Posted by: Orlick | December 11, 2010

Trick or Eat Wrap!

Trick or Eat – Halloween 2010 – Broadway, Elmhurst

above photo courtesy Rich W.

This event went better than I could ever have asked for. First of all, the weather was perfect. The rainmakers are definitely on my side.

I was initially concerned about restaurants not being on board the day of the event (even though we agreed beforehand), but they all ended up being gung-ho when push came to shove. What I was trying to do was be effective, not just an event where we pat ourselves on the back. I believe that for some places this could be a great diving board and they will get more business from it. I can’t think of anything that would translate to customers better than a tasting tour like this.

125 people came. While I do think this is a little low, it was actually the prime amount. Any more and it would have overloaded the restaurants.

If there was a winner, it would clearly be Cafe Noodle. For each group of 10 or so, they had them sit at a table and served them a few dishes from their menu like gyoza (dumplings), spicy lamb stir fry, mango chicken and many others. Nearly every person I spoke to said Cafe Noodle was the best stop on the tour. Cilantro showed well too. They gave everyone a taco and a small taste of a drink like horchata. These are wo of the places I’ve been trying to spread the word about since they’ve opened. By giving a taste to this many people, hopefully word will spread further.
El CilantroTacos at El Cilantro
above pictures of Cilantro courtesy Veronica Chan

Above pictures of Cilantro courtesy Jim Uschock

This was definitely an exercise for me to unite a community that is generally thought of as unattainable. Most owners only opened up when I showed up with my ambassadors who are speakers of their languages like Thai, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Indonesian and Cantonese – It was the essential tool for making it happen. Scouting this neighborhood so much helped me gain much more knowledge about each food business along Broadway, and I made some friends and enemies along the way. Also, I talked to many organizations and found out who can help me and who can’t in the future. Most couldn’t do anything for this neighborhood, but for future projects, I’m sure they will be a big help (Big shoutout to Community Board 3, whut whut!). Just about the only organization that did help was the Asian American Journalists Association.

above pictures of La Fusta courtesy Jim Uschock

Argentinian steakhouse La Fusta also showed well with their mini empanadas and 2nd generation jovial owner.
Empanada (La Fusta)
above photo of La Fusta courtesy Veronica Chan

above photos of Sweet Yummy House courtesy Jim Uschock

Sweet Yummy House did not hold back. They served tripe, pickled cabbage, and boiled peanuts. I respect them for not giving in to American tastes. Maybe they just aren’t aware. I am definitely coming back here with friends.

above photos of My Thai courtesy Jim Uschock

My Thai, however, I was concerned they were doing pad thai to pander to American tastes. Which they may have been, but it was pretty damn good pad thai and the noodles themselves were ultimately satisfying.

above photos of Elmhurst Mex courtesy Jim Uschock

Elmhurst Mex was one of the most surprising standouts of the group. For many, they gave fresh apple cider/juice. I heard rave reviews all around.

Totoro likes cupcakes

Fay Da gave out mini cupcakes, which I got great reviews from too.

above photo of Fay Da courtesy Rich W.

Actually, most people liked everything on the tour. After the first hour of places taking a bit to warm up, things went extremely smoothly with a better than expected output.

Ploy Thai, accelerating lately at the speed of sound up the Thai ladder probably gained a few new fans. I’m sure many of the guests knew the name, but they benefited by just walking in the doors for the first time and becoming comfortable with being there. Now they can come back with confidence.

above photo of Boon Chu courtesy Jim Uschock

Boon Chu gave some of Randy’s Homemade ice cream. It was the middle of fall and they gave whole cones. Luckily it was a beautiful day outside and people were glad to have the ice cream. I only hope the people also picked up a menu, because inside is one of the best Thai restaurants in Queens – I’m serious.

above photo of Java Village courtesy Talisa Chang

Java Village gave samples from their big steam table selection. They just unveiled a new menu including lunch sets to go along with their Indonesian fare. This was good to show off their impressive collection of food like kale in cocunut curry and beef randang. See a sampling of their menu at their site. We are very lucky to have them in Elmhurst, I hope more people come specifically for their food.

Sweet Yummy HouseBrian drinking milk tea with a tapioca noodle
Scallion pancaaaakeJuice
Above photos clockwise of Sweet Yummy, Quickly, Elmhurst Mex and Hot Pot courtesy Veronica Chan

Above photos of Hot Pot courtesy Jim Uschock

Hot Pot served scallion pancakes. This is the new restaurant venture from the owners of the legendary Lao Bei Fang. I hope they do well. At least people were able to come in and check it out. They might have to work on their business model though. They are so skilled, but I am not sure if hot pot will drive people in the way they should be.

Bella pizza
above picture of a Bella Pizza piece courtesy Jim Uschock

Bella Pizza and Gino’s – after a late start – did well. Elmhurst has surprisingly great pizza. I think it has something to do with the water lines below Broadway. Gino’s is even on my Real Pizza of New York iPhone app.

above pictures of Yi Mei Bakery courtesy Jim Uschock

Yi Mei Bakery sponge cake and buns – tasted like challah.

pics of Coco Malaysian/Thai courtesy Jim U.

Coco Malaysian – I was surprised by how many people told me how good their satay was.

above photo of Quickly courtesy Rich W.

Quickly gave samples of their tea, but instead of the Ambassador to America tapioca balls, it was noodles in the tea! Something many of the guests were not used to. It showed the adventure of coming to Elmhurst.

above photos of Carniceria Colombia courtesy Jim Uschock

Carniceria Colombia gave out chicharron until they closed at 4pm . I hope many people got a look at their great selection of Colombian cuts and will return soon.

Cute chick
above photo courtesy Veronica Chan

above photos of Dunkin Donuts courtesy Jim Uschock
Dunkin Donuts even gave some munchkins to our adult-kids

I hope people expanded their palates and their restaurant row. I hope they tell their friends and they will inspire more people to come to the area I like to call The Edible Mile. Thank you everyone who helped, supported, and especially to those that came.

All of these restaurants can be found along Broadway from Queens Boulevard to the Elmhurst Hospital in Elmhurst. Use google by typing in their name in quotes followed by Elmhurst to find out more information.

Jeffrey Tastes on Yelp – Spurred as a reaction to this event

Thanks to Veronica Chan, Jim Uschock, Rich W., and Talisa Chang for pictures.




  1. Jeff, this was a wonderful event – affordable, festive, delicious. Sure, there were a couple speed bumps but these things happen. Thanks for putting it together.

    I’ve been back to a couple of places for lunch. Mai Thai was one. I plan to hit El Cilantro next week when I’m down thataway.

    I hope you put together something similar soon.

  2. I love a Halloween event where I don’t have to get dressed up to enjoy myself. And this was a great intro to many restaurants in my neighborhood I had not tried previously. I’ve since brought some friends back to Cafe Noodle, since it was the most impressive place based on service and taste. I’d like to head back to Sweet Yummy to try more pickled, spicy dishes. Thanks Jeff for organizing this.

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