Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade 2018

Thanks to Diane for sharing these photos and video with the blog...

Marijuana Dispensary Coming to Restaurant Row

Yep, the rumors were true, according to the website Forest Hills Post today.

Odd idea for Restaurant Row to say the least (though they'll probably have edibles, I would think.) I mean, considering all the many different types of eateries we still don't have in Forest Hills, a marijuana dispensary for half of the former Santa Fe BBQ location?

Forest Hills never fails to surprise me, I'll give it that.

Marijuana Dispensary to Open in Forest Hills This Summer
Curaleaf dispensary will offer “pharmaceutical-quality cannabis treatments” at 107-18 70 Rd, the former location of Santa Fe Steakhouse. The cannabis is intended to treat patients from across the city who suffer from illnesses such as chronic pain, PTSD, cancer and other conditions, according to the company.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend and takes some time to think of those who lost their lives serving our country.

Spotted this very patriotic display of Beetles while taking a stroll through the Gardens on Friday.  Yes, I realize they're foreign cars and one is silver, but it's the thought that counts!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

When It Rains It Pours - Noodle Edition

A Twitter follower told me that we are getting yet another noodle shop, this time in what I think was the former bank location near Fay Da Bakery on Queens Blvd., around the corner from 71st/Continental.  This follows the apparent 'Forest Hills Law of Threes '-  where we can never just get one or two of a certain place, we need at least three of them to open in quick succession: banks, medical centers, ice cream places.

But, not to take away from the soon-to-open Ren Wen Noodle Factory, as you can read for yourself in the link below. It actually sounds pretty unique and interesting, and quite enticing. I am hungry for it already, actually, just writing this...

Noodle Shop to Open on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills
Ren Wen Noodle Factory, which opened its first location at 7 Great Neck Road in Flushing in March, will open a new noodle shop at 107-50 Queens Boulevard in late July or early August.
Read all about it here: https://foresthillspost.com/noodle-shop-to-open-on-queens-boulevard-in-forest-hills

Speaking of noodles, I've now tried the two most recent ones that have opened on Austin St.: Xin Taste and Tamashii Ramen. My fave at this point is Xin, but then again I've gone to it several times and Tamashii only once. Xin's hand-pulled noodle soup with chicken is just awesome - the ingredients are so fresh and tasty.

The recently-opened Tamashii Ramen on Austin Street.

Forest Hills Woman Works to Create a Community Art Bus

Her next stop to bring creative programming to the borough comes in the form of an “art bus,” a traveling studio that will bring arts education directly into local communities. She plans to launch a Kickstarter to make the project reality in June or July. 

Read the full story here: http://qns.com/story/2018/05/22/forest-hills-woman-works-create-community-art-bus/

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Evening Storm Snarls City

A few photos from readers of the damage and mayhem caused by last evening's severe thunderstorm...

The approaching storm as seen from Queens Blvd. and 67th Drive.

A tree crushed two cars parked along Harrow Street between 69th and 70th Avenues in Forest Hills. No one was hurt.

The storm sent debris flying onto train tracks, disrupting the evening commute. 

The storm front rolls into Forest Hills. 

After the storm .... Photo taken on Gerard Place facing east

Very orange Manhattan skyline

Friday, May 4, 2018

Tamashii Red Getting Ready to Open

Many Forest Hillers have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the specialty ramen restaurant Tamshii Red on Austin St. This will be its third Queens restaurant, with others in Long Island City and Astoria. Here's a peek inside, thanks to one of my Twitter followers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Restaurant Review: Guantanamera

My name’s Mark, founder and creator of the everything food blog Mealswithmark.com! I am back again, for another local Restaurant Review! This time I checked out Guantanamera located on the ever-bustling Queens Boulevard. I recently reviewed the new Mexican Restaurant Compadres 77, which you can read here! Also go over to my blog and check out my review of Numero 28 Pizzeria on Restaurant Row.

I have gotten some flack for my Forest Hills restaurant reviews I have done. I have one posted on my own blog and one posted here on Edge of the City. Between comments on both sites, as well as comments in the Forest Hills Facebook group where I posted one of my reviews, I received mixed reviews. I received some hostile comments due to my brutal honesty. I have been a resident in Forest Hills for about two years and have tried many of the restaurants the area has to offer and the majority lacked the 'Wow!' factor and failed to impress me.

Until recently, I haven’t had many “amazing” food experiences. That’s what makes reviews interesting. They give readers a chance to see a restaurant and experience it through someone else’s eyes and taste-buds. To get someone else’s opinion and perspective.

Me and my partner love living in Forest Hills! We love taking walks through the Gardens, taking in a movie at the newly renovated Midway, and eating out! We haven’t given up on the food scene in Forest Hills. We have actually had some great food experiences recently at Numero 28 and Moca, both on Restaurant Row!

Last Saturday night we decided to check out Guantanamera on Queens Blvd. After the short walk to the restaurant on a beautiful night, my first impression of the outside was the restaurant was a little drab and rundown. When you first look at it, it almost looks like they are closed. But let me just tell you, it is a whole different story when you walk through the doors. When you walk through the door, it’s like falling through the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland and you are transported off to Cuba.

Guantanamera is a friendly, fun, vibrant Cuban restaurant featuring traditional Cuban fare, a wide array of exotic cocktails and live Cuban music. The live music was booming! A little too loud in my opinion because it was hard to have a conversation with your dinner guest. But with that said, the music was amazing and I felt like I was partying in the streets of Cuba. Guantanamera, captures the essence of Old Havana with its exotic décor featuring exposed brick, candle-lit tables, ceiling fans, and hand-painted murals on the walls. I kept catching myself repeatedly gazing at the amazing décor.

We arrived at around 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday evening and we scanned the restaurant and it was packed. We checked in with the hostess and she stated she would be right with us. She checked in with one of the servers and we were seated immediately. No wait.

Our server promptly brought us menus and filled our glasses with water. We both looked through the menu and were impressed with the unique offerings on the menu. We asked our pleasant and always smiling waitress her recommendation for appetizers. She made several suggestions. She stated that the empanadas, the tostone rellenos (stuffed plaintains, shrimp, and Cuban sauce), and the calamari are amazing and her favorites on the menu. With both of us being fans of calamari, it was an easy choice.

The calamari arrived pretty quickly after ordering. It arrived at our table with a chipotle mayo sauce for dipping. The calamari was cooked to perfection. The batter was exquisitely seasoned and the calamari was fried to a golden crisp. I have had calamari at many restaurants and some come out on the chewy side. Not these golden delights. It was the perfect chew. The dipping sauce was a simple combo of mayo and hot sauce but it complemented the calamari.

Since our server made a great suggestion on the recipe and she was very engaging we asked her opinion on the main courses as well. I was in the mood for a beef/steak dish and there were several options on the menu. They all sounded amazing and a tough choice. They had a traditional Cuban steak with sautéed onions, grilled sirloin steak with sautéed onions, grilled skirt steak with a chimichurri sauce, and sautéed slices of prime beef with garlic, onions, peppers and a light tomato sauce. I was drooling with all of the choices.

I ultimately went with the Ropa vieja, a shredded skirt steak braised in a tomato sauce, onions and peppers which comes nested in a basket made of tropical plantains. It came with a side of white rice and black beans.

The combination of flavors was indescribable. The steak was so flavorful and tender and paired so well with the unique plantain basket. Our server was 2 for 2 so far with her suggestions.

My partner asked and went with our server’s suggestion as well. I love going out to eat with my partner, not only is it always great company, but we share each other’s food so we have twice the food experience. My partner went with the Pollo Guantanamera. This is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.

It is a roasted half chicken boneless infused with a Cuban sauce and served with Tostones. Another dish that Guatanamera knocked out of the park. The infusion of spices on the chicken was delicious and the chicken was cooked so amazingly, that it melted in your mouth. Can’t forget to mention the Tostones, too. They came with a Cuban dipping sauce and the tostones had your typical delicious Tostones taste.

At this point, we were full on some pretty damn delicious Cuban food but still wanted to check out their dessert menu. We asked the server if the desserts were made in house and she stated that all the desserts are all indeed made in-house. We decided to split the Tres Leches Del Dia. It was a great ending to an amazing meal. The sponge cake was moist and was a perfect consistency! The three-milk cream was infused into the cake with just the right amount. The mango glaze and the cherry on top added a nice twist to the traditional Tres Leches cake.

We only had water due to having wine the night before. So, it was a non-alcoholic night for us. But, in addition to this unique and amazing dining experience, they offer a Cuban inspired bar and lounge area with a wide assortment of fine wines, rums, liquors, and specialty cocktails! Also, while at the bar enjoying a cocktail, you have the option of trying some of their unique appetizers.

I give Guatanamera two thumbs up and I highly recommend trying this Forest Hills Gem.

Guantanamera is located at 110-80 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, NYC
Call (718) 575-5755

Sunday - Thursday 11am - 11pm
Friday - Saturday 11am - 12am

Sunday - Thursday 11:30am - 7pm

Sunday - Thursday 11am - 11pm
Friday - Saturday 11am - 12am

7 days a week 11am - 4pm