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May 13, 2021


Woodhaven had its claim to fame with Lewis of Woodhaven, Tony’s Meat Market, Jason’s Toy Store and the Forestview Diner. Nothing could replace Lewis’, Jason’s or Tony’s but Forestview had a few changes, the last now a restaurant called Avenue Diner, at 91-06 Jamaica Avenue.

Being a diner, the cuisine falls toward mostly American, Italian and Greek cuisine. Convenient but what about the food and prices? Let’s begin with breakfast. With McDonald’s just across the street how do you command the price of two eggs, toast and homefries for the price of $3.75…then adding tax and tip? A sandwich of just one egg is $1.75. If you’re hungry you can always splurge for eggs benedict at $8.45. Add a few extra bucks for juice. Coffee? $1.00 for a small but $1.25 if you don’t want the caffeine.

Let me tell you about my own experience. I thought that since they deliver locally it would be a change from the usual Chinese or Italian. I ordered an appetizer of Buffalo wings. Six small wing pieces for $5. There was a blue cheese dressing with no sign of chunks and not even a few pieces of celery. Quite bland for Buffalo wings…not spicy at all, no sauce, and it’s not as if they ask if you want it mild, hot, etc. What a ripoff! I mean cross the street to the Chinese restaurant and five whole fried wings are less than $3!

I wanted to try one of the Greek Specialties. Forget the gyro as they don’t have the facilities for the real thing. For $5.50 you get thawed out strips of a combo of beef and lamb. I figured I’d be safe with the $8 Greek Souvlaki platter of marinated pork cubes and small Greek Salad. Safe it wasn’t. I don’t know who cut up the cubes but I found slivers of bone that I almost choked on. I’m not even sure what it was marinated in but the overpowering garlic in the homemade cucumber sauce might have covered it up. The entire meal, came to $14.10 plus tip and one of the worst meals I’ve tempted to eat. Hey, even a Nutrisystem dinner would have been better!

I called to Michael, the owner, to complain about the bones. He couldn’t understand and asked if I wanted something else as they would have the guy pick it up to return. I certainly didn’t want to chance eating anything from this joint….which all arrived luke warm. He asked if I wanted my money back. Now, you’d think that after discovering the bones that my entire money would be returned.

The delivery guy brings me $8.00! I had to call back! They charged me tax…so why don’t I get that back as well. Michael had stepped out and the co-partner Paul was there, asking about how much of the food I ate. Can you believe that? It turns out that the delivery guy came back with change in his hand saying that he was to give me another 25 cents, but had 70 cents in his hand. What does that say about the delivery guy? So now get this. It cost me $5 plus the tax and tip that I gave for the whole meal for 5 tiny pieces of mediocre wings!!!

Right now I am experiencing an extreme digestive upset. Perhaps it’s time for the health department to make a trip even though they recently opened. Whoops! I guess they did. On 4/03/09 there were 26 violation points…you’d think they’d learn after Forestview closed because of the extreme failure that led to its closing. Over 25 demands another inspection.

Cross Woodhaven Blvd for a sure thing at Mama Meena’s Family Restaurant at 94-20 Jamaica Avenue. Maybe you have pictures of what you think is Filipino cuisine. Fried Calamari at the Avenue Diner will run you $6.95 vs. Mama Meena’s for $5.50. You’ll certainly taste the difference in freshness. Or how about three full grilled squid for only $8!!! So why didn’t I order from them? Unfortunately they do not deliver. Why? The prices are too low. Now, you may think that low prices means low quality….not! They just want to be affordable and serve fresh and tasty food. Check out their blog at www.mamameenas.blogspot.com

Good news is that I saw an off-Bway performance of Danny and Sylvia, The Danny Kaye Musical, depicting the life of Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine. Brian Childers portrays the comedian, singer, dancer, actor who’s best known for those fast and funny numbers like Minnie the Moocher. Danny Kaye, born Danny Kaminsky, met Sylvia Fine (Kimberly Faye Greenberg) at an audition. Sylvia wrote music and lyrics. The relationship moved on to manager and marriage. Show is being performed at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St.

The book and lyrics for this show were written by Robert McElwaine and the music by Bob Bain. Fine’s songs are: Anatole of Paris; The Maladjusted Jester; and Melody in 4F. Those who are Danny Kaye fans (like myself) will love Childers’ recreation of the “tummler”. Expect to have Childers on my radio show this week. www.merleswhirls.com

May 21, 2009 - Queens Times


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