Wednesday, March 19, 2014

By the Way...

I just realized that between Banter, The Flying Pig, Station House, Jack & Nellie's, Tuscan Hills, Bareburger and Bonfire Grill, and the bunch of other new places about to open (I hear the new seafood place across from Irish Cottage will be called Reef, and am totally looking forward to the new Mexican place El Coyote on Austin, and Tuscan Hills' new offshoot in the former Just Like Mother's location I've been having dreams about)... our nabe has just about achieved what I was hoping for: There are now more than enough excellent casual eatery options smack dab in the center of Forest Hills. We no longer have to make do with just our -- quite good -- Asian fusion or Middle Eastern fare. We are, in other words, a normal New York City neighborhood when it comes to the restaurant department... finally. No more having to hop on the subway to Astoria or Manhattan! Hooray!

Of course, we can always use even more good places to eat. Case in point, just this past Friday night, we couldn't believe the waits at Banter (which we have come to expect, but the wall of humanity that greeted us when we popped open that door was still kinda surprising!), and then even the newly expanded Bareburger (even twice as big, the wait was about 15 minutes), and so we kept going until we decided to give The Flying Pig another shot, just before it really filled up. And as you can see from my post below, we were really glad we did.

Now all we have to do as a neighborhood is focus our efforts on getting some great supermarkets :)

Oh, and accepting candidates in Comments section below for those places you all think should either: 1) Expand, or 2) Open up a sequel somewhere else here in FoHi a la what Tuscan Hills is doing.

33 comments:

  1. Agreed. Now let's pray for a Dickeys BBQ! They are expanding, and will be opening in Yonkers next week.

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  2. I'd be over the moon if the old Mardi Gras restaurant that closed a couple of years ago were to return in some capacity. Adored the vibe of that place!

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    1. Oh God, me too! I miss that place so much!

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    2. Surprisingly good muffalettas!

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  3. I would love it if Astoria staple JJ's Asian Fusion opened a second location in Forest Hills. It's the best sushi in the city.

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  4. Tournesol should open up a location here.

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  5. We need a quality sit-down Chinese restaurant...

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    1. Yeah. East Ocean Palace ain't good like it used to be.

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  6. I Dirty Pierre's had a bigger space in the main FH area (somewhere along Austin St). I know they are opening a big place on Metropolitan Ave (I remember reading that news here), which is great for those who live near that part of FH. If it was a more direct way to get down there (as a woman, I just don't feel comfortable walking by myself, especially at night from north of Queens Blvd to Metro Ave).

    I'm extremely excited for the Bistro/Cafe place the Tuscan Hills folks are opening. 75th Ave subway stop commuters need a decent coffee/breakfast place near that stop, especially on the North side!

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    1. Apparently, when the building on the north side of Queens Boulevard that is right next to the 75th Avenue entrance to the subway went co-op in the mid-1980's, it was part of the deal that food-based businesses like restaurants and food markets would not be permitted to operate in the building.

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    2. Really? Nice way to crap on the neighborhood. Supermarkets and restaurants are what people actually WANT, not that awful men's hair restoration and other useless businesses currently occupying that space.

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    3. re: co-op building near 75th Ave stop

      Yea I think I remember reading that somewhere. It's unfortunate but I also can understand if people didn't want to worry about possible fires or cooking smells going into their homes.

      Once the Tuscan Hills cafe/bistro place opens up, hopefully that'll make up for the lack of a good place to get coffee/breakfast on the go in the mornings...or even a quick sandwich after work. Those convenient stores near both 75th Ave entrances have crummy coffee and stale looking "croissants" etc and most are full of chemicals. Even their bananas look sad.

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    4. Rather than accusing people of crapping on the neighborhood, why don't you just have breakfast at home? Knowing people who live in that building, I've never heard one of them seriously complain about there not being a market or restaurant in the building, even people who have lived there since the building was built in the 1960's.

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  7. East Ocean consistently received "C" grades over the years. There is always an awful stench of rotting fish outside their storefront.

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    1. Yeah, they were good long ago, but the past 4 years have not been good.

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  8. Its just my opinion, but with the exception of Bareburger, none of the places you mentioned are anything special. They're just your typical mediocre Queens joints.

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    1. I agree - we are not cool yet ; many mediocre dining establishments still pervasive. This neighborhood appears to still cater to either the clueless older folks who never leave queens or the severe down market whom come from other neighborhoods east of this area...with the exception of Station House, I really don't see any establishment that speaks either Brooklyn or Manhattan cool. Like, where's the funky, unpretensious, Italian or New American joints like they have in Carroll Gardens or Park Slope (doesn't have to be as hip as Billyburg) -- both family friendly areas. Queens still doesn't get it (for the most part...and I'm from here!!)

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    2. I think most would agree Manhattan stopped being cool sometime back in 1990.

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    3. I'm sad for you that Bareburger is the only place on that stellar list that you find "special." With the exception of The Flying Pig, I've always had amazing meals at the rest of them. And even Flying Pig I'm willing to give another shot after reading Drake's updated review. Bareburger is fine for what it is, but doesn't come close to comparing to Tuscan Hills, Jack & Nellie's, Bonfire, Banter...

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  9. I still say that Forest Hills is and will generally stay an area that caters to families with kids, older retired folks, and nearby locals who come here by subway to peruse. That's why it will never be the funky cool hood you'd like a la billyburg. I just hope that all urgent care centers opening don't kill off whatever family folksy vibe we have on Austin St.

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    1. I know plenty of families, older retired folks and nearby locals who are both funky and kool. So not quite sure what you're talking about. Also, not quite sure why you have your mind set on Forest Hills becoming like Williamsburg or similar? This wouldn't be a very interesting city if all of its neighborhoods were the same now would it?

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    2. Seriously! People who want their neighborhood to be like Williamsburg, Park Slope, Astoria, etc should just move to those neighborhoods instead and stop whining!

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    3. Yes, let's not aspire to be something we're not. It is what it is. Forest hills is a neighborhood for older folks, folks with families and children, and also some younger professionals who prefer or can not afford trendier and busier neighborhoods. To each his own. I can never comprehend why anyone new would want the neighborhood to change into a billyburg type of setting. The demographics don't support the case.

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    4. The real estate is too prime, the express trains are too convenient for this neighborhood to continue to cater to geriatrics, blue collar - Archie Bunker / King of Queens stereotypes, and penniless hoodrats. You will be priced out or, if you own Real Estate, you will hate the new occupants which will come in droves to this neighborhood from Manhattan, North-West Brooklyn, and Astoria/LIC. If we had diversified landlords for Austin Street, this would have already happened.

      I can't wait until many of the current residents get pushed out to Long Island, or head south to the Carolinas!!!! Gentrification Station!!!

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    5. That's a gross oversimplification of reality, but you know that of course and have your reasons for wanting to downplay our neighborhood. No, Forest Hills is a lot more than what you describe. Just walk into any of the booming new restaurants and bars that have opened in the past year or so. It's one thing to enjoy the uniqueness of our neighborhood, it's a whole other thing to act as if it is stuck in the nineties. The neighborhood is rapidly changing and for the much better, as evidenced by all the new places opening in the past year.

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    6. When you're young, single, and want to get drunk a lot, move to noisy and crowded Astoria, Williamsburg, etc. When you're married, have kids, retired, or just burnt out from too much partying, come to the peace and quiet of Forest Hills or Park Slope. What's wrong with that?

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    7. What's wrong with it, is that it's not accurate. It's not an either / or. There are all kinds of people living in our neighborhood. There's no walls up around Forest Hills that say you have to be one or the other, which is why if you go to Banter or The Flying Pig or Jack & Nellie's tonight you will see all kinds of New Yorkers in one place. The best thing about Forest Hills, what many other neighborhoods in the city have unfortunately lost, is its diversity.

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  10. just wanted to also give a big shout out to keuka Cafe. Great place!

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  11. I would love to see Spice opening up in FH. It's a Thai restaurant with a few branches in Manhattan (union square, uws) also known as Sea. Good food, reasonable prices and great lunch deals (and cocktails....).

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  12. I miss the French place Rouge from restaurant row. On another note, I will NEVER use the word "FoHi" - what is that, some realtor jive to hipify the neighborhood? Lame.

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    1. Rouge was phenomenal! First place I ever really fell in love with after moving here. Something similar on Austin St. would be amazing!

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    2. Agree with your feelings regarding Rouge. The staff, food & George were all great. The day George sold Sgt. Garcia's it went into a slow painful decline

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  13. I had my wedding party at Rouge!! I miss George, Alfie, Scott, Andrea, Sophie. What a nice group of people. The restaurant had a pleasant atmosphere and is sorely missed.

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