Posted by: Orlick | June 17, 2010

June in Jackson Heights Restaurant Week – June 20-26

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been flirting around with the councilman’s office more and more, trying to get involved with the things that they do. They knew me from the Jackson Heights Food Group and were probably turned onto me because of my blog and now I’m referred to as an expert of Roosevelt Ave. Who am I to argue? Last month, they called me in to help with Jackson Heights Restaurant Week.

I did it for 2 reasons:
1: I want to get more involved with their office because of their mass reach and so-far, so-good moral motivations. And they are like a government start-up: doing what they can with little money. That’s exactly what I specialize in.
2: This is my hood, I don’t want Jackson Heights Restaurant Week to suck!

They tapped me in particular because I have a relationship with some of the restaurants already. I didn’t realize it would be a help, but when I returned to some locations from prior Food Groups, they actually remembered me and were more likely to trust us and participate. Most places are understandibly suspicious when you come in with a stack of papers and if it’s not for money, it’s hard to answer them when they ask: so why are you doing this?

Another obvious challenge was the language barrier. When the manager speaks English well, it was a relief, but more often than not communication was rough. It was easy to quit and I got dejected a few times, but it was a goal of mine to get at least one of each major culture in our neighborhood. Looking for that elusive Thai spot kept me going.

Originally my dream was to make a sampler platter at each place to help newbies figure out what’s good there, but in the end success was simply to get the restaurants to participate at all. The idea of Restaurant Week was not as recognizable as I thought it would be. I actually felt like it was a little much sometimes asking for even greater price specials than they already have. Manhattan prices are already inflated, so a price of 23 and change, while being a deal for their restaurant, probably doesn’t put them at a loss for the week. We were looking for 20, 10 or 6 dollar specials for our restaurants. One of my reliable lunch spots, VillaColombia Bakery, has a big lunch for $5 (add a soup for $1 more). How are they supposed to reduce on that?

———————————-

Some of my favorite restaurants are participating like Elm’s Cafe (fav dumplings), Tacqueria Coatzingo (thanks Sara Under the 7 for your help), and
Shangri-La Express. We also tapped new restaurants like Slim’s Bagels and Wasabi Point, which hopefully will get some exposure in the neighborhood and if good, make some regulars. Also, some of the steakhouses like La Fusta, Cafe la Nueva and Boina Roja are in.

Hopefully this is only the beginning to a tradition that will bring many people to Jackson Heights for a great night out. I’m not sure how to measure success other than when I will hear from restaurants and people who went in the next 6 months or so. If there’s a next year, we can develop this program even more, fine tune it and fill in the gaps of the restaurants that didn’t participate. We have a pretty excellent conversion rate this year, but of course it can be better.

It’s important for me to be involved with an effective way of getting people involved in our endless food scene. That’s the reason I am resurrecting the previously retired Roosevelt Avenue Street Food Crawl. I can’t think of a better way to promote our street vendors. I’d like it to be every summer for now on.

Below are some participating restaurant specials. There may be more as slow-to-the-punch restaurants get with it, so check out the official website juneinjacksonheights.com for the updated list.

City Coffee (77-17 37th Ave.)
Small Greek salad & Mousaka…$10

Espresso 77 (35-57 77th St.)
Entrées & a glass of wine for 2…$20
Entrée & a glass of wine for 1…$10

Ricky’s Café (75-02 37th Ave.)
Lunch special: all hot platters, hamburger deluxe, fish sandwich, gyro, or turkey burger…$6
Dinner special: Entrée & salad or side order…$10

Slims II Bagels & Deli (85-30 37th Ave.)
Special sandwich, wrap, or panini …$6

Café La Nueva (85-02 37th Ave.)
Empanada or pasta salad, entrée, & glass of wine…$20

La Boina (77-05 37th Ave.)
Salad, entrée, & flan…$20

La Fusta (80-32 Baxter Ave.)
Empanada, chicken or ½ skirt steak w/ side, flan, & a glass of wine or soda…$20

La Gran Uruguaya Bakery (85-06 37th Avenue)
Empanadas (2), soda or coffee, & dessert…$6

La Pequeña Colombia (83-27 Roosevelt Ave.)
Appetizer (calamari or tostones), selected entrée, & soda…$20
Lunch special (selected entrée w/ soda or juice)…$10

Natives Restaurant (82-22 Northern Blvd.)
Picada for 2 w/ a glass of wine…$15

Novo Restaurant (72-23 37th Avenue)
Peach martini, empanada, Brava’s Mixtas, or anticuchitos, selected entrée and dessert…$19.95

Happy Kitchen (80-12 37th Ave.)
Jackson Heights roll, shrimp tempura roll, & California roll…$10

Tomo (86-12 37th Ave.)
Any three regular rolls…$10
À la carte sushi & sashimi…$1 a piece

Wasabi Restaurant (76-18 Woodside Ave.)
Elmhurst lunch box… $6
House bento box & entrées including spare ribs, salmon teriyaki, chicken teriyaki, tofu teriyaki and chicken pepper salt…$10

Elm’s Café (74-32 Broadway)
Pancake combo & coffee…$5.50
Chicken momo (8) & Thai iced tea…$5

Shangri-La (74-15 Roosevelt Ave.)
10% off any menu item

Shangri-La Express Dumpling & Curry House (72-24 Roosevelt Ave.)
Dinner for two…$10
Momo & butter tea or cold drink…$6

Indian Taj (37-25 74th St.)
Buffet from 11 AM to 11 PM…$10

Delhi Palace (37-33 74th St)
Appetizer or soup; main course (lamb or chicken) w/ rice, naan, and raita; dessert & a glass of wine…$20

Mehfil (76-05 37th Ave.)
Vegetable samosa, à la carte entrée, naan, rice, & soda…$20
Lunch buffet…$10

Armando’s (74-27 37th Ave.)
Special tasting menu w/a glass of wine…$20

Limoncello (40-39 82nd St.)
Soup, salad, & dessert…$20

Rice Avenue (72-19 Roosevelt Ave.)
Starter, entrée, & Thai iced tea or coffee…$10
($11 for shrimp or beef entree)

** Just Added **

El Coyote (80-18 Northern Boulevbard)
Lunch with soup and a soda. $7.50
Appetizer, main course, dessert and 1house margarita or sangria. $19.95
Appetizer with a glass of hosur margarita or sangria at the bar only. $10.00

Mustang Thakali Kitchen (74-14 37th Ave.)
Choice of soup:
Aloo Tama Bodi ( Potato, Bamboo Shoot and Black eyed beans), Mild Hot & Sour,Thakali Special Soup (Choice of Meat Chicken or Beef),Vegetable Soup (Seasonal Vegetables). Entree:Curry with White Rice. Dessert:
Kheer (Rice Pudding) Gajar Halwa (Carrot pudding). $10

Choice of soup: Aloo Tama Bodi ( Potato, Bamboo Shoot and Black eyed beans), Mild Hot & Sour,Thakali Special Soup (Choice of Meat Chicken or Beef),Vegetable Soup (Seasonal Vegetables). Entree:
Ghoken Thali ( Flat Buck Wheat Bread)Dessert:
Kheer (Rice Pudding) Gajar Halwa (Carrot pudding). $20

Louie’s Pizzeria (81-34 Baxter Ave.)
Veal Provincial – 10
Chicken with crab meat in mustard sauce + slice – 10
Salmon with tomato and basil + drink – 10
Hand cut Ribeye steak with roasted potatoes & carrots + 2 slices + drink – 20

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Responses

  1. You and yours are doing a great service here, and hopefully you’ll achieve stellar results! I know where I’ll be spending my night off next week.


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