Long Island City is an area in Queens(for some reason people refuse to admit that it’s Queens), still going through a major gentrification renovation. I pass through this area of Queens quite a bit and on Van Dam St. the heart of Long Island City is the Van Dam Diner. A classic eatery, with seats at the counter, a line of booths on one side and tables on the other. Every inch of this restaurant screams nostalgia and I eat here as often as I can when I’m in this part of Queens.
As soon as I walk in, the host who knows me for years, seats me at my usual spot, right by the window. I love the window seats because they’re great for people watching, which is getting more interesting every year. As I take my seat, I’m immediately accompanied by a cup of coffee from a server who is new to this stomping ground of mine.
As I look at my phone to respond to a text message, my breakfast is sitting right in front of me as I look back. Service is one of my most important determinants when it comes to recommending a place for my readers to enjoy. Now I didn’t give my order to the server and yet there my breakfast is right in front of me. The host knows what I want and puts the order in. The server benefits from the gratuity I am about to leave after receiving excellent service.
My meal is always excellent when I come to the Van Dam Diner as it should be. I have never been disappointed no matter what the meal is, hence why I am not going to elaborate as to what my meal was. Dining establishments can have the best food which can always be ruined by sub-par service. That is why I love Van Dam Diner, the service is great and on point.
The Van Dam Diner is a pillar of the community and hasn’t changed all these years. Gentrification has had no effect on this classic grill and I am absolutely sure it’s going to remain the same. Gentrification causes change we are all aware of that, it’s places like Van Dam Diner that are resistant to change and keeps us optimistic about the future of New York City and its boroughs.
Queen of Sheba, is an Ethiopian restaurant, that is a true treasure. Right in the heart of “Hell’s Kitchen” New York City, is where you can find this gem. As I walk through the door, the place is full. Then again why wouldn’t it be, I am never disappointed when I come here.
Let’s get down to business. I sat at a table and looked over the menu which I know inside and out. However, Queen of Sheba will make a subtle change every once an a while. Lentil “Sambousas” are my favorite appetizers. Queen of Sheba cooked up these delicious dough packets to perfection. This is an excellent way to start off a meal.
Next, for my main course, the “Doro Tibs” is what I ordered along with the “Taste of Sheba”. The “Doro Tibs” is sliced chicken breast marinated in onions, olive oil, rosemary-jalapeno, with a touch of Chardonnay. I am almost positive that there are some secret spices in the mix as well. The “Taste of Sheba” is a sample platter that includes a mouthwatering taste of 8 items. There are too many to list. The sliced chicken breast was succulent. The “Taste of Sheba” was delicious. Adding a glass of delectable honey wine is the perfect compliment to this exquisite meal.
Aside form the good food, my readers know service is just as important as the meal to me. Queen of Sheba’s service is impeccable and also very accommodating. I normally don’t place too much emphasis on decor. However Queen of Sheba’s setup takes you back to Ethiopia. They arrange the seating, to heighten a sense of community, therefore making me feel like I am eating and enjoying with everyone in the restaurant.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a charming restaurant with a neighborhood feel to it, then Queen of Sheba is the right choice. Whether you are by yourself or with a group, Queen of Sheba will satisfy your palette for delicious food and enjoyable company. Make sure you tell them Dave Jacobs sent you.
650 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
Between 45th & 46th Streets
Now I already know that all of the original New Yorkers know about this restaurant, and I am sure most true New Yorkers know as well. If you are new to “The City”, you need to make note of this alluring dining hashery. The name is “Malecon” and it’s Dominican Food at its finest served in an atmosphere that is very comfortable and enjoyable.
Whenever I walk into any of their locations(my favorite is the one on Amsterdam Ave, it’s around the corner from me), the aroma of Rotisserie Chicken fills the air and really gets my appetite ready for some of the best food for the money. Malecon is one of the most affordable dining establishments in “The City” and all of their other locations around the boroughs as well. Each one of their eateries have plenty of space to sit back, relax and enjoy one of the many Dominican delicacies on their menu including quite a few seafood dishes as well. I went with my customary, half a Rotisserie Chicken, yellow rice, and black beans and as usual the tender garlicky chicken and the sides were all on point.
Now all of my readers know that I am a real stickler when it comes to service. The staff does a great job, they treat me like I am part of the family and that is not because I have been going there for years. I have observed over the many times I have dined there, all customers are treated the same, with courteous professionalism and first rate skill. You can tell this is a favorite of all original New Yorkers, just because almost everyone who comes in is a long-time customer.
Malecon is all about repeat business and that is why when partaking in the hospitality being offered from this bistro, there is never any disappointment. One assurance that can always be reproduced is that you will never leave hungry and most of the time you will probably be taking food home because the portions are very generous. If you are looking to eat a lot on a shoestring budget and dining ambiance that is carefree and unrestrained head over to Malecon. Tell them Dave Jacobs sent you.
764 Amsterdam Ave
New York, New York