Archive

Archive for the ‘restaurants’ Category

Common? Anything But

August 28, 2010 2 comments

I paid a quick visit to the new tapas lounge/restaurant Common last night, in the Austin St. mall, and, while we did not stick around to have anything to eat or drink, we were quite impressed with the upscale look of the venue that they have created. We were especially surprised to discover that they have actually created a garden in the back (who knew the Austin mall even had an open air space back there? I certainly didn’t!) where you can dine and where they will soon have a full bar. The staff, all of whom were very friendly and welcoming, said they will be rolling out their full menu in the coming week. Until then, you can feast your eyes on these pictures:

Advertisements

Mexican Affairs

August 26, 2010 4 comments

By Parker

A few yards from the pigeon waste covered sidewalk of the LIRR underpass, sits 2000 square feet of empty retail space. Why does this former WaMu branch sit empty? Is it the horrible economy, the Rodeo Drive-like rents, or, like people seeking love, the right retailer hasn’t met the right location yet. But the other day permits were spotted in the window – windows covered with that nondescript brown paper that hides a mystery and seductively whispers to passersby, “yes, something’s coming.”

Permits speak their own language – one understood by architects, contractors, and inspectors. Most of us don’t know an egress from an egret, or think HVAC is an ACDC cover band – we simply want to know what’s coming soon. On this permit, between building codes, license numbers and other jargon, I saw a glimpse of the future, “…renovation of existing bank into eating and drinking est.” Now, we’ve been down this road before. For every Martha’s Country Bakery, there’s a Twin Donut. For every Jade, a restaurant to impress your Queens-phobic friends, an equally unimpressive one opens.

Since patience isn’t one of my virtues, I made some calls and discovered that Continental Avenue’s newest arrival will be hot & spicy – we’re going Mexican!

“Mexican restaurant” is a bit too vague for my comfort but my sources were tight-lipped and wouldn’t reveal the name. Taco Bell is a restaurant, but probably a disappointment to anyone who isn’t a McDonald’s loitering, I-pod listening, cell phone texting teenager. With 5 Burros and Garcias covering the sit down, table service diners at opposite ends of Austin St., I don’t see this as another local mom & pop establishment. The only logical choice is one of the larger Mexican chains – Chipotle, Qdoba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, or Baja Fresh.

First, I went to their respective websites to confirm they could operate out of 2000 square feet – all four can. Second, I went to their company news section to see if they were announcing any new Queen’s locations – no insight available here. Third, I wanted to see what presence, if any, did these restaurants have in New York City. I thought any restaurant without a Manhattan location is less likely to open their first one in Queens. All four chains are new to the City with Chipotle arriving first in the early 2000’s and Baja Fresh only opening in May 2009.

From their respective websites:

Chipotle locations: Manhattan (28), Brooklyn Heights (1)
Qdoba Mexican Grill locations: Manhattan (7), Fresh Meadow, Queens (1)
Moe’s Southwest Grill locations: Manhattan (3, but 2 are in Penn Station), Rego Park, Queens (1) – coming soon
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill locations: Manhattan (2)

I must confess that I have never eaten at any of these establishments and my opinion is only based on visits to their websites. While all four would be a welcome addition, only one would move the needle significantly on the Forest Hills’ hipness quotient meter. Can one Mexican restaurant take us from Forest Hills hip replacement to Williamsburg hip? With a corporate philosophy of community building, earth-friendliness, sustainable building design, and vegan burrito options – Chipotle is the one!

Only time will tell. Let the chips (and salsa) fall where they may, and thankfully it’s not another bank or cell phone store.

My Hero!

August 21, 2010 5 comments

Another Subway is coming to town, this time in a long-closed car rental office on the south side of Queens Blvd. between 73rd Rd & 75th Ave., in the Traymore Coop and two doors down from The Family Restaurant.

Nice Catch!

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Is it only me who is really looking forward to the seafood restaurant that is being built in the Austin St. mall?

In any case, construction of the new restaurant in the old Piu Bello location is moving ahead, as evidenced by these photos taken yesterday and this morning:

Rockets Fire

August 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Johnny Rockets on Austin St. has been temporarily closed due to a small fire. So those burger cravings will have to be satisfied by Cheeburger (north Hills) or Five Guys (south) until it reopens, which are more than satisfactory options in my humble burger-eating opinion.

I just hope the waiters continue to rehearse their song and dance routines in the meantime. I would hate for them to get rusty. This burger eater, for one, has no patience for amateurs when it comes to sudden bursting into song by my servers!

Thanks to my top-notch sources for the photos!

Forest Hills Datebook

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Just a a couple of dates I have heard about hear and there:

  • I have read that Common, the new tapas lounge in the Austin St. Mall will open this Wednesday. But I have not had a chance to confirm that myself yet, so if you go there all ready for your tappi and it is still closed, please don’t harass me!
  • The vote by the West Side Tennis Club on whether to accept Cord Meyer’s proposal to destroy the historic tennis stadium to make room for condos has been rescheduled for late September, I believe Sept. 23rd, to apparently make sure all the members are back from their summer vacations.

Yes and No

August 14, 2010 4 comments

Yes!!



God No!!

%d bloggers like this: