by

It’s no secret that delicious bounty abounds in the borough. In fact, just last week QNS Brownstoner informed on two Restaurant Weeks that are set to take place this month: an entire Queens one and a Sunnyside promotion. Well, now it appears that the cup is overflowing as two additional cuisine celebrations were recently scheduled for next week: a Taiwanese vegetarian fest and a Thai pop-up gig. More info on jump page.

by

April showers bring…hungry party attendees. Exactly 50 vendors served entrées, appetizers, beverages and desserts to more than 700 attendees in a festive atmosphere during Queens Taste 2014 on April 29. With Fairway Market as the lead sponsor, the Queens Economic Development Corporation hosted this twelfth annual event at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing. Please scroll down for more information and mouth-watering photos.

Jamaica-based O Lavrador Restaurant served a pleasantly palatable paella.

Kim Chi Smoke Barbecue offered…well…smoked kim chi.

La Fusta, an Argentinian restaurant in Elmhurst, fired up the kebabs.

Desserts galore! Thanks to Take a Break & I’ll Bake.

Queens Brewery tapped a hometown keg.

There was also a competition as judged by a team of local foodies and media types. Zenon Taverna, which serves Greek and Cypriot cuisine in Astoria, took Best Entrée honors with a Mediterranean octopus dish, lamb meatballs and taramosalata. Sunnyside’s Murphy’s Lobster Grill, which gave out oysters and clams on a half shell, won Best Appetizer, while DF Mavens, which makes a wide variety of dairy-free ice cream flavors, prevailed as Best Dessert. In the photo are (from left) Elena Papageorgiou from Zenon Taverna, Francis Zalewski from DF Mavens and Michael Murphy from Murphy’s Lobster Grill.

QEDC also announced the winners of the Eighth Annual Queens StartUP! Business Plan Competition, a five-month challenge-and-instruction course sponsored by Citi and hosted by Queens Library. The winners received $10,000 each to jumpstart their businesses. The Food-Based Category honors actually went to a beverage maker, Astoria Distilling Company, which is about to launch a craft spirits distillery with Queens Courage, an “Old Tom” gin with a subtle sweetness derived from botanicals, malts and honey. Gamal Byfield and his martial arts studio, The Branch of Life, took first place in the Community Category. Jaime Montalvo prevailed in the Innovative Category. Montalvo is also known as Soraya Sobriedad, a trim and sassy drag queen who offers tasty recipes for healthy Latin dishes on a her internet cooking show. Seen in photo are (from left) QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein; Christopher Murillo from Astoria Distilling; Sobriedad; Byfield; Bridget Quinn-Carey from Queens Library; Ed Odom from Citi Foundation; Ricardi Calixte from QEDC; Sante Antonelli from QEDC; and Michael Gillen from QEDC.

Photos: Dominick Totino

by
3

It’s time to party like it’s 1939… or 1964. Queens is the only county in the U.S. to host two World’s Fairs, and both historic events are celebrating major anniversaries this year (the fiftieth and seventy-fifth, respectively). On April 30, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt inaugurated the first one in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which had just been created from a large tidal marsh and garbage dump. The air conditioner made its debut, as did color photographs, fluorescent lamps, nylon and pencil sharpeners. Early television sets and a futurist GM car were the rage as was a diner, which was relocated and is still open for business as the White Manna in Jersey City, NJ. Meanwhile Goldie Hawn, a teenager who had just moved from Maryland to NYC to pursue a career in showbiz, was discovered as a chorus line dancer at the Texas pavilion during the 1964 World’s Fair. The Ford Mustang, Unisphere and Belgian waffle (above) all owe part of their fame to this fair, which actually ran for two, six-month seasons in 1964 and 1965 and attracted more than 51 million people. Corona resident Louis Armstrong (arriving at the scene below) played his trumpet, and various countries and regions promoted their good sides. Wisconsin had a pavilion exhibiting the planet’s largest chunk of cheese, while Miami displayed a parrot jungle, and Hawaii operated the Five Volcanoes restaurant.

On March 22nd, this year’s first World’s Fair-related commemorative event will take place when the Greater Astoria Historical Society screens The World of Tomorrow, a film on the 1939 Fair. Then, over the next six months, the  New York Hall of Science, Noguchi Museum, Parks Department, Queens Botanical Garden, Queens Center, Queens Historical Society, Queens Museum, Queens Theatre, The Port Authority of NY & NJ and other local entities, such as the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, will hold exhibits, plays, concerts and even a beer festival to commemorate.

Details: Click here for a full list of events, times and locations.

by

It’s the food-and-networking event of the year … and Queens Brownstoner will be there as a sponsor and taste master! The Queens Economic Development Corporation recently announced that Queens Taste 2014 will take place at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Avenue in Flushing, from 6 pm to 9 pm on April 29th. The reasons to attend are as diverse as the borough. Foodies can expect everything from sweet to savory to salty; Mexican to Malaysian to mainstream; and crunchy to creamy to crispy. For example, La Fusta in Elmhurst is planning to bring Argentine cuisine, while Flushing’s Mamak will serve Malaysian treats and Jamaica’s O Lavrador (below) will delight with Portuguese paella. Plus, clients of the Entrepreneur Space, a food-and-business incubator that QEDC operates in Long Island City, will be giving out samples of their artisan specialties, including gourmet cheesecake balls, soul snacks and designer meatballs. Then there are the drinks. LIC’s SquareWine headlines a spirits group that includes Queens Brewery and Punzoné Vodka. Finally, the networking. QEDC hopes that at least 1,000 people will attend, and most of them either live in Queens or do business in the borough.

Queens Taste 2014 costs $100 per ticket or two for $175. Click here to buy tickets. For more information, call 718.263.0546 or send an email to rmackay@queensny.org.

Photos: QEDC