Sunday, December 6, 2009

Culinary safari down vibrant, diverse Roosevelt Ave

From the Times Ledger:

Food lovers from throughout Queens descended upon about 30 street carts on Roosevelt Avenue Sunday, munching on everything from pumpkin quesadillas to an Ecuadorian shrimp dish during a 2-mile walk planned by Woodside resident Jeff Orlick meant to peak people’s awareness of the tasty eats in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona.

About 20 people participated in Orlick’s first Roosevelt Avenue food crawl, which lasted from about 1 p.m. to after 3 p.m. Sunday. Those embarking on their palate adventure began the tour armed with a map drawn by Orlick, a helpful piece of artwork that mentioned other non-food related places he believed should be checked out — including a cart full of Mexican jewelry and a bookstore.

The map also depicts the Warren Street taco carts — “the mecca of Ecuadorian food carts,” according to Orlick — and crawl participants said his map aptly described the street carts on Warren Street in Elmhurst as “proof God exists.”

If your idea of fun is traipsing around under the el looking for taco trucks and eating your finds on the sidewalk, then you have some serious issues.


Anonymous said...

it's "pique" not "peak"...guess they canned the copyeditor...nobody cares anymore

Taxpayer said...

Anonymous, it's not just "nobody cares anymore", but, that ignorance is winning.

By the way, as crapper noted, that young lady sitting on the sidewalk on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights will be wondering in a few days where the rash on her ass came from.

Will it be the illegal alien's dried out urine? Or the homeless guy's feculent leftovers? Or the dust of dog poop or rat poop, pigeon droppings, or the splat of the crawly insects she killed when she sat? The list gets worse. Others can complete it.

But, that's the price of demonstrating the independence of conforming to every passing trend.

There IS a reason for chairs aside from comfort.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys hate food too? This site is pretty damn grumpy.

Anonymous said...

I'm suprised they didn't mention the cuye (guinea pig) from the Ecuadorian restaurant. Yes that's right, they eat GUINEA PIGS.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the restaurants that pay rent and pay for all kinds of certificates to maintain a legitimate business were empty.

linda said...

This is NASTY! first who would buy off carts under the 7 train? (it's loaded with flying rats) and I would not trust how clean and prepare the food is, one they most likely don't have the proper permits to sell food.. and to sit on a dirty floor, but hello did you notice she also put her food on the floor. lmao, when they get sick, they'll never eat off the carts again!!!

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to a table and chair? No, instead let's put our plate on the ground that rats run over and dogs relieve themselves on. And everyone wonders why Swine Flu and other sicknesses are around. NOT! said...

These guys are the mods on, you know, the ones that bellyache that Chistmas music is played on Steinway Street, but go on crawls tracking down unregulared (by the Health Dept) unlicensed taco trucks (that are little more than day-laborer restaurants on wheels)

Odd group, those mods, eh?

But one thing is certain. They are not 'neighborhood'

Anonymous said...

The photo is disgusting, I wouldn't sit let alone eat on a NYC sidewalk.

FlooshingRezident said...

It's just more bullshit set forth by corrupt politicians to glorify the shithole that Queens has become. Certainly, no one local would partake of this revolting event. I love almost every type of food,(except for Korean - sucks to be me in Flooshing!) and don't have a problem with food carts. But this event misrepresents a shitty, run-down area. It's not fun to live there or travel through there - it's a SLUM!

Queens Crapper said...

Nah, "locals" aka newbies, will partake. Natives - no way.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this will be 31st Street in a few years after the developers will have lined it with 8 story buildings that only the desperate will want.

Of course the lazy clueless plugged-in local community leaders are hoping that Vallone's little brainstorm (he DID save them the effort of thinking you know) is oked as fast as possible.


Anonymous said...

For those of you who would like to give their breathless pages a dose of reality, they can be found here. Post away lads n lassies!;topic=2902.0

And of course, when someone thinks differently in Queens, they are criticised:

@QueensCrapper adds their commentary to the taco crawl -does not disappoint with their aversion to change/immigrants

Momo to JHFG: Its called 'slumming' and trustafarians have been doing it since at least the Civil War (read about Opium Den Tours in Chinatown).

Are you fighting illegal conversions and job exploitation like Crappy? Mistreatement of immigrants?

Oh .... okay .....

Naw, gluping down rat bergers on a filthy sidewalk - now THATS the ticket!

Anonymous said...

All part of the phony "urban experience" for these dopes, before they sell out, get big paying jobs, mate and buy a nice little house in Westchester, LI, or the Jersey burbs. Then, their days as "urban pioneers" in the "slums" of Queens will be nothing more than humorous anectdotes that they will share with their fellow former "pioneers". They will laugh about the time they got sick from those disgusting carts in shitty Queens. "Illlll, what were we thinking back then??? Can you belive some people actually LIVE in Queens their whole lives? OH MY GOD, how pathetic!"

Anonymous said...

My parents was always told to not buy food from street vendors because "they don't wash their hands after they go to the bathroom" .

how sanitary can these carts be?
I do not buy any food from them or the fruit and vegetable vendors. the ones on Roosevelt Avenue have a big store in Flushing. They are not independent operators.

the taco trucks and halal trucks really annoy me. they create a filthy mess surrounding it and their customers block the sidewalk. the ones under the 7 train el are right under where the pigeons shit.

local restaurants and bars ought to be up in arms to stop the food trucks.

I don't like the third world atmosphere coming up in Woodside. I feel really alienated. If I wanted to live in a third world country that's where I would be.

I can't stand the Ecuadorans who stand out there with product on blankets. One of the reasons why I no longer go to Jackson Heights.

Anonymous said...

My fav is the hallal cart at 34th Ave and Steinway. Yes, I bought something there to try it, did not like it, but that is fine. No problem with that.

The problem is when they take a public sidewalk, compete against stores that have to pay RENT and pay SALES TAX, put tables up, leave a big greasy spot.

And then there was the time I was walking with my friends from Calif and I telling them 'no, Astoria is not a slum' when we came to the big spot where the cart sit 15 hours a day, and three big rats were running around. Oh, yes, my friend was Mexican so don't go there.

I was embaressed as hell.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the restaurants that pay rent and pay for all kinds of certificates to maintain a legitimate business were empty.

These folks with storefronts have to suffer through these filthy pig food carts where people sit LAYING on the sidewalk to eat? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

It's about placating illegals from elsewhere, crowding us out of our rule of law and well being.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but all the complaining in the world won't help the legitimate people and establishments in Queens. We live in a Sanctuary City and our Mayor and Crooked Politicians welcome these criminals with open arms. The police are not allowed to arrest them, so they can do whatever they want and not get in trouble. That's why Queens has become a magnet for all these illegals and has turned into a shit hole. When all these businesses and middle class people move elsewhere (it's already happening) and the city needs tax revenue to pay for all these illegals, maybe things will change. Until then, we are stuck. Bloomburg is gearing up for his fourth term and all the political hacks are digging in to keep their jobs with no term limits, so I guess the situation will continue to get worse unless they are voted out. However, the tweeded will continue to vote them in, so once again, we are screwed.

Missing Foundation said...

Funny thing about life ... things never go in a straight line.

Remember the last immigration wave? Remember everybody was happy until the Anarchists started to target the rich?

Something like that will happen again, my friends....yes indeed.....

Timothy said...

Nuts, I missed this. :-(

JO said...

Funny how all but one comment on here comes from an anonymous poster. And in the picture, 3 of the 5 people are lifetime residents of our neighborhood.

Personally, I find some comfort in seeing people actually prepare the food. I have tons of stories of what goes on behind the closed doors of restaurants/fast food. Any place some punk kid works who doesn't have to look at their customer, they won't have the integrity in their preparation.

It's the sterility of those who's momma's told them not to eat street food which spreads diseases. All this sterility and your immune system is weak.

And, yes, you can special order a guinea pig 3 days in advance at Hornado Ecuatoriano. Assuming you're not puritans, I'm sure people from your history have eaten some irregular things - and you would be an embarrassment to be so ignorant to stick your nose up to other people's prized food.

But that's fine. I love it that none of you would step a foot on Roosevelt Ave. Enjoy the quiet entertainment.

Anonymous said...

I've had guinea pig (AKA cuy by the Ecuadoreans.) Tastes just like chicken.

I've also had another rodent, rabbit, (AKA Hasen by the German-American establishment I ordered it from.) Guess what? It tastes just like chicken.

Really now, culinary choices are not valid points of criticism. Santitation and legality of the carts are. If the carts are breaking the law, then fine the operator and impound the carts (which unfortunately will never happen on Roosevelt.)

BTW, the best street food in Queens is the King of Shawarma on 30th and Broadway. I'd put it up there with the 'Hallo Berlin' wurst cart on 54th and 5th in midtown.

Anonymous said...

Queens Crapper said...

Hey foodies:


Anonymous said...

"It's the sterility of those who's momma's told them not to eat street food which spreads diseases. All this sterility and your immune system is weak."

We ride the subways and buses. That's enough to keep an immune system active. Don't need to take anymore risks by ingesting dirty water mystery meat prepared by an illegal with no vending license or immunizations.

Anonymous said...

This 'local' and 'native' wishes she had known about this before hand! Again, cranky, cranky, cranky.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Poppy was sloppy!

Because, that never, ever, happens in a rent- and tax-paying restaurant in NYC! I just love the T-Bone Diner!

Oh the memories!

Can someone say 'straw man argument,' please?

Queens Crapper said...

I get the feeling that someone is asking their food-obsessed pals to write comments on a blog that struck a sarcastic tone.


Anonymous said...

"And in the picture, 3 of the 5 people are lifetime residents of our neighborhood."

Wow! I'm sure they are well respected leaders in the community, tackling issues of substance with aplomb when they aren't scouring the neighborhood looking for competitively priced bunuelos. The fact that you had the clown prince of Queens preservation on your tour kinda gives us a clue as to their caliber.

Queens Crapper said...

"@QueensCrapper adds their commentary to the taco crawl -does not disappoint with their aversion to change/immigrants"

When did I say anything about immigrants or express aversion to change in this post? I excerpted an article and commented on the participants running around Roosevelt Avenue looking for food carts and eating food while sitting on the sidewalk. Funny how these folks read something that wasn't written...

JO said...

2 words: Helen Sears

QJohnnie said...

Despite your foibles and (very) occasional logical flaws, I still love you, Crappy, especially when you stay focused on your core issues.

Sanitary food preparation conditions are significant, but are incidental to the larger issue of adherance to ALL laws and regs. City officials are letting these carts on Roosevelt slide on all kinds of issues because of tweeding. However, painting all carts by implication with a broad brush of being filthy (and I will not argue that most of them are) detracts from your argument. Isn't that what the clip you linked does?

Facts: Woodside and Jackson Heights are dirtier for assumedly illegal food carts. Foodie/hipster/doofus seeking out to patronize them is infuriating. Tweeding is endemic.


Queens Crapper said...

I simply responded to the previous comment of "culinary choices are not valid points of criticism; sanitation and legality of the carts are". I gave an example of the fine sanitation that takes place on the streets. And if they are doing it in big bucks Manhattan, they certainly are doing it on Roosevelt Avenue. I was taking photos in that area one time and I saw a guy carving meat with a gigantic butcher knife - out on the street (why?), under the el, with the train passing right above him and shaking all kinds of crap onto his product. On top of the exhaust from the trucks...Mmmm Mmmm good! Actually, it made me want to vomit. I tried to take a picture of him but he kept looking at me suspiciously so I just moved on. That CAN'T be legal, but you're right, there's so much tweeding going on over there that no one is going to do anything about it.

The way to get attention on it is to document and post, document and post.

georgetheatheist said...

Crapper, if it's on the public thoroughfare, you can photograph it. That's the law. Suspicious looks or not.

Now what's with the guys in the pizzerias that pull apart the pies to give you a slice and then handle the money with their bare hands? They grease their palms with the moolah and then flatten barehanded the doughballs for the next pie. You ever see a pizza guy wearing gloves?

Anonymous said...

Ahh, the Queens Crap Grumpies... must be suffering from some indigestion. Maybe it was those frozen ravioli you picked up at Costco.

Sorry, but street vendors serve delicious food the world round. Why is it only the Archies who fear this stuff?

Anonymous said...

So glad I never had the guts to eat at any of the food vendors because its obviously going to be dirty not to mention 74th st in Jackson Heights is very unsanitary in every way. The only one that looks clean and worth possibly trying is Calexico in Soho.

Yeah not sure if those fledging yuppies at Astorians do these food trips but wouldnt be surprised. Some of those upper crust east coast kids claim to be comedians also.

And sitting on the sidewalk? Disgusting there lady and your gonna ruin your designer jeans.

AS far as the pizza shops a lot more people would be sick if it wasnt for those hot ovens killing the germs. Handling money doesnt seem to make those guys want to wash their hands though very often.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh man, thats so dirty! I mean OMG people pee in the street (I know I've seen many hispanics pee in the street!) And to think that those people cook that food with their dirty hands etc. I'm proud to say I never even look at them, let alone eat their filthy food! I can't believe those hipsters celebrate them etc. Just goes to show, if you give a dog a bone it will just keep growing until its a tree!!

Anonymous said...

i guess you think my hands are 'dirty' because i'm one of 'those people'. racist anybody?

JO said...

I might be wrong, but I doubt the food vendors are lining politician's pockets in order to do business. It is not a matter of your tweeding as it is a matter of priorities for govt. And I would guess that there are more brick and mortar businesses that pay off politicians, skirt the law, ruin the environment, ensure the rich and deny the poor than there are food trucks doing so. This is something that this site and I both fight against. I would take the term tweeding out of this conversation.

and for those worried about illegals preparing your food, why don't you take a step in any restaurant's kitchen? What is your favorite place to eat?

The meat prepared outside can be unsanitary, the outlier experiences which have scarred some of you should be corrected. But 95 percent of the food vendors are in enclosed carts. The exposure is only the window where they exchange with customers. As I said earlier, it is visible that these carts have more integrity with their food than the hidden kitchens of applebees.

and do you want to talk about trash? Well, that won't help much. Here's pictures and I'm actually working with the dept of sanitation to improve the area.

If you are questioning my allegiance to the community, you are heavily mistaken. I do much more than just post grumblings. I am not anonymous, and I am creating real solutions in the community. I am not just stirring the pot. If you are trying to put the blame for trash on street vendors or question my service to my neighborhood, you are wrong.

And Crapper, how can you attack the Jackson Heights Food Group? It is not called slumming, it's called supporting your local businesses, getting to know your neighborhood and your neighbors. You should come this month, we are Slumming it at a new Polish deli on 37th and doing a coat drive.

Queens Crapper said...

Tweeding has nothing to do with lining politicians pockets with payoffs. It has to do with politicians not wanting to piss off large segments of their populations in order for them not to lose votes. Hence the lack of enforcement.

Queens Crapper said...

And I never called what you did slumming. See this is what I mean about people reading what they want to read and not the words that were written.

Snake Plissskin said...

heh heh heh

Good work Crappy! Every time the Alice in Wonderland World by our borough's 'leadership' is exposed for the farce it is, they go apeshit.

Good work! Keep it up!

PS I agree - eating ratburgers on a filthy sidewalk under the el in Elmhurst is slumming.

Dont even see too many 3rd world types doing it, do we? Only our little trustafarians getting a 'life experience' that they can tell their grandchildren years later.

If they really care about immigrants they would do something about exploitation in the work and living conditions that many of them face.

Or how the politicans take advantage of them (and us) with tweeding (with our tax dollars.)

But that seems only to be the task of the supposed 'Archies and Ediths' on Crap.

JO said...

"Momo to JHFG: Its called 'slumming' and trustafarians have been doing it since at least the Civil War (read about Opium Den Tours in Chinatown). "

That paragraph was meant towards Anonymous, my mistake.

Jose down the sidewalk with Lysol said...

LOL...Elmhurst/Corona the asshole of Queens.

Wadda ya expect a 4 star Zagat review?

Anonymous said...

A couple of plastic milk box banquettes to park your ass on...tucked away in some graffiti scrawled alley...and you've got a nice table in the corner of a 5 star street restaurant!

Hey where's the boom box Muzak?

Don't make me laugh so hard.

I'm tyrin' to hold down my fried cockroach lunch.

-Joe said...

George I made pizza in Bushwick in the family joint as a kid.

It wasnt always that way
The one making the pizza never touched the money or anything else, ONLY the product and loading peel.
Our pies were always served FRESH out of the oven off the utility peel or loading peel (full pies) straight into boxes.
The ovens dough boards and boxes were 15 feet from the register.
We NEVER reheated pizza nor had to, its was usually GONE before it cooled.

Agreed what pizza joints do today is pretty nasty.
In this now multicultural nuthouse the only way to sell slices is to have 20 different types of Pizza. You then have to refrigerate and reheat.
I was in Corato's (Ridgewood) recently. What I was handed was reheated, badly dried up and just horrible.
Not a shimmer of the product they sold in the 70's.
It was all spiced up and over salted like pizza in Portugal.
I could not finish my 2nd slice and had heartburn by the time I got to my truck.

Queens Crapper said...

Ridgewoodian, your comment was mixed in with a bunch of spam and I accidentally deleted it. Please send it again, if possible. Thanks.

JO said...

I'm going to come to a Juniper Valley Civic meeting with a plateful of street food. Half of you will be salivating, half will be throwing up. I will be happy either way.

Queens Crapper said...

1) There's no such thing as a Juniper Valley Civic.
2) Other than Taxpayer, no one on this board goes to civic meetings in Middle Village.

The joke's on you.

Ridgewoodian said...

Crappy - thanks for the heads up. Sorry I have to wonder what bug is up everyone's ass.

Street food has been a part of every city since there's been cities. The day after Gilgamish built Uruk there was probably someone trying to sell him a Sumerian pretzel and dog.

Food carts and trucks are regulated and licensed by the city. Is it a perfect system? No, not by any means. But are vendors serving up poison every day? Even with guys scratching their asses JO and his taco crawlers still managed to avoid ptomaine, and, perhaps you've noticed, there's no mass death connected to hot dog stands.

There's been a lot of big words about how filthy these places are but not one shred of proof offered that the places JO et. al. visited were in any way outside the bounds of the health code. And you know what, visit a commercial kitchen sometime: even in the best restaurant it's going to be periously close to filthy. That's the nature of the enterprise. You take your life into your hand wherever you go to dine. Deal with it or stay home.

And if you can't deal, if you're not manly enough for a street taco, guess what: no one's going to force one on you. That's the great thing about our democracy.

Jesus, people, what's the problem? A local resident invites some people out to the neighborhood to share something special he's discovered and, not incidentially, spend a little money and all most of you do is bitch. Can you not believe that there are people who might value that which you deem worthless? Are your horizons really so limited? Or do you just hate on principle the people who prepare the food and the people who eat it? Are you that prejudiced? Seriously, what is so incredibly wrong with you all? Please - figure it out, fix it, or move to the 'burbs, because the city is obviously lost on you.

Ridgewoodian said...

Crappy: There's no such thing as a Juniper Valley Civic.

That's just pedantic. You know what he meant, I know what he meant, everyone knows what he meant. And his little verbal slip was not that outrageous.

Crappy: Other than Taxpayer, no one on this board goes to civic meetings in Middle Village.

Speak for yourself; I've been to one or two. And if JO really is going to bring some cool nosh I might have to bike myself over to the next meeting.

georgetheatheist said...

"This now multicultural nuthouse"

-Joe. Whatsamatter? You don't like Hawaiian pizza with pineapple slices?

Ridgewoodian said...

georgetheatheist: You don't like Hawaiian pizza with pineapple slices?

According to various sources (HERE and HERE) Hawaiian pizza has nothing to do with Hawaii and isn't popular there. It seems to come from either Germany or Canada and thus is as white as you can get. (I remember folks scarfing it down in Connecticut when I was a little kid.) Wherever it comes from it's some nasy shit and I think only Australians are silly enough to eat it in large numbers.

Queens Crapper said...

When I went to Hawaii, there was pineapple on everything, including the pizza, which seemed to be sold everywhere.

Peter said...

The tacos from the trucks are awesome. And only $2. I recommend them heartily.

But I guess some find that it's more fun to complain that to actually try something new?

Queens Crapper said...

I make tacos for my family from time to time. I don't need to go searching for them at trucks under the el.