Last night I had the privilege of attending the Taste of Sunnyside 2014, which was held underneath the 7 train. How fitting for such a diverse roster of eateries—Japanese, Romanian, Mexican, Italian, Peruvian, and gastropub to name just a few—to showcase their specialties underneath the International Express itself. Plus there were sweet tunes from New York City’s only all-female mariachis Mariachi Flor de Toloache, local subway jazz band Sunnyside Social Club and a cappella superstars Ten and Change.
These days Sunnyside is just as diverse as Queens itself but there’s an old guard of Romanian restaurants, which was represented by Bucharest and Nita’s European Bakery. The latter served up some great savory pastries.
Bucharest’s meech, a skinless beef sausage, was juicy. And the grape leaves and bean dip the hefty meat log came with were both excellent. Sadly I can’t say the same for De Mole’s vegan mole with quinoa and seitan. At the very least it was way better than I thought it would be.
The event was put on by Sunnyside Shines a local business improvement group, which incidentally has a wonderful guide to the neighborhood on its web site. New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer was on hand as were many other local dignaries.
I’ve been hearing good things about Takesushi for quite sometime. They had one of the more unique items at the tasting, fresh conch. It’s not every day that one sees White Castle sliders and Japanese food in the same venue. Tempted as I was, I skipped the White Castle.
As the evening wore on and I got more and more full I happened upon Salt & Fat’s chef-owner Daniel Yi. His pork terrine with fresh herbs, salmon roe, pickled onion, and mustard seeds was the best thing I ate all night. I’m kind of glad I found Salt & Fat later in the evening. Had it been the first thing I tried, I’d have eaten five and had no room for anything else.