It’s time for our weekly Queens food blog roundup, where we show you what the local food press has in store. For this meal, we have selected a pair of international dishes, a home-grown favorite, and a simple, unique dessert. Please have a seat and your server will be right with you.
If “Racks” wants to open, it may have to adjust itself.
“Racks” is the name of a yet-to-be opened bikini bar, which, after an unfavorable vote on their liquor license application this week, might never open.
Queens Community Board 1, which has no power to actually grant a liquor license, only recommend to the State Liquor Authority which establishments should be permitted to serve, reportedly voted the measure down 17 to 15.
The bar and restaurant, which would open on at 19-26 Steinway St. in Astoria (GMAP), would feature female waitresses in bikini uniforms, reports DNAInfo. The location is reportedly sandwiched between other businesses, though the Queens Chronicle reports that it is two blocks from a playground.
Racks’ lawyers Kerry John Katsorhis, however, argued that the bar — at 19-26 Steinway St. between 19th and 20th avenues — is on an almost entirely commercial block.
The board ultimately voted against the liquor license recommendation for Racks, though some members warned that the bar’s owners could choose to go forward and open as a full-on adult entertainment establishment — with nude dancers instead of those in bikinis — and just not serve liquor.
Katsorhis, however, said his clients have no plans to turn Racks into a strip club, and will only open if they can successfully get their liquor license.
The would-be proprietors intend to take their application before the Liquor Authority in any case.
It’s time for our weekly Queens food blog roundup, where we offer you what the local comestible press has in store. For this meal, we have selected posts suitable for spring: light, earthy, savory, and sweet. Please have a seat and your server will be right with you.
Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Joe DiStefano, covers food both inside and outside of Queens. He joins us here on QueensNYC each Thursday.
Sweet and cold, El Bohio’s shaved ice is a harbinger of even warmer days
Forget that groundhog. The real indicator of the arrival of warm weather is the ice cream man. Or in Corona, the shaved ice man, specifically the dude who sets up in the window in front of El Bohio Grocery. The other day after eating enough Thai food for an army I took a long walk up Roosevelt Avenue and was delighted to see that El Bohio’s shaved ice—or frio frio as Dominicans like to call it—was in full effect. (more…)
The Philly Post ran an interview today with Jonathan Butller, the founder of the Brooklyn Flea, which will be launching a market in Philly in June. From the The Philly Post:
How long has the Brooklyn Flea Philly been in the works?
Only a few months, actually. We only went down and looked at the site in March, and we’ve been talking about it since the beginning of the year. The general idea of doing a flea in Philadelphia has been around for quite some time though.
Did someone come to you with the Piazza location?
Yes. Jared Kushner [husband of Ivanka Trump and owner of the New York Observer newspaper] bought the Piazza, and he has a lot of exciting ideas. All the great stuff that Bart [Blatstein] has already done, he’s going to run the ball even further than Bart has. Jared sees the Piazza as a center of cultural energy. It’s the perfect place for us to try our first geographic expansion.
Meanwhile, the news that a market to be named “LIC Flea & Food” is scheduled to be launched this June in LIC has made its way around town over the last few days. Backed by the Queens Courier and to be hosted in a large lot owned by Plaxall, the LIC Flea joins the Queens County Market, which is a pop-up market, as Queens-based entrants to the burgeoning food scene.
Joe DiStefano writes about everything food trucks and underground dives to fine-dining and trendy hotspots. His obsession with ethnic food comes from his childhood trips to Chinatown and his rich Italian-American heritage. Joe is an intrepid walker, unafraid to explore new territory and chat with cooks and eaters alike. His candid posts delve into the vibrant flavors, meals, cuisines, and cultures that make Queens one of the most unique food spots on the globe. Read more about Joe on Twitter and Facebook.
Alobar (GMAP) is petitioning CB2 to get outdoor seating. if you are a fan and want to support their effort, you can add your signature to their petition. (Note: there were 239 signature as of 1030am on 4/13).
Since it began Alobar Restaurant has worked hard to become a service to the community. We have proven ourselves to be quiet, respectful and good neighbors. We have been told that what we give to Long Island City is a world class experience integral to LIC itself. To be allowed to use our beautiful walled outdoor cafe is extremely important for us to continue to be such a major part of this wonderful community of Hunters Point, Long Island City. Without it we will not be able to compete in the summer months, with so many other restaurants that already have outdoor seating.
The Entrepreneur Space is running out of space! On April 11, the LIC-based food-and-business incubator received more than 20 boxes of cookware, silverware, bakeware, cutlery and just about everything else a kitchen could want, thanks to a donation from Princess House, a party-plan, direct-selling company that promotes female entrepreneurship. Located at 36-46 37th St., the E-Space is a 12,500-sq.-ft., NYC Economic Development Corporation-sponsored hub with a fully equipped commercial kitchen, offices and classrooms that entrepreneurs can rent at below-market rates as they build their businesses. Consultant Kathrine Gregory (at right in photo with Princess House President and CEO Connie Tang) noted that this donation — valued at over $12,000 — will be put to extremely good use as the E-Space currently has roughly 170 clients who make everything from gluten-free baked goods to Greek garlic dip to designer marshmallows.
Patsy’s Pizzeria will be opening its first location outside of Manhattan at 21-64 Utopia Parkway (GMAP) in Whitestone, Queens, sometime in April. The famed pizzeria originally opened in 1933 in East Harlem and has four other Manhattan locations. Owner Frank Brija declares, “This will be the best pizza to hit Queens in 100 years.”
That’s quite a claim. So we decided to take a look at the other revered pizza joints in the borough to see what Patsy’s will be up against:
New Park Pizzeria in Howard Beach (GMAP) is a Queens original, established in 1956. Devotees from all over the city agree that Queens has the best pizza after they’ve tried a New Park pie.
Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Joe DiStefano, covers food both inside and outside of Queens. He joins us here on QueensNYC each Thursday (except this week on Friday..).
Surely Zhū Dà Jiě’s Lao Cheng Du deserves a slot on Eater’s Queens Heatmap.
Over the weekend Eater released its Queens Heatmap, a roster of a dozen of-the-moment restaurants, including the recently opened Alchemy, Texas, BBQ as well as C+M favorites M. Wells Dinette, Biang!, and Chao Thai Too. The list highlights “recent arrivals . . . that the critics, bloggers, and restaurant obsessives are buzzing about right now.” For what it’s worth I don’t consider myself a critic but I’ll proudly fly the blogger and restaurant obsessive flags. I am pleased to say that there’s only one spot on the list that I haven’t been to, Casa Enrique.
In the past Eater has taken some, well, heat for its Queens Heatmap. As for this time around it looks pretty good. That said, I question the inclusion of Corner Bistro as buzzworthy. And I’d like to have seen Zhū Dà Jiě’s Láo Chéng Dū, on a list of a hot new restaurants. So here’s what I’m curious to know. What do you think of the latest incarnation of Eater’s Queen’s Heatmap? What’s missing? What’s doesn’t deserve to have made the cut? Tell me in the comments or hit me on the Twitter, @JoeDiStefano.