Posts Tagged With: Staten Island

The Staten Island Survival Guide

Randiwa - Lamprais

Randiwa – Lamprais

No, you dont need new contacts.  You have reached Eating With Me, and yes, I’m writing about the foodie desert Island of Staten.  But how do I do it without offending 499,996 residents and the entire state of NJ.  Almost impossible for someone who spends much of his eating time in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  But I do need to eat in Staten Island on occasion, and some gems do exist.  This will not be one of those marathon posts because a) I dont really have much time today, and b) Its Staten Island!

The best way to examine the cuisine of Staten Island is to look at the map.  is almost entirely attached to New Jersey, and a long bridge away (#16 longest in the world) from the rest of New York.  It looks and feels like NJ in more ways than one.  In fact I’m pretty sure the term “bridge and tunnel people”, a term now used in other parts of the US started in Staten Island.  Staten Island is first and foremost a suburb with mostly suburb food.   The inspiration for the post is really one place that we’ve been enjoying lately.  A place that is painfully empty compared to the island “Power Houses”.  But more on that later.

When you ask 100 Staten Islanders what’s good on the island, you’ll hear 115 (including some opinionated extras who happened to be in the area) saying its pizza and “Eyetalian”.  Zagat, Eater and other online publications tend to agree when you Google Best of Staten Island.  Its essentially one giant Italian/pizza fest.  They are not exactly wrong, but not quite correct either.

Pizza – Yes, it is very good overall.  Joe & Pats is a local legend for good reason and one of our favorites.  So is Giove on New Dorp.  Capizzi on Hylan, is dishing out solid individual Neapolitan(ish) pies, but not quite to the level of its sister in Hell’s Kitchen.  Staten Islanders swear by Lee’s Tavern and its bar pizza.  In fact Lee’s Tavern created an entire category for pizza (bar pizza) but not a destination pizza by any meand unless you are opening a bar and wants to learn a few tricks.  Perhaps the most underrated pie in SI comes from Nonna’s in Great Kills.  Plenty of solid options all over the Island, but today not quite in line with the brilliance of Manhattan and Brooklyn.  These days you can even have a taste of SI in Manhattan through Rubirosa (Joe & Pats cousin), Denino’s in Greenwich Village, and the soon to come Joe & Pat’s of Staten Island in East Village.

Giove pizza

Giove

Italian – Pass.  Its essentially one giant “Little Italy”, red sauce orgy.  Nothing really wrong with that, as many of them are actually pretty good at what they do.  But its 2018 and SI still doesnt really have any sort of regional Italian-Italian cooking.  Capizzi and Enoteca Maria are probably the closest and the only ones I would consider on the island today.

MexicanTaqueria el gallo azteca in St George is not only the best on the island, but some of the best tacos I’ve had in NYC.  You can combine it with New Asha nearby for a mini best of SI food crawl.  The new half Peruvian Zabrosura is looking promising after my lone lunch.  And the same goes for Tamales Martita which is attracting plenty of locals Mexicans, some of whom from the days when the owner used to feed the ball troops with her Tamale cart.  Otherwise, some average to mediocre places throughout I wont mention.

Taqueria el gallo azteca

el gallo azteca

 

Sri Lankan – This is where things start to get interesting, and perhaps the only reason to stay more than 5 minutes when you take that ferry.  You got San Rasa, and Lakruwana (like a Sri Lankan museum) doing their thing in the far north, though my favorite ferry area joint these days is New Asha but its more of a quick lunch or take-out place.  My overall favorite restaurant in Staten Island these days is a newcomer on Richmond ave called Randiwa.  Chef/owner used to own San Rasa when it was at the old location.  We go for the Mulligatawny soup, Lamb Curry with Hoppers, Lamprais, Deviled dishes, Chicken Biryani, and Kottu.  Though New Asha probably boasts best Kottu on the island.

Asian – This is where SI is severely lacking.  There’s really no good Chinese, Thai, Japanese or anything really.  Just about 100% of them adhere to the western palate.  With that said if you absolutely must, East Pacific in the SI Mall is decent for Thai and Chinese, and Ocean Sushi is our go to for acceptable cheap Sushi.

MiscBayou, Beso, Vida are fairly reliable palate pleasers.  They are like watching Family Guy.  I dont get particularly excited about going, but when I go, I enjoy myself more often than not.  Vida and Enoteca Maria are consistently mentioned in the Michelin guide, but I doubt inspectors cross that bridge much.  Inca’s Grill serves decent Peruvian but keeps moving around like nomads.  Taste of India II is just about the only Indian on the island.  Indian in general in Staten Island come from the school of “If I add a 2 in the name, it will sound more convincing”.  There is no 1’s

That’s all I got.  Many others I’ve been are not worth mentioning.  And its entirely possible I’m missing some gems here, so let me know if I do

String Hopper Kottu San Rasa

San Rasa Kottu

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Categories: New York City, Staten Island | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sri Lankan in Staten Island – Another reason to visit

LakruwanaLets recap some of the biggest reasons to come to Staten Island…

1)  Staten Island Ferry.  Staten Island is a very unique place.  One of the biggest attractions in NYC is to get there and then get the hell out of there.

2)  To see Meerkats on a lookout at the Staten Island Zoo.  If you have never seen this, here’s an example from another zoo…  

3)  The new annual “Running of the Zebras and Ponies”.  I have a feeling this is going to be a big hit.  Here’s a footage from the last event (play the video)

4)  To see “The Yankees”.  Its the Staten Island Yankees, but most tourists will not know the difference.

5)  For the new “EYE”.  Ok, its a Ferris Wheel that hasnt actually been built yet but is in the works, and it will be bigger than the London eye.  

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-26/nyc-said-to-plan-staten-island-ferris-wheel-to-rival-london-eye.html

LakruwanaAdd Sri Lankan food to this impressive list.  Sure you have some other nice options like Vida, and the rotating nonnas of Enoteca Maria, but nothing perhaps is as unique as the wonderful Sri Lankan cuisine on the island.  Since the late 60’s Sri Lankans have been flocking the island to create the 3rd largest Sri Lankan community in the US.  Here are 2 of the better options on the island of Staten

LakruwanaLakruwana – Entering Lakruwana is like entering a Sri Lankan museum with every inch of the restaurant decorated from floor to ceiling.  We did their excellent Sunday buffet served in clay pots.  From Boiled egg with curry to Kale with coconut, to Pol and onion Sambols, and the delicious crispy pork.  Although there were only 2 meat dishes, even the carnivores will admire the different variety and the complex flavors.

Sanrasa – Here we did a saturday dinner.  Although Sanrasa has more of a homey look and feel as opposed to Lakruwana, the flavors are as spectacular.  The chef used to work for Lakruwana and also I believe for a saudi prince.  If its good enough for a Saudi price, its good enough for Ziggy.  Some dishes we tried…

Chicken with cashew curry – very good. nice and tender chicken
Lamb with black curry – lamb a little dry but the sauce more than made up for it. Couldn’t get enough of it really.
Hoppers – very nice and unique, like little spongy pancakes made with rice flour and coconut milk, with some cooked with eggs
Kottu Roti – nice. They have an array of roti and hopper specials that come with your choice of meat curries
Lamprie – This is the house special and a must IMO. All kinds of goodies including rice, meat, curry, caramelized onions, cashews, all baked wrapped in banana leaf.  An old Dutch influenced classic
Deviled Shrimp – Fantastic, Thai-like, very spicy sizzling unpeeled shrimp with veggies.
Lamb Biryani – very good
Nice Mango Lassi as well.

There you have it folks.  Another reason to come.  As if you needed any more after surviving the running of the zebras and ponies

Categories: New York City, Staten Island | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hey reader, want to help Staten Island? Here’s how

We spend our entire lives witnessing and discussing various disasters, natural or not, occurring all over the world.   Its then somewhat surreal when one of those hits your back yard.

Its our turn to ask for help and here’s how you can…

Simply show up.   Grab some supplies (masks, gloves) and perhaps even some pizza and simply show up anywhere in the affected areas like South Beach, Ocean Breeze, Midland Beach, Oakwood Beach, New Dorp Beach and Oakwood Beach.

Some of the neighborhoods like Ocean Breeze have set up a facebook page where you can get more details and meetup times.  https://www.facebook.com/AngelsRelief

You can also follow “Occupy Sandy” on facebook and on http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/. They give you some fairly specific needs at any given time.

If you want to send money that would go to Staten Island directly you can do so with the Sillar Foundation, www.tunneltotowers.org. Click on Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, then check the box for “Staten Island“. If mailing a check put “Staten Island” on it.

You can also stop by at the Sillar Foundation headquarters at 2361 Hylan and drop supplies there. They are right in the middle of things arranging BBQ’s and helping out in a big way.

Other ways to help…

*The Red Cross is accepting donations of large packages of bottled water at their temporary kitchen, 2900 Veterans Rd. (Home Depot parking lot). 

*Large donations (truckloads, shipping containers) can be sent to a 60,000-square-foot warehouse at New York Container Terminal at 300 Western Ave. near the entrance to the Goethals Bridge – secured by Molinaro and Rep. Michael Grimm — that is storing supplies for distribution to hurricane victims. Please call, (718) 816-2000 to coordinate delivery. Only large-scale donations will be accepted at this location.

*Volunteers are needed to drive, sort items and unload vehicles. They should report to Midland Beach (981 Father Capodanno Blvd).

*Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who organized a cleanup of Midland, New Dorp, Oakwood and Cedar Grove beaches over the weekend, is continuing her efforts. Volunteers should bring what tools they can — rakes, shovels, push brooms and work gloves to help remove debris and help clean out homes damaged by the storm. In addition, manpower is needed to move donated items to the New York Container Terminal, said Ms. Malliotakis. “We are looking for trucking companies with trucks, U-Hauls or vans to transport goods to the container port,” she said.

*Project Hospitality is seeking volunteers and donations. People can register as volunteers, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Project Hospitality, 100 Park Ave., Port Richmond, to help receive donations and restock the organization’s storm-damaged warehouse. The organization is also taking donations of new socks, toiletries, canned food, heavy duty garbage bags, C and D batteries, underwear, sweatpants, sweatshirts, towels and blankets.

*Movement Church, based in Castleton Corners, is looking for volunteers to clean out destroyed homes, as well as donations of children’s clothing, socks, underwear, diapers and baby food. Clean-ups are taking place each day between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Volunteers can report to Hett Avenue and Marine Way. For more information call, 718-812-9894 or 718-216-9416.

*Donations of cash, goods, services, or to volunteer, can be made at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycservice/home.html.

*St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Bulls Head is accepting clothing, cleaning items and personal necessities.

*Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be collecting food from shoppers to help restock Project Hospitality’s pantry Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Pathmark at 2875 Richmond Ave. in New Springville, Key Food at 450 Forest Ave. in West Brighton, Shop Rite at 2424 Hylan Blvd. in New Dorp, Stop & Shop at 2754 Hylan Blvd. in New Dorp, Pathmark at 3501 Amboy Rd. in Prince’s Bay and Key Food at 778 Manor Road in Westerleigh.

*Young Israel is collecting donations of cleaning supplies, such as garbage bags, gloves, bleach and mops that can be left in the lobby of 835 Forest Hill Rd. in Willowbrook.

*Those interested in volunteering with the Red Cross can call 1-877-RED CROSS or consult http://www.nyredcross.org. To make a monetary donation, text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to automatically give a $10 donation.

*The Mayor’s Fund to Advance the City of New York, which has a Hurricane Relief Fund, is accepting donations at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/donate/donate.shtml.

*United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund is accepting monetary donations, which can be made online at http://www.uwsandyrecovery.org. A $10 donation can be made by texting the word RECOVERY to 52000.

*New Dorp Moravian Church needs baby clothing, baby food and formula, blankets, towels, sheets, pillow cases and pillows. The church will be serving food on Saturday. Donations are being accepted at the Diforte Agency at 1194 Hylan Blvd. between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday.

*Silver Lake Masonic Lodge in Port Richmond and Silver Queen Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star joined together to provide non-perishable food, water, clothing and other necessities. They need donations of cleaning supplies. For more information, call 347-416-3288 or tmartin@rwdsu.org.

Categories: New York City, Staten Island | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

This is where I live

Some of us blog about various subjects like travel, food, and blogging, while at the same time follow other bloggers of similar subjects.  But how much do we know about our fellow bloggers?  Do we know for example where they live?  Well I for one, live in Staten Island, NY.

My previous post was 2 days after the worst natural disaster hit NYC.  I don’t think our mayor understood the severity of the damage the storm caused at that time.  Neither did I.  While doing some volunteer work for Mt Loretto church, daily trips to different parts of the worst affected areas have left me in a state of disbelief.
The island is divided.  One part looks fairly normal except for some ridiculously abnormal lines for gas that last anywhere between 3 to 20 hours, and some large trees down causing some havoc.  The other part is post war Iraq…
Categories: New York City | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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