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Business Review – Natural Fruit and Vegetable

Food here is for the most part fresh. There has been a time or two where the items were suspect, but what place isn’t like that? I’ve shopped at high end places where the produce and food items were rubbish, and just the same I have shopped at “less than high end” places where the items were better than in high end places.

I think with most places like this the freshness is dependent on when you go, the crop brought in, and how long the stuff has been sitting around. You can go to Trader Joe’s, Whole foods, or any of those “type” of places and find good and bad items.

It’s in the area, the products are for the most part reasonably priced, pretty fresh, so why not? Check it out if you are looking for produce in the Forest Hills area.

Business Review – Queens Boro Hall

Not much one can say here. If you received a happy little letter in the mail asking you to show up for jury duty, well, this may be the spot.

I have served jury duty about 4 times in my life, and this was my first time in Queens. The place was pretty much like any other, a big room with lots of seats. The staff wasn’t overly mean, but they certainly weren’t very friendly first thing in the morning. I trust that they tire of dealing with soooo many people day in and day out.

It’s jury duty, what can I say. This space as far as I know is the screening room. When I was selected for a case I was taken to the criminal court building a few steps away. On the escorted walk over you will see a “Train Car” sitting on the side of the building. I did not go in or really check out this portion. But I will, and when I do you will know about it.

Also, I see mentions of wifi and so on, however I was told to put my phone away when I was browsing the web. I explained I wasn’t talking to anyone just reading news groups, and they explained they couldn’t confirm I wasn’t texting, so I had to put away my phone. Perhaps they allow laptops then? Iphone was a no no, unless the policy has changed in the past few months.

Urbanspoon – East Ocean Palace

★★★★☆

East Ocean Palace (formerly Golden Pond) on Urbanspoon
I loves me some DIM SUM. On a random weekend here and there we will wake up and decide to get some dim sum. In this area I find this is the best spot. You could always go to flushing and deal with the guy using the megaphone, but why not call and make a reservation here? I see most reviews mention a wait, but I have gone and my father in law had actually made reservations. So I’m not too sure on how that works? Either way, it’s worth it.

The food is great. Slightly slow to come in my opinion, and the stuff that I like tends to be a little scarce, but I eventually get what I want. 🙂 The wait staff is the same as everywhere else. Not mean, not friendly, just interested in off loading there items. I always feel a little bad when I say no to someone as they try to offer me what they are selling.

My usual selections consists of:

Pai gwat
Ha gao
Shu mai
Rice inside leaf (Lo something or other)

Yes, I know it’s quite limited, but I am gwailo after all. If you like Dim Sum, check this place out.

Business Review – Oriental Express – OE

Hey guys where are you going for lunch? OE. Huh? What’s that? OE dude, we’ll be back. Hold up guys, what the hell is OE. Oriental Express man.

Oh.. I’m going with you.

Short walk later I find myself gazing at a selection of sweet and sour chicken, fried rice, and various other Chinese food products. This is fast Chinese food. Some items are sitting there waiting for you to scoop them out and serve yourself, while others require you to get on a short line and order the food.

For the most part either way is pretty fast. The food is pretty good for a “fast food” Chinese spot. Nothing special, nothing bad.

You are hungry, want a quick lunch, then go to OE…

Business Review – Best Buy

Best buy is a chain store. Electronics and so on. They are scattered all over the city, and lucky for me I have one relatively close to me here in Queens.

I confess that I have bought most of my electronics from best buy, it’s a guilty pleasure. (Against the advice from my team members at work due to the heavy price markups).

For some reason I enjoy going to the store, looking and playing with the items. At this particular best buy they have all the entertainment systems out for you to try, even the new xbox kinect. Today my son tried kinect bowling. The product looks pretty solid and I may be partaking in the near future.

I went over there to return an item that I had purchased and was not fully satisfied with. I had my receipt, all the original packaging and my trademark friendly attitude. I had no issue returning the item for a full refund. 🙂 The customer service rep was friendly and helpful.

One thing you will want to note, make sure you read the receipt before opening your products, because some items such as video games, software, etc CANNOT be returned once they are opened, period, that’s store policy and it’s written on the receipt. I was able to return “rock band”, but that was because I had an extended warranty and the item failed.

Yes the prices are marked up, but if you want it quickly and don’t want to wait for new egg or slick deals, then why not hop on over to best buy.

At worst you can play a little kinect bowling and get out of the house.

Morimoto

I’ve been here about 3 times. First of all, it’s not cheap. If you are an average income person like myself, then this place is for “special occasions” only. I do love the food here, but I is a poor folk.. LOL…

Ok, the most memorable dish they had was the rock shrimp. I’ll be damned, but I can’t remember anything else except the rock shrimp. The sauce, the preparation, the crunchiness to it, everything about it was sheer perfection.

Unfortunately I’m not kidding when I say it’s all that I remember, I have a pretty bad memory these days and I can’t remember what else we had. I want to say I had the sea bass, and I recall it being delicious, yet I can’t remember if it was in philly or nyc.

My fiancee had the halibut on one of our trips there, and she thoroughly enjoyed it as per her vivid admission right now. She has a much better ability than I do to recall details. We both agree and do recall the staff being very professional and nice. Amazingly so. I was a few minutes late and they still promptly sat us with no issue.

I met Morimoto himself at the restaurant, and unlike Nobu and Jackie Chan (also at Nobu’s place) Mr. Morimoto was willing to take a picture with me. Nice guy, great food. Forgive my bad memory, but if you go, make sure you get some of that rock shrimp tempura! I want some right now! Hungry!

Morimoto on Urbanspoon

Urbanspoon Blog – Thai Son (Elmhurst)

★★★★☆

Thai So'n on Urbanspoon

This place works ok for what it is.

Whenever I’m in the area I go here for either the grilled pork chops, the grilled chicken, or the bo luc lac (beef cubes). My wife stops by sometimes on the way home from work and picks up some dishes from time to time as well.

You can get any of the aforementioned dishes over rice and you won’t go wrong with that meal. I usually get a summer roll with that and I’m good to go.

I cannot speak for the other items because these are the only things I get from Vietnamese places. I will say that the service is pretty fast, no frills style. Typical Asian place, as I’ve said in other reviews of places in Flushing and Chinatown, don’t come expecting smiles and stuff from the staff. It’s not that type of a party. More along the lines of “Wha yu wan”.

One time the lady that works there was really angry, she had this look of resentment on her face, scary looking female. I didn’t want anything to do with her… “Uhm, no, I don’t need another fork, it’s ok that this one fell on the floor, I’m sure you guys keep the floor quite sanitary, please don’t trouble yourself”..

But all that aside, if you want a good dish (the ones I mentioned above are the only ones I will vouch for) then try this place. Leave your emotions at home though, cause ain’t nothing sweet about it.

Urbanspoon – Ariyoshi

★★★★★

Ariyoshi on Urbanspoon

In Queens, I have yet to go to a Japanese restaurant that even comes close to this place. Recently “Narita” was recommended to me, and though it was good, and quite pricey, it came nowhere close to this place.

The first thing you will notice about these guys is there menu, they have the coolest looking menu with drawn Japanese style images depicting the items they are serving. My fiancee and I love the drawings, as do my friends that have also tried the place.

The service is spectacular, as is common with Japanese people (this one is actually run by Japanese folks) customer service is taken very seriously. I have never been dissatisfied with the service here. The price is very affordable, you will get a great meal at a great price.

The food is absolutely the best. I’d go on a limb and say this place rivals Morimoto and Nobu in so far as food quality and taste. Though those fancier places clearly have better presentation and so on, this spot in Sunnyside, Queens by the 7 train definitely holds its own.

I love their spicy tuna rolls, the spider rolls are delicious, and their soba dishes are OISHI!!!!!

I can’t say enough good things about this place, if you want great Japanese food locally in Queens, then get on the 7 train and check this spot out!

Urbanspoon – Katz Delicatessen

★★★☆☆

Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon
People swear by this place. My friends were singing praises about this place so I decided to give it a try after a comedy show in the area.

So first you have to go through security, like bouncers. Seriously. Get a ticket and don’t lose that damn ticket otherwise things can get ugly for you. They use the ticket to mark the items you purchased and you will need to present the ticket upon exiting. I’m not sure what happens if you lose the ticket, but why find out? Don’t lose it.

I tried the steak sandwich with fries (apparently you must try the fries). The steak sandwich was good, I enjoyed it. The fries were pretty good too. I wasn’t knocked off my feet, but I can appreciate that the meal was good.

Apparently the place has been there forever, so the history of the place added to the experience. However in my honest opinion there was nothing super special about the food in this place. It was good, but I won’t be rushing to the train to take a ride out there again if you know what I mean. If I’m in the area and not in the mood for pizza, I’d visit the place again, but I won’t go out of my way to go there is all.

Urbanspoon – Sato Sushi

★☆☆☆☆

Sato Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon
I don’t like to give bad reviews, or be mean, but I have to tell you guys, this place did not pass my spicy tuna roll test.

We went here for a friend’s birthday, and much as I love her, I made no secret to complain to her about choosing the place.

First and foremost, you have to be tremendously careful when choosing a Japanese restaurant that is run by Chinese folks. I say this with no disrespect or ill will, I’ve been to some decent Japanese places run by Chinese people, but it’s hit or miss, and more often than not it’s a miss.

This place was definitely a miss. First of all we waited FOREVER for a server to attend us, and we were very hungry. Strike number one. When we eventually did receive attention from a server we ordered our dishes for the meal and waited another very long time for the food to arrive. Did I mention we were all very hungry? One of them was pregnant. Strike 2..

The final strike for me, when I knew I would never return to this place was when I received my spider and spicy tuna rolls. Visually the rolls did not look very appetizing or well made, and once I took that first bite from the spicy tuna roll my fears were confirmed. There was no way I could not eat this thing. I offered it to my friends and my fiancee, but noone wanted the spicy tuna roll.

It tasted pickled to me, it didn’t have the right texture, it didn’t flow in my mouth as it should, it wasn’t spicy, it just wasn’t right. Usually I can eat a dish even if it’s not great, especially when I’m this hungry, but this time I couldn’t eat it. It just tasted nasty to me and made me want to puke!

The spider roll was “ok”, but also sub par. I give them credit because I was able to eat the entire roll and keep it down. My friends seemed ok with their dishes, but they all agreed that this was the first and last time.

So, I will say that the spicy tuna roll sucked, the spider roll was manageable. I can’t say for the other items on the menu because I didn’t try anything else, I was scared to invest any further funds into this place.

I’d say go elsewhere if you want Japanese food. If you want really good rolls in the Queens area, take a ride on the 7 train to 46th street I believe and try out Ariyoshi, that place is delicious, and they are Japanese. Sugoi!

Business Review – Red Dawn Combat Club

I have not physically trained here yet, however I still wanted to post a review based solely on my conversation with the instructor Michael Botier.

I sent a text message to the number listed on the school’s website, he immediately texted me back and shortly thereafter we were on the phone having a discussion.

Mind you it was close to midnight and this gentleman took the time to call and speak with me. I felt he was forthcoming and honest, answered all and any of my questions regarding the school rates (very fair), contracts (none), and anything else I wanted to know.

Upon further examination of the school’s website I am almost certain that I know Mike from my prior BJJ schools. I will confirm this upon visiting the school and seeing him in person.

Urbanspoon – Fuel Grill and Juice Bar

★★★★☆

Energy Fuel Bay Ridge on Urbanspoon

Unfortunately I am what you call a “yoyo dieter”. My weight fluctuates up and down, up and down. I go through periods where I am focused, training and in the zone! Then I go through other periods where I am eating like a pig.

At this point in my life this yoyo life style has not only become dangerous for my health, but also quite frustrating. As such I have entered into a permanent healthy zone. Using places like Fuel, I intend to reach my training and fitness goals.

On to the food then, shall we. Yesterday I had the whole wheat pasta with chicken and mozzarella. The dish was delicious! It tasted very good and I felt good eating something that was “healthy”.

Today I enjoyed their chicken teriyaki with brown rice and vegetable dish. It was also quite delicious and satisfying.

As a side dish I had their sweet potato ‘fries’ and a whole wheat pita, those were also very good. This was all accompanied by a delicious mango smoothie.

Most people feel that places like this are bland, tasteless and just an expensive lunch; however I believe if you give it a try that you will find this is as delicious as any other place you’ve had and won’t weigh you down the same way, physically or mentally.

Give this place a try, I’m certain that you will not be disappointed.

Enjoy and to our good health!

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