view. It also includes their delivery area and hours (nice and late).



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Best Baba Ghannouj in NYC? It's Right Here

A big congratulations to Wafa's on Metropolitan Avenue for making it into New York magazine's Best of New York issue, out this week. The Lebanese restaurant was awarded Best Baba Ghannouj in NYC!
Best Baba Ghannouj
I haven't yet eaten in Wafa's, only ordered it in once. I look forward to visting the retaurant and trying a lot more of their menu -- and, of course, their baba ghannouj!

Bareburger Readies Opening

Bareburger is about ready to open and could do so as early as this Monday.

This store's opening here is of course fantastic, and I think so on more levels than one. On the one hand, we will have an awesome new place to get delicious and healthier fare.

But what really excites me the most about Bareburger is the impact it will have on other restaurants on Austin. Simply put, it raises the game, big time. In order to compete in the casual eatery space here in Forest Hills from now on you will have to go up against the likes of Bareburger.

And considering that just a few years ago all they had to compete with was very sad legacy diners and calorie-laden bakeries and pizza places, that's really saying something about how far we've come in a very short time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sister Unn's Demise?


By the way, I walked by Sister Unn's a few days ago and noticed it looked like they had packed up all of their dead roses and skipped town. I can't say anything confidently about Sister Unn's, especially given I still don't know what that was all about to begin with, but it does look like their stay in FoHi is over. Unless there's going to be some sequel?