08/12/14 12:30pm

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The Spot: Bunker, 46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Ridgewood.

The Deal: Sometimes, as they say, the best-laid plans just go awry. The original plan for the rather industrial location on Metropolitan was for a fish distribution company called Fish & Ship. Then Hurricane Sandy flooded the space. Then a business partner, and the fish connection, had to back out. So what to do with this address that TK Adam refers to as “the curse and the blessing”?

Fortunately Jimmy Tu, the executive chef, and Jacky Tu, the sous chef, had been sitting on an idea: “Quality Vietnamese food,” says Adam. “The exotic yet accessible flavors of Vietnam, the street food that they loved, but elevated with quality ingredients. Bunker was born out of belief and out of survival instinct.”

But where new ideas and delicious food goes, attention soon follows. Bunker first drew the attention of locals, and then the food blogs and then The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The Food Network and others.

“Through hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and just plain luck, Bunker has been a destination spot for the better part of a year now,” Adam says. “We have a loyal, ever-expanding customer base willing to trek from all over to a middle-of-nowhere restaurant with nothing to entertain them within miles as they tough out torturous wait times. And for that, we are so grateful and so thankful.”

Read about the Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)

08/11/14 2:00pm

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Astoria has a lovely new cafe on the corner of Ditmars and 36th Street — it’s called 60 Beans. We Heart Astoria checked the place out, which is gorgeously designed with “lots of wood, marble, leather, and tile.” There is both indoor and outdoor seating, with big windows looking out onto Ditmars. The coffee and tea selection looks extensive, with drip and pour over coffee, cold brew coffee on tap, and a selection of black, green and herbal teas. Pastries include Dough donuts from Brooklyn, sticky buns, and a variety of croissants.

We Heart Astoria reports that the spot was plenty busy this morning. 60 Beans offers a “Buy 9 drinks, get the 10th free” punch card; today they are double punching the card to celebrate the grand opening.

60 Beans is Open! [We Heart Astoria]
All 36-02 Ditmars Boulevard coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via We Heart Astoria

08/08/14 9:00am

anthony-weiner-chefAnthony Weiner wants to come and help the Rockaways — and yes, there’s cooking involved. Rockaway Times (also responsible for the great photoshop job to your left) reports that the former politician is behind this Idealist profile for a “social entrepreneurship that operates a healthy, sustainable restaurant in a hard luck community.” It’s called Rockaway Restoration Kitchen. The idea is to offer job training in the culinary field for unemployed New Yorkers, alongside the operation of a restaurant that serves locally-sourced food. The official website, which doesn’t give many details, outlines goals of “Nutrition, Education, Restoration.”

Weiner hasn’t made any announcement to tie his name to the endeavor, but Rockaway locals have spotted him in search of a location for the possible restaurant. So far, he’s looked at commercial space in the renovated development Arverne View, as well as a few other locations. So, why’d he pick the Rockaways? According to Rockaway Times, “Although Weiner famously fell from grace, more than once, he often found solace in the receptions he received in Rockaway.”

Anthony Weiner Making Plans for Rockaway Restaurant [Rockaway Times]

Photo via Rockaway Times

08/07/14 2:00pm

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The Ridgewood Social Facebook account posted photos of a brand new cafe open in Ridgewood. It’s called The Spot and it’s located on Madison Street and Fresh Pond Road. The Spot serves coffee and tea, including cold brew coffee. There are also pastries, bagels (offered with lox!), fresh juices and smoothies. So far residents are giving it a thumbs up.

The interior also looks very charming, with plenty of seating, tin ceilings and wood floors. Something tells us this joint is going to do well in the nabe… GMAP

08/05/14 12:30pm

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The Spot: Breezy’s, 97th St Concession Stand, Rockaway Beach.

The Deal: The concession stand at Rockaway Beach is back and one of the restaurants taking advantage of the summer crowds is the new BBQ joint Breezy’s. The evolving restaurant began as a food truck in Williamsburg.

“We experimented with our BBQ in a food truck in Williamsburg last year and had been looking for a place to set up shop,” says Amy Tichenor. “We didn’t want to do a restaurant or a take-out joint, the Rockaway concession felt like the perfect fit between food truck and restaurant.”

Now Tichenor and friends sling BBQ to hungry beach goers every day but Tuesdays at the busy cash-only spot, nestled between the other family-owned businesses at the concession stands.

“The 97th Street Concession has such a diverse group of family-run local restaurants, offering beach-goers a number of options, if they are looking for a quick bite to eat on the weekends or if they want to go out to dinner on the beach during the week, the concession is the perfect beach-side dining in The Rockaways,” Tichenor says.

Read about Breezy’s Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)

07/29/14 2:00pm

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We are getting oh-so-ready for Astoria Coffee to open its cafe/bar at 30-04 30th Street, off 30th Avenue. Yesterday they posted the above photo to their Facebook account, showing an almost-ready interior. Looks beautiful, too. The Astoria Coffee website says that the owners hope to open sometime in August; they initially hoped to open up in June.

Astoria Coffee, who roasts and distributes its own beans, plans to serve coffee, tea, beer, wine and baked goods at its brick and mortar location.

Astoria Coffee Inks Lease at 30-04 30th Street [Q'Stoner] GMAP

07/29/14 12:30pm

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The Spot: Murphy’s Lobster Grill, 48-20 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside.

The Deal: Murphy’s Lobster Grill opened last October, an extension of the owner’s next-door namesake bar. Murphy’s Bar has been a Skillman Avenue staple for the last 10 years.

“When the space next door became available I decided to expand and run a seafood restaurant. There’s none in this part of Queens, and I have experience from my other restaurant in Mineola, Long Island,” says owner Mike Murphy.

(more…)

07/28/14 4:00pm

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Over the weekend, Grub Street celebrated the harmony between old and new when it comes to eating in Ridgewood. Despite the artist spillover from Bushwick and new hip arrivals like Bunker (Vietnamese) and Houdini’s Kitchen Labratory (wood-fired pizza), the neighborhood also boasts old-time establishments still dishing out excellent food. The food blog compiled a list of both old and new spots — 17 in total — to check out. They include Catania Bakery, where you should try the cannoli cream, the new American restaurant Ltauha, popular bakery/cafe Norma’s, the 90-year-old taproom and banquet hall Gottscheer Hall (pictured), and Rosa’s Pizza & Pasta, known for its Sicilian and Grandma pies.

Exploring the Convergence of New York’s Culinary Past and Present in Ridgewood [Grub Street]

Photo via Gottscheer Hall

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Tonight from 7 to 10 pm, the Queens Museum is hosting This Ain’t Havana: Paladar in Queens. It’s a food/art/architecture collaboration by the artist Craig Shillitto and the Museum’s Cuban architects-in-residence Yoandy Rizo Fiallo and Osmany García Fuentes. Here’s what to look forward to: attendees will get to try a variety of Caribbean, Central and South American barbecue for free. Here are event details from the website:

Bringing together Queens pit and grill masters from an array of Latin American barbecue traditions, ‘This Ain’t Havana’ uses their small dishes as a symbolic journey throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. Guests will gather at a ‘migrating’ table that during the course of the installation will be simultaneously added to and deconstructed, its materials being used to fuel the BBQ that is providing the evening’s fare. With food, drink, and fire, this participatory art project has something for everyone.

Sounds like our kind of thing. While the event is free, you must RSVP. You can do that here.

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Yesterday, the folks behind the restaurant Mundo posted the above photo to their Facebook account. It’s a very promising glimpse of their new space at the Paper Factory Hotel; the popular restaurant is relocating from Astoria. The blog We Heart LIC has tracked the opening with anticipation, and posted this video interview with the owners back in May.

The restaurant should open in the hotel this summer. Here are some details about the food, from the website: “Mundo’s menu highlights the best of earthy Mediterranean and unique global flavors with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients from local vendors and farms, and homemade dishes.” Mundo is especially known for its Red Sonja, a Turkish dish made from red lentil and bulgur wheat served on lettuce with fresh lemon. Can’t wait!