THE “CHIPOTLE ARMEGEDDON” STILL CONTINUES AND THE BEST COMMENT ON WHY JAMAICA AVENUE SHOULD HAVE A CHIPOTLE

Who knew that the mention of a Chipotle coming to Jamaica could get some people in a damn tizzy (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/reality-check-folks-chipotle-coming-to-the-ave-is-not-the-end-of-the-world-or-gentrification-it-is-just-a-fucking-chipolte-a-couple-of-notches-above-taco-bell-not-some-fancy-5-star-french/). Wish there was this much reaction to the garbage strewn, nonsense mess that is what Jamaica seems to be about (which is one reason for the development), but that, not a peep from the crew, but attempts at improving this ghetto run down area just slightly has hood rat panties in an uproar.

Since I posted this, on the Clean Up Jamaica Queens Facebook Page, 1,258 folks were reached, 3,312 had reactions, comments & shares combined with 756 comments on the shared. Damn, it is a Chipotle, not a cure for cancer or the end of the world. Even though there were plenty of negative comments (mostly from the young crew), overall, the majority of people found this new bit of info in a positive light, even though some people seemed to be more stuck on the term “Downtown Jamaica” as opposed to the hood phrase, “The Ave”, which I have not heard it called that since I moved here several years ago. BUT get over a damn name folks, before some of you coined it the ghetto “The Ave”, back in the pre-garbage strewn days it was just Jamaica Avenue before it became ghettoized.

But speaking of shared comments, this happened to be the best one on Clean Up Jamaica Queens Facebook on WHY we should have a Chipotle here in Jamaica, Downtown Jamaica, Jamaica Avenue, The Ave or DoJam.

Sight of the new Chipotle in Jamaica at corner of Jamaica Avenue & 160 Street

I mean… I’m biased in this situation because Chipotle is my everything. But, what is a Downtown Jamaica? #SouthsideJamaicaQueens  In addition, call me oblivious, but what is wrong with a little gentrification? So, you guys would really rather have FOUR stripper shoe stores than 3 stripper shoe stores and a Chipotle?  I’m just saying .

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SO CHIPOTLE IN JAMAICA CAUSES SUCH AN OUTRAGE FOR SOME IN THE COMMUNITY, BUT THE GHETTO CRAP THAT WAS IN THAT SPACE WAS JUST FINE & DANDY – REALLY

Chipotle is planning to open its new restaurant at 160-02 Jamaica Ave. (DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska)

So having a Chipotle at the corner of Jamaica and 160th Street (SW corner) on “The Ave” in “DownTown Jamaica” in the section known as “DoJam” is the end of life as we know it in Jamaica for some folks (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/reality-check-folks-chipotle-coming-to-the-ave-is-not-the-end-of-the-world-or-gentrification-it-is-just-a-fucking-chipolte-a-couple-of-notches-above-taco-bell-not-some-fancy-5-star-french/) causing laughable comments on Facebook like:

The Regentrification of Jamaica Centre, Jamaica has already begun. First Starbucks now Chipotle! Hmmmmm!

If I see one more post abt down town Jamaica. Mother fucker this isn’t manhattan it’s called the fucking ave dick heads. On another note cool chipotle gone be over there. Still another sign of gentrification.

Right lmao tryna make it sound sophisticated n shit

OOOOOHHH IT’S OVER

But the ghetto crap that was there before was just fine and dandy.

Classy! Jamaica Ave and 160th St

GET REAL FOLKS and as I said before, it is just a fucking Chipotle. You mean the Jamaica ghetto bar is so fucking low, that some of you are threatened by mediocre Chipotle. Oh, MY, it is the END OF JAMAICA. Have you ever walked along the entire length of “The Ave from 170th to Parsons, pretty much most of it already looks like the end of Jamaica, the shit back-end of Jamaica.

Jamaica in the box retail

Shit retail litter Jamaica Avenue. This display is totally illegal according to DOB rules, yet nothing is done about this.

Shit Jamaica Ave retail crap tossed out on the street.

NE corner of 163th & Jamaica Ave.

Jamaica Ave, although this looks even worse when I saw it the other day.

 

ANTHONY BOURDAIN WILL EAT HIS WAY THRU QUEENS INCLUDING WOODHAVEN, SOUTH OZONE PARK & JAMAICA TONIGHT (5.21.17) @ 9PM ON “PARTS UNKNONW” (CNN)

TV host, author and  chef, Anthony Bourdain, will be eating his way through Queens in Sunday’s episode of “Parts Unknown” at 9pm on CNN. He will be visiting three places in the SE Queens area, Woodhaven (Neirs Tavern), South Ozone Park (Aqueduct Trace Track ) and Jamaica (Africana Restaurant on Liberty Avenue).

And don’t get your hood rat panties in a bunch like so many did when they heard that Chipotle was coming to The Ave(https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/reality-check-folks-chipotle-coming-to-the-ave-is-not-the-end-of-the-world-or-gentrification-it-is-just-a-fucking-chipolte-a-couple-of-notches-above-taco-bell-not-some-fancy-5-star-french/). This is not the secret scheme to gentrify Jamaica, it is a damn TV show highlighting places in Queens.

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From Queens Courier:

Photo courtesy of CNN/Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain visits Queens in the latest episode of “Parts Unknown.”

Queens residents know that the borough’s people and food are one of a kind. But on Sunday, the entire country will be in on the secret, too.

Television host, author and chef Anthony Bourdain will eat his way through Queens and chat with interesting people who call the borough home in his latest episode of “Parts Unknown,” set to air on May 21 at 9 p.m. on CNN.

 The host showcases several neighborhoods throughout his journey and illustrates how easy it is to explore a variety of different cultures with just a quick train ride.

Food writer Laurie Woolver, who is Bourdain’s personal assistant and cookbook co-author, has lived in Jackson Heights for nine years and knew that the borough deserved its own episode.

“I’m always kind of slipping in a reminder of just how great Queens is,” she said. “I would just kind of mention, ‘I ate at this great place’ or ‘this taco cart’ or ‘I went to Flushing,’ subtly sort of reminding [Bourdain] of this place across the river he had to take a look at.”

In the episode, he eats from a food cart serving Ecuadorian food in Corona and discusses the sometimes difficult permit process vendors must navigate with Sean Basinski, director of the Street Vendor Project. We’re also introduced to Evelia Coyotzi, a Mexican immigrant who lost her job after 9/11, but was able to carve out a living by selling delicious tamales from a food cart in Jackson Heights.

He also stops in Flushing at Yu Garden Dumpling House on Kissena Boulevard to feast on dumplings with Heems, a Queens born-and-bred rapper who is one-half of the rap duo Swet Shop Boys. Spicy beef and tripes and boiled pig tongue marinated in ginger and soy and served with chili oil are also on the menu.

The 7 train is featured prominently in the episode and viewers can see just how drastically each neighborhood along the line can differ. In addition to showcasing restaurants, viewers are also treated to a dance by Korean senior citizens at Korean Community Services.

The historic Neirs Tavern in Woodhaven makes an appearance and Bourdain recounts the bar’s early beginnings as a tavern for gamblers visiting a local race track in the 1820s. The Blue Pump Room, The Old Abbey and the Union Course Tavern were just some of its previous names.

He speaks to the owner Loycent Gordon, a Jamaican-born FDNY firefighter, about the bar’s history and his own background as an immigrant whose mother was able to provide him a better life by moving to the borough. The bar was only three days away from closing before Gordon saved it.

“I think it’s pretty much the similar story of immigrants that come to the United States,” Gordon said. “They come to work hard because it’s the land of opportunity and they find a way to kind of make it out of the rut.”

Viewers also learn about the borough’s ever-changing demographics. Though Jackson Heights still contains a large Hispanic and south Asian population, an influx of Tibetans now call the neighborhood home. Lhasa Fast Food, sandwiched between cellphone stores and jewelry shops in Jackson Heights, introduces Queens to Tibetan cuisine like a plate of hand torn noodles with chilies and ginger.

Bourdain also visits the Rockaways to discuss the struggles residents faced after Superstorm Sandy and the city’s historic lack of investment in the neighborhood. He stops in South Ozone Park at the Aqueduct Race Track with Woolver to bet on horse number 2 and makes a pit stop in Jamaica to dine at Africana Restaurant on Liberty Avenue.

“Despite living here, spending my time here…I’m constantly amazed by what’s going on, the range of things that are happening, the restaurants I’ve never heard of,” Woolver said. “You’ll never really learn everything about it and it’s always evolving.”

Though the food is a main attraction in this episode, viewers will also take away how incredible it is that people who may have grown up thousands of miles away from the United States can proudly call Queens home.

“If the American Dream is alive, it’s alive in places like Queens,” Heems said in the episode. “There still are people coming here with nothing and making something out of it.”

THE OLD CITY RIB/MODA GRILL WILL BE “DALLAS BBQ” – REALLY NOT MUCH TO WRITE HOME ABOUT BUT IT IS BETTER THAN A BIG 99 CENT STORE

After City Rib closed several years ago and then morphed into Moda Grill, that lasted a year, I figure that huge space at Parsons and 89th would be the typical Jamaica shit, a big ass 99 cent store.

Walking by the other day, I noticed some work going on inside and wondered what will be going in that space. Well, now it seem the chain Dallas BBQ will takes it place. Well, nothing to write home about and at least better than Applebee’s (which is like saying prostate cancer is better than lung cancer), if they go with the plan to have an outdoor sidewalk cafe, that is at least a plus. You can have a drink and eat in the barely fresh air while trucks, buses and other tons of vehicles come by, while the plentiful homeless from the shelters a few blocks away try to hit you up for money.

I guess it is progress of a sort, the throw shit up against the wall and see what sticks progress. In the meantime, I will take it, because, well, the Jamaica bar is set so low to begin with, it is hard to get any worse anymore, well, almost. Jamaica does surprise you with how fucking low it can go.

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From DNAInfo New York:

Dallas BBQ Plans To Open New Outpost in Downtown Jamaica, Officials Say

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | May 5, 2017 5:18pm

 Dallas BBQ is planning to open its new outpost at 89-14 Parsons Blvd. this summer, officials said.

Dallas BBQ is planning to open its new outpost at 89-14 Parsons Blvd. this summer, officials said.

Dallas BBQ/Facebook

QUEENS — Dallas BBQ is planning to open its new outpost in downtown Jamaica this summer, according to documents and local officials.

The chain, known for its ribs and steaks, is seeking to launch its newest restaurant at 89-14 Parsons Blvd. near 89th Avenue, on the first floor of Moda, a building constructed several years ago atop of the former Queens Family Courthouse, said Yvonne Reddick, district manager for Community Board 12.

The space which can seat up to 200 patrons was initially occupied by CityRib, a sit-down barbecue eatery run by a high-end Manhattan restaurant group, which opened in 2013.

In 2015, it was replaced by Moda Grill, serving American comfort food, which closed last year.

Reddick said that Dallas BBQ is aiming to open its Jamaica location sometime in July and that its representatives are slated to meet with the CB12 consumer affairs committee later this month.

She also added that she hopes the restaurant will do well in the neighborhood because “they are family-oriented.”

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, Dallas BBQ has also applied to open a sidewalk café at the location. The application is currently pending, and a public hearing to discuss the proposed sidewalk cafe has been scheduled for May 31, according to the DCA and a note placed on the eatery doors.

This will be the second Queens location for the chain, which also has an outpost at the Rego Center Mall in Rego Park.

A representative for the chain confirmed that it’s planning to open a new restaurant in Jamaica this summer, but would not provide further details.

 

JAMAICA RESTAURANTS BITE THE DUST: CITY RIB – MODA GRILL – ROCOTO RESTAURANT: RIP

They have bitten the dust, all three, although City Rib eventually morphed into Moda Grill and did not even last that long. While Moda Grill’s menu was nothing to write home about (City Rib was much better), it was a great place to hang out and have a drink.

Yet the bland Apple Bee’s is still kicking it.

 

Rocoto Restaurant, another welcome addition to Jamaica

Rocoto Restaurant, another welcome addition to Jamaica

CityRib at the corner of Parsons Blvd and 89th Ave in downtown Jamaica.

CityRib at the corner of Parsons Blvd and 89th Ave in downtown Jamaica.

Moda Grill at 89th Ave & Parsons Blvd

Moda Grill at 89th Ave & Parsons Blvd

ANOTHER JAMAICA POSITIVE: VINTAGE CURRY’S OUTDOOR OASIS PATIO

Vintage Curry at 87-77 168 Pl

Vintage Curry at 87-77 168 Pl

Back in May, I reviewed the very good Vintage Curry (87-)77 168 P), British Style Indian (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/vintage-curry-british-style-indian-is-a-must-in-jamaica/) and raved about it. When I went, it was not very warm that day and they actually have an outdoor patio for dining, as far as I know the only outdoor dining in Jamaica.

Rufus King and Crap6.11.16 057Rufus King and Crap6.11.16 058Rufus King and Crap6.11.16 059Well, today (6.11.16) it was extremely warm and sunny and I had a taste for Indian, so I figured I could have Indian and eat outdoors as well, which any chance I can eat outdoors, I opt for it. Well, Vintage Curry has first done such an amazing job on the outside of the restaurants with all kind of plant and flowers, but when I walked into the outdoor patio, I felt I was not even in Jamaica, let alone right below noisy Hillside Avenue. Sitting in that very peaceful outdoor space, I could rarely hear nothing on Hillside and since Vintage Curry is on 168 Pl, a not very much traveled street, there is rarely any cars going by. I felt so at peace there.

I ordered the Shrimp Vindaloo Curry, which came with basmati rice and I order Naan. The Vindaloo was delicious and spicy and had about 7- 8 big shrimp. And I don’t know how they make their Naan, but it is so good and large.

Rufus King and Crap6.11.16 061Rufus King and Crap6.11.16 062

Since the weather is now nice, check out Vintage Curry and sit outside and chill-out. Great food, good service and a peaceful outdoor oasis.

Go to http://vintagecurrynyc.com/

Stuff5.14.16 048

On a side note, the dive bar Hillside Inn at 168th St & Hillside Avenue closed a few months ago and is now a Live Fish & Halal Meat place, which just had their opening.

Rufus King and Crap6.11.16 063

 

MIRCH – NEW JAMAICA STYLISH INDIAN EATERY WITH TOP NOTCH FOOD, SERVICE & ATMOSPHERE

mirch5.19.16 010mirch5.19.16 002This week I have been on a Jamaica restaurant crawl of new and older restaurants all on the Hillside Avenue area. Saturday was the three year old Vintage Curry (British Style Indian) and it was great. Wednesday was a 2nd visit to the just opened Dhan Shiri and I love it. Well, add the month old Mirch Grill Clay Oven (172-27 Hillside Avenue) to my restaurant crawl and it was worth the wait ( I have been wanting to try it). A triple threat as far as top notch food, service and atmosphere, plus amazing non-alcoholic drinks.

When you walk into Mirch, you are walking into nothing quite like it in Jamaica, in fact you will think you are in the meat packing district with it’s very stylish decor and chill music, which includes some Indian music. The very pretty hostess/waitress greeted me and along with a young male waiter served me. Even one of the co-owners, who was very nice, came over to me to find out how things were. AMAZING was my answer. Look, places like this might not be a big deal to folks in Manhattan & Brooklyn, but here in Queens and especially Jamaica, this is a BIG DEAL.

Rosemary Blueberry Smash

Rosemary Blueberry Smash

For a drink, I was contemplating between the Spicy Watermelon Mint Aqua Fresca and the Rosemary Blueberry Smash, tough choice. I went with the later and was it refreshing and full of taste (my next visit it will be the watermelon).  For a starter I ordered the Dal Vada Chaat, which consisted of green moong lentils, onions, green chillies and horseradish. What surprised me most was the presentation of it (photo below) and not what I was expecting as far as looks. It looked amazing and so was the taste, which combined so many different flavors and spices into it, that I slowly ate it, not wanting it to end. For the main dish, I ordered from one of their “Not so Traditional Curries”. My choice was the Mustard Fish, which I was craving since I saw it on-line. A fish dish made with mustard oil, green chilli and coconut. But the waitress informed me that they did not have the fish they normally use to make it and suggested some other items. I told her I don’t eat me, so she was nice enough to ask the chef if the could use a different fish and he said yes and he used salmon. Delicious. The curry was  so flavorful and the salmon was so tender and juicy, I don’t know how the chef did it, but it was one of the best tasting pieces of salmon I have ever had. The dish also came with a bowl of rice. I wanted dessert, but my stomach was saying no way, so I left it at that.

Dal Vada Chaat

Dal Vada Chaat

Mustard Fish

Mustard Fish

This is a great place for a nice classy evening out, a romantic dinner or a family gathering (they have tables that can accommodate large groups). Like most Halal/Muslim eateries, there is no alcohol, but I tell you want, with their drinks, you won’t miss it. Pricing for the restaurant is higher than the usual in this area (but not outrageous), but it is worth it. We need more eateries like this in the area and since I hear it can get packed on weekends (check out the photos on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mirchny/info/?tab=overview, there is obvious a market for this type of stylish dining.

Mirch is billed as an Indian-American Fusion place and I would put this place against any place in Queens as far as food, service and atmosphere. They even have a few “American” items like burgers and steak, but hey, if you are going to go to an Indian place, do Indian, which along with Thai, is one of my favorites.

Well, put Mirch at the top of my list of places to check out in Jamaica. A very welcome and different dining experience than what one is used to in this area. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Check out their website at http://mirchny.com/