Monday, July 11, 2011

The Rockaways! 07-09-2011

Directions: The A train to Broad Channel, switch to the Shuttle to Beach 105th St if you want to follow this R&F adventure. Most people got off at 98th st station for the main food court area.

People: 21 Ramen and Friends: ALev, MGru, JBH, TH, BLee, MKang, Jill, JT, Rich, SaSha, MaSha, HaSha, NoaSha, MerryL, Yasmin, Sekita, Rachel, Binx2 & Friend, RB, CK and myself

Feelings: Even the NYT mentioned that Far Rockaway is the food destination of this summer, and Grub Street referred it as the summer weekend Williamsburg. I was skeptical about a beach in Queens, but Rockaway Beach is a lovely family friendly surfer community which is clean compared to Coney Island. If you want a local destination accessible by train to pick up hipster girls in bikinis or enjoy the area's newly found foodie culture, I suggest you hop on the A train.


1) Blue Bottle Coffee (Boardwalk, 106th St.)

New Orleans style iced chicory coffee is subtly sweet and delicious. This is a good spot to meet with friends since the area is not overly crowded.

2) Caracas (Boardwalk, 106th St.)

The famous arepas and empanadas from the East Village spot can now be found on the beach. JBH enjoyed her fish empanada and said, "It was tasty and spicy but not hot spicy, and very good dough." It was not traditional pie crust for empanadas but fluffier like hush puppies. Also, if you like unsweetened tart flavor, I recommend refreshing hibiscus iced tea here.

3) Food Court on 96th St-- Babycakes, Motorboat & The Big Banana, Rockaway Taco, Ode to the Elephants

They serve alcohol here, and this was perhaps the most crowded area of the beach and expect a long wait at each station...except Babycakes. I suppose not many people in bikinis want to eat sweets on the beach whether vegan or not. I am not a big fan of their LES location either, and both JBH and I did not enjoy the frozen cookie sandwich that contained icing instead of ice cream. It was all too rich for the hot weather.

Ode to the Elephants, a Thai joint, was overpriced and overcrowded. SaSha waited approximately 45 minutes for her papaya salad. BLee's chicken and shrimp spring rolls ($7.50) were "greasy and flavorless, and the wait was ridiculously long."

The winner of this area was the fish Po' boy from Motorboat & The Big Banana. Yasmin also added that their fried shrimp and fries were tasty.

This particular Rockaway Taco, despite its name, does not serve tacos. Their chips and guacamole and "Cukes" (Cucumber, mango and jicama tossed with lime and red chili paste) were fresh, flavorful and overall perfect for the beach finger foods. Both Merry and I felt the guac was too salty, but if you are enjoying your beer after sweating on the beach, saltiness might be just what you need.

4) Original Rockaway Taco (95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Beach 95th St.)

Although left off the menu at the previous location, you can acquire their famous fish tacos here. The wait is long but well worth it.

5) DiCosmo's Italian Ice (a cart on boardwalk near 95th St.)

Cucumber-lime Italian ice is tart and amazingly refreshing.

6) Bungalow Bar (377 Beach 92nd St.)

We could not believe the view from this neighborhood restaurant bar. It is hidden behind McDonald's, and once you reach their back deck, you have a stunning, vast view of Crossbay Bridge and Jamaica Bay. The restaurant itself reminded me of a suburban Long Island spot with girls in sundresses and muscle bound dudes, but the scenery makes you feel like you are on an amazing vacation. Order the frozen lemonade or margarita, kick back and enjoy the sunset. If you don't enjoy the beach or nature like myself, just taking the A train here is worth a trip.


Jenn said...

Awesome time! Thankfully not humid either. I'm still considering applying for a gov't grant for an R&F van.

Yosh. O said...

A grant for an R&F van! I wonder who would drive that van...

Jamie S said...

i want to go! that all looks delicious :)

miss ya!!

Yosh. O said...

OMG! Jamie! We all miss you so much...SERIOUSLY.