The idea of Queens Restaurant Week, we maintain, isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. Sure, the borough is defined by great restaurants that cost next to nothing, so a $20.07 dinner special may not sound worth schlepping to Elmhurst for. But in fact, anything that brings people to Queens is worthwhile; its restaurants are the source material for so much of what is happening in Manhattan, and most chefs, at least privately, will admit that the ethnic kitchens of Bayside and Jackson Heights are usually better than their midtown emulators.
Queens Restaurant Week, which goes from September 17 through September 20 and resumes September 24 through September 27, includes several restaurants we can personally testify to the greatness of. Foremost among these is Sripraphai, the fiery mecca of Thai food in Woodside, and a restaurant far more New York foodies know about than have visited. Happy Buddha, in Flushing, is a vegetarian restaurant specializing in the creation of mock meats, and as such is a happy medium between two eternally warring camps. La Fusta is one of the city’s most authentic (and costliest) Argentine steakhouses, and one where you could use a bargain. Kum Gang San is one of the city’s top Korean barbecues, a monolithic meat palace with a waterfall worthy of Kill Bill. Take the subway out there without making a big-money commitment, and we guarantee you’ll be back.