Archive for September, 2008

Despana Brand Foods- Spanish Grocery Jackson Heights

Posted on September 27, 2008. Filed under: Jackson Heights, Spanish, Specialty Food Markets |

Despana Foods (86-17 Northern Blvd Jackson Heights 718-779-7438 & 408 Broome St NY 10013) This tiny store  in Jackson Heights is much smaller than its sister store in soho. It manages to pack all that Spanish goodness into a space so small- there isn’t even room for a window. The service is friendly, but it helps to speak Spanish. The foods offered come mostly in jars and are generally used as a cooking aid rather than a ready-to-eat product, like mousse de esparragos (asparagus mousse for white fish or salads), legumbres y verduras con bonito del norte (beans, vegetables and fish in sauce to mix with rice), and peras del bierzo (sweet pears in juice). They have fruit preserves of all kinds, gourmet crackers and olive oil soaked pita. There is paella seasoning or mix– for first timers who may need assistance preparing the delicious seafood dish. Espana has a large selection of fresh regional cheeses, to name only a few- aragones- from cow milk, murcia el vino- goat milk and gariezo- sheep milk. They carry Spanish sausages to accompany your paella. This tiny store is a real treat for those willing to make the trip, but you’d better start your weekend shopping early. They are open until 4pm on Saturday and closed Sunday. Be sure to stop by the Broome St location for freshly made sandwiches &  hot soups.

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Mexican Calpulli Dance in the Park at Queens Theater

Posted on September 24, 2008. Filed under: Entertainment, Flushing/Corona | Tags: |

Some how it’s managed to rain every time this Mexican Dance company is supposed to perform outdoors in Queens. Well- this weekend they will perform indoors at the Queens Theater in Flushing Meadows Park. Join the fun with a dose of culture from the most ethnically diverse boro’ featuring music & live dance in colorful traditional Mexican dress Saturday Sept. 27 8pm and Sunday Sept. 28 3pm. You can purchase tickets in advance by clicking the links above.

Danza Mexicana Septiembre 27 y 28- Esta lluviendo todo tiempo este Danza Mexicana Compania venga a Queens. Pero, puedes los mirar Sabado 8pm y Domingo 3pm en el Teatro de Queens en Flushing Meadows. Compras billetes ante el desempeno en el sitio web.

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Dorian Cafe Long Island City

Posted on September 23, 2008. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Cheap Dining, LIC |

Dorian Cafe ( 10-01 50th Ave 718-937-1120) seemingly resembles any other diner in New York. However, it’s when you start eating you notice that the quality surpasses any traditional diner experience by far. Dorian creates an outstanding dining experience- minus the trendy atmosphere or attitude that accompanies most surrounding eateries. Its humble decor includes nothing more than a checkered floor, tin ceiling and traditional style seating booths.  The selections are vast but not complicated. The food is simple but, in  most cases, extremely well prepared. Each visit contains an elegant touch that sets Dorian apart from the rest. Brunch is served with a mimosa, dinner is served with gourmet olive and onion rolls, and every meal is served with a friendly greeting from start to finish. Breakfast never falls short of a tasty entree at a reasonable price, offering standards like Greek omelets or more original choices like frittatas. The gigantic Mediterranean platter is filled with humus, vegetables, babaganoush, tahini sauce, tabouli salad, and falafel. The special du jour- sea scallops sauteed in garlic butter won’t melt in your mouth, but is sure to please. This is one restaurant where quality and quantity meet at a cut above average.

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Manducatis Rustico- Cafe – Pizzeria Long Island City

Posted on September 22, 2008. Filed under: Bakery, Coffee/Tea Shop, Date Spot/ Romantic, Fine Dining, IceCream/Ice/Gelato/Fro-Yo, Italian, LIC, Pizza! |

Manducatis Rustica (46-31,33,35 Vernon Blvd 718-937-1312) better be damn good, as they take up three addresses on the famed Vernon Blvd. There are three parts to this pizza/cafe shop-  the kitchen with the giant brick oven, the coffee/dessert shop and the actual dining room. They offer brick oven pizza, though not by the slice, traditional Italian food, freshly baked breads, gourmet coffee and the best of all, sweets- pastries sprinkled in powder sugar and tasty gelato- from chocolate to banana to jasmine to blueberry. Not to be mistaken for the original Manducatis on Jackson Ave, this place offers a new kind of dining atmosphere to LIC. Its quaint rustic feel goes beyond the traditional exposed brick walls.  Walking into the cafe you are transported to what resembles an old fashioned dessert parlor. There’s an antique cash register, old photos, even the curtains are reminiscent of decades gone by. The counter offers a window side bar to prop yourself on for some snacks. There are also tables in the back for more substantial fare. Manducatis Rustico is a unique addition to LIC.

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Jackson Heights Film Festival- Sept 18th- 20th Opening Reception

Posted on September 17, 2008. Filed under: Entertainment, Free, Jackson Heights |

Don’t miss the chance to explore talent at its greatest in your favorite boro’. The Jackson Heights Film Festival  begins Thursday September 18th with an opening reception at 7pm and film screening at 8pm for $10. This is a great opportunity to screen many short and feature length international films that explore the depths of cultural and political issues. Films from Pakistan, Colombia, Burundi, US and France are just a few countries represented in the festival. If you don’t have the money to attend the opening reception- there will be a free screening Saturday 20th 6-7  — YGallery Presents a video installation curated by Blanca de la Torre and Cecilia Jurado (40 min).— Cecilia Jurado is the curator for LIC’s Dean Project art gallery with ongoing exhibitions.

And after you’ve seen a film- hop on over to your favorite local restaurant for Queens Restaurant Week to grab some grub. Check for special 2 for one ($35) offers at selected venues.

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Tonight- Museum of Moving Image with Lorne Michaels…at the Times Center

Posted on September 15, 2008. Filed under: Astoria, Entertainment |

If you enjoy politics or just want some laughs- here is an event put on by the Museum of Moving Image at Manhattan’s Times center- Saturday Night Live and Presidential Politics With Lorne MichaelsSeth MeyersAmy Poehler, and James Downey in person. 

To celebrate the launch of the 2008 edition of The Living Room Candidate
Monday, September 15, 7:00 p.m.
At The Times Center, 242 West 41 Street, Manhattan

…”Weekend Update” co-anchors Seth Meyers (also head writer) and Amy Poehler, and James Downey (veteran SNL writer) will join Michaels to discuss SNL’s approach to presidential politics. The program is in honor of the 2008 edition of The Living Room Candidate, the Museum’s acclaimed website about the history of presidential campaign commercials, made possible with support from the Verizon Foundation.   

Museum members receive priority in advance ticket purchases. 
Tickets: $15 Museum members / Free for Sponsor-level members and above / $30 non-members / $20 IFP members. Call 718.784.4520 for tickets. Stand-by tickets may be available at the door. $2 surcharge for tickets purchased at the door.

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Lemon Ice King of Corona

Posted on September 15, 2008. Filed under: Flushing/Corona, IceCream/Ice/Gelato/Fro-Yo |

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The Lemon Ice King

That’s right-the Lemon Ice King (52-02 108 St at 52 Ave 718-699-5133 Corona) is the king of Italian ices. The family owned business has been around for more than 60 years and is still number one in the ice business. Don’t be fooled by the name- there are many other flavors besides lemon at this roadside attraction. Just to name a few- blueberry, mint, orange-vanilla swirl, licorice, mango, rum-raisin, and one of my favorites, peanut butter. Who knew peanut butter flavored ice could taste so good? With little peanut chunks and a smooth creamy texture– the Lemon Ice King won me, ten times over. Here an unlikely flavor can be turned into a little cup of ice heaven. The peanut butter was so tasty that seconds were a must. For the third serving I went for the traditional lemon. Crisp and fresh lemon ice on a hot summer day is a reward unto itself. Even though it’s open all year it’s great to try this place before the weather cools down- there is a park conveniently located across the street. You can have a seat and watch the gentlemen play bocci.

Lemon Ice Ice

30 Flavors of Ice

35 flavors of ice

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Papa’s Empanadas- Jackson Heights and Astoria

Posted on September 14, 2008. Filed under: Cheap Dining, Jackson Heights, Mexican/South American, Spanish |

They were right by naming this place Papa’s Empanada’s (Astoria 25-51A Steinway St 718-726-1400 & Jackson Heights 84-17 Northern Blvd 718-507-0400) because this little restaurant has spawned practically every kind of empanada imaginable. If you’re not familiar with the small Spanish pastry- it is a dough pocket with a sweet or savory filling, generally served hot and quick. The service is friendly but a little slow at this restaurant. The ambience resembles that of a fast food chain and is somewhat lacking, but gets the job done. The empanadas come in a a worldly selection- the Elvis- is stuffed with peanutbutter and banana, the Greek is a hearty spinach and feta, Italian is a meaty sausage surprise, Chilean melds together egg, raisins, beef and olives- the sweet ones ooz with your favorite fruits, like cherry, blueberry or mango- there is even one stuffed with macaroni and cheese or hotdogs and those are only a few of the choices. There are also traditional beans and rice dishes, yuca fries, and fruit and oatmeal shakes to wash it all down. Lunch specials and free delivery available.

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