Mama Mexico

2672 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
At 102nd Street
http://www.mamamexico.com

You can say I sort of stumbled upon Mama Mexico. The original plan for the Saturday afternoon was to eat at a restaurant located on the Upper West Side, which turned out to be closed once we arrived. As I was driving along I spotted Mama Mexico and figured .. hey I could go for enchiladas so I found parking and headed in. Off the bat, this place was pretty massive for a NYC restaurant, and the staff is there to serve you and that they do. As we sat down the first thing we were asked is we were interested in guacamole, which was made fresh on our table. We did not even get menus but we were munching on chips, salsa and guacamole. Along with the chips we requested a pitcher of red sangria, which yielded about 8 flute glasses and hit each of us pretty well. Due to the guacamole that I really enjoyed I felt there was no need for appetizers and went straight to the entree, their triple enchilada special; one chicken, shrimp and fillet mignon. The chicken enchilada was the weak link of the dish, when I go back I will avoid the chicken enchiladas. It was not horrible just did not compare to the fillet mignon and shrimp which were both juicy and flavorful. The service at Mama Mexico definitely put a smile on my face; from the second we sat down the waiter was always keeping an eye on us seeing if we needed anything. The rest of the staff always made sure our drinks were refilled, table were clean of empty dishes. One thing that did scare me was the guy playing the guitar who decided to sneak up on us and started to serenade us, it was a little out of the blue, but entertaining.

Minado

219 Glen Cove Rd,
Carle Place, NY 11514
http://www.minado.com/

So we have our first stop on Long Island, New York. Being that I spend a good portion of my life on Long Island, I felt it was finally time to add it to my list. One issue with Long Island is that it is overly populated with chains, which I tend not to review since every location can be different. With that said my first stop for this listing is Minado located on Glen Cove road in Carle Place. Minado is nothing like the run in the mill Asian buffets. First of they have an excellent sushi buffet, and since this place draws a decent crowd there is a high turnover for the sushi yielding fresh sushi. If sushi is not your thing then there are many other choices. During the dinner buffet you will find a greater selection of seafood then during lunch, good reasoning for the higher cost for the dinner buffet. I often go for the Sunday lunch and just go crazy over their beef teriyaki. There are also many different salads to choose from, soups, and even crepes! If you go during dinner make sure to get the green tea ice cream, it was at Minado where I first had green tea ice cream and was instantly addicted. Just before when going for lunch, as they do close during the day and the kitchen stops 30 minutes before they close, so come earlier to get fresh food.

Tako Sushi

70-11 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY

As I was on the way to the Mets game, I decided to make a stop in Forest Hills to grab something to eat along Austin St. Since I found parking across the street, I got the craving for sushi as I saw Tako Sushi. This is a small quaint place, which has nice sushi bar style seating. Some reason I am always a fan of being able to watch the chef make the sushi. Being the carefree diner that I am I just ordered the sushi dinner. As normal it was served with salad and miso soup. In addition they served us a grilled salmon and edamame on the house, hey free stuff is always good and the salmon was just that..great. With the sushi I was not totally impressed. The look it lacked something, the sushi tasted fresh but the look of the fish itself, I can not point it out but just didn’t stand out next to the many other sushi restaurants I have dined out. Another issue I had with the sushi was that they use rather large portions of fish atop of the rice, I felt like there was too much fish for the rice, and ended up eating sashimi, which worked out quite well. I do not really visit Austin st. to often so I doubt I will eat here again, but who knows. For the value I can not complain, as the sushi dinner was about $17, and I have definitely had pricier sushi.

Brian Dempseys

39-31 Bell Blvd
Bayside, NY

$3 Burgers, $3 Pints, .10 Wings, just on paper this place sounds like a slice of heaven. The deal with Dempseys is Monday night has $3 burgers and on Wednesday is $3 Draught pints and .10 wings. Now before you go crazy, do not expect to get nice juicy wings. To be honest, the wings we OK at best, nothing special. I guess the draw here is the deal, where else can you actually get a meal including beer under $6. I will definitely head back there to give the burgers a try on a Monday night. Besides the food, Dempseys seems to have a decent beer collection so for you beer connoisseurs, there is something to look forward to.

Uncle George’s Greek Tavern

33-19 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106

Uncle George’s is not your normal gyro and souvlaki Greek restaurant, they serve what seems to be more traditional Greek dishes. I wish I could speak more about the background of the food, but our waiter was not the friendliest of individuals. I asked the waiter for a recommendation between the beef chunks in tomato sauce and the mackerel, to which he responded “they are different dishes one is fish and one is beef.” Thanks buddy for being useless. It really makes me think twice when a waiter can not give a recommendation, are they incompetent, does the food just really suck here, or do they hate their job and will probably spit in my food. I went for the Beef chunk with tomato sauce.. in hind site I should have tried the mackerel. There was really no flavor to the beef, I found myself eating mostly the rice with the tomato sauce and randomly picking at the beef. If there is a next time I really hope to get a waiter with some sort of personality. If I didn’t enjoy it why would there be a next time? Well Uncle George is a place that has been recommended to me by many, it normally has great reviews and for the value it is not too bad. I feel like I have to give it one more try.

Sabry’s Seafood

24-25 Steinway St
Astoria, NY 11103

There are not enough good things, I can even say about this place. I could say “this is the best meal I have ever had”, “I wish I had 3 thumbs for this place”, “I can die happy after this meal!” but the reality is that YOU NEED TO TRY IT FOR YOURSELF! I came across Sabry’s thanks to the New York Magazine, and wanting seafood I made the trip over to Sabry’s. Like many of the places you will find in Astoria, the doors swing open allowing for fresh air as you enjoy your meal. Now this is a true seafood restaurant, if you come looking for chicken, beef you will be disappointed, for the veggies there are options if you love carbs. The service here is a little slow, but the quality of the food more then makes up for it. We ordered grilled calamari and shrimp cocktail to start with, which did take about 15 mins to come to the table, but with it came additional items which accompany any entree – Tahini sauce, salad and fresh fluffy pita bread. So immediately we were over whelmed by the amount of food, but hey let the feast begin! In additional to what was already on the table we got 2 eggplant dips for the amazing pita bread, one was baba ganoush(sorry for the spelling) and the other was eggplant topped with a spicy tomato sauce. As if all this was not enough food, out came our whole fish. One person ordered (all grilled by the way) a whole red snapper, another a whole strip bass, another a tilapia fillet and me, well I walked up to their fish display and said let me have that guy! The fish takes about 20-25 minutes to cook, but with all the food that was around I barely even realized how long it took, plus WOW it was worth the wait. For the fact that I picked the exact fish I wanted it was marinated as if it had been sitting in marinate for days! The waiter mentioned that the oven fish comes out softer, but the grilled fish melted in your mouth so I cant even imagine how the oven baked is! I will definitely be going back and next time I want to try the shark which unfortunately was not available!

La Cocina

430 3rd Ave,
New York 10016

Many Mexican places claim to use the freshest ingredients, but La Cocina delivers. For the vegetarians they actually have a little note that states they use olive oil and blah blah blah, so all you veggies out there you can feel safe going here, nothing dead in your meal except well that once living piece of lettuce. Well when I initially walk into any Mexican establishment, the first thing that comes to my head is alcohol, margaritas, tequila yipee! With that said to accompany my meal I ordered a frozen lime margarita. For appetizers they had a mushroom and spinach quesadilla special. Now if you do not like too much spinach be wary but if you have no problem with spinach this dish is a delight. As for an entree, I went simple and got the enchiladas, it was just what I was in the mood for. They give you a choice of pork, chicken, beef and veggies. The waiter said the pork is not good so I felt it would be best to take his advice so I went for the beef. The dish was nicely spiced and the even the beef had extra kick to it. The enchilada came served with rice and beans, sorry folks I stayed far away from the re-fried beans, but the rice was great. Besides the food the ambiance is great, the tables were interesting, I could describe them but I would rather have you go there to check it out.

Dim Sum Go Go

5 East Broadway
New York, NY 10038

If you have never had Dim Sum, Dim Sum Go Go is the place to start. I have been to many Dim Sum places, but there are two issues with all the places, I have visited. First Dim Sum is normally served during lunch, second is a language barrier. There is a place in Flushing, where I would never go unless I am accompanied by someone who speaks some form of Mandarin. Let me start just mentioning what we ordered. Shrimp Balls, Rolls with Shrimp & Mango, Shrimp Dumplings, Shark Fin Dumpling, Chives and Shrimp Dumplings, Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce, Stuffed Mushroom, Jade Dumplings, Abbot’s Delight, Chinese Parsley Dumplings, Green Dumplings. If you have not figured out dim sum is similar to Tapas as they are small dishes that you share family style. I visited Dim Sum Go Go on a Sunday night so it was not to packed, which left us with great service and an entertaining waiter. Dim Sum Go Go may not be the same as the authentic Dim Sum you can find in Flushing, but for those of you that do not speak any form of Mandarin this is a great option.

Euro Delight

Broadway and 32nd St
Astoria, NY

With my one year in Astoria coming to an end, I decided to add a place which has been the spot for many of my Sunday brunches. Euro Delight is a small typical restaurant you will find around Astoria, especially on Broadway, so be vary of going with a large group. I really can not speak for more then the crepes at Euro delight but every single type of crepe I have had there has been amazing. Sweet or Savory they have all hit the spot on a Sunday afternoon. I can not pick a favorite crepe especially since every time I go I will make sure to try something different, but I do recommend the breakfast crepes, which are made on whole wheat. You can also customize any crepe to your needs, so the options at this place are endless. I have only been there for Sunday brunch, but they are open whole day and you can order crepes any time of the day. There are also salads, paninis and various other sandwhichs on the menu but as I previously mentioned there is more to the menu then crepes, but I have never even thought about anything else, and why would I?