Straight from the outer boroughs
by Jerry Del Priore
|Woodside, Queens --credit|
Once a predominately Irish-American neighborhood, Woodside, Queens has evolved into a multicultural diverse, middle-class area well represented by its eclectic mix of different restaurants. From Asian to Latin, to Italian and Irish, the delicious assortment of places to choose from is by no means limited to a only a few.
To help simplify your decision –– morning, noon or night –– I put together a list of great spots that will surely leave you feeling full, buzzed, and satisfied, but not necessarily in that order. Hey, you can thank me later!
F. Ottomanelli Burgers & Belgian Fries – 60-15 Woodside Ave.
When it comes to fresh burgers, nothing beats the patties at this Woodside Avenue establishment. It’s no wonder since the meat –– a mix of chuck, short rib and brisket –– is made throughout the day at the family’s legendary butcher shop, Ottomanelli & Sons, located across the street.
Add in your choice of either jalapeño, caramelized onions, roasted garlic or chipotle, blended right into the meat for a spectacular burger experience. Or order a bacon double cheeseburger, which consists of two four-ounce juicy patties with cheddar cheese and a couple strips of bacon. As for the fries, they’re the perfect complement to the succulent burgers.
|The legendary bacon cheeseburger and fries --credit|
SriPraPhai Thai Restaurant – 64-13 39th Avenue
One of the most popular Thai restaurants in Queens, if not all of NYC, SriPraPhai offers traditional Thai food with a menu in excess of 20 pages. For some, that may be overwhelming. But among some of the crowd-pleasing options are the crispy watercress salad and noodle dishes such as the Pad Thai and Pad-See-Ew. For the more adventurous taste buds, try the spicy Drunken Noodles.
|Shrimp Pad Thai --credit|
Located smack in the heart of Woodside, Donovan’s is a longstanding neighborhood family gem. While Woodside is renowned for its old-world Irish emerald establishments, Donovan’s has been able to standout amongst the crowd, serving some of the tastiest steaks and traditional Irish dishes in the area, not to mention the ever-flowing Guinness—all at affordable prices.
|Traditional Irish food at Donovan's --credit|
La Flor Bakery and Café – 53-02 Roosevelt Avenue
La Flor truly represents the neighborhood’s vast mixed community, with Mexican-American-European fusion cuisine on the menu sure to please any culture or preference at any given time of day.
For weekend brunch, try the french toast or huevos rancheros. Decided to sleep in again? No worries. Hit the bakery/café for an awesome lunch, where there’s a variety of pork, beef, shrimp and vegetable tortas and tacos. For dinner, start off with crab cakes, baked macaroni & cheese or fried calamari. Once your palate has warmed up, feast on one of the delectable grilled fish entrees or blitz through a few chicken enchiladas.
|Traditional Mexican food at La Flor --credit|
Donato’s Pizzeria Restaurant-- 50-22 39th Avenue
With the closing of Sapori d’Ischia, there aren’t many worthwhile Italian places left in Woodside. But thank heavens there’s Donato’s, which serves up reasonably priced, generous portions of your favorite Italian classics, plus better-than-average pizza.
For appetizers, the bruschetta is good; not too oily, and seasoned just right. Anything smothered in the Alfredo sauce, which is rich and creamy (definitely not for waist watchers), makes every dish flavorsome, especially the pasta with grilled chicken. Veal Milanese is also another mouth-watering recipe worth trying, sure to bring out the Italian in all of us!
|Donato's Cheese Pizza --credit|