RBB Skyrockets With Spectacular Options

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Locals, this Memorial weekend — take a stroll down Rockaway Beach Boulevard (RBB), and witness for yourself, why the Boulevard is skyrocketing as Rockaway’s hot commercial locale for world-connoisseur foodies and shoppers alike. From a heralded halal food joint, plus delicioso Columbian cuisine, cold treats devoured under the stars and authentic Mexican street food, and not to mention, exceptional shopping for clothing and novelty times — here’s where you must stop and salute!

Sam’s Food Castle (99-04 Rockaway Beach Blvd./ 917-929-9132) dishes up heavenly halal food. For those looking for a quick fix of lamb, chicken gyros or even falafel over rice and salad — Sam’s is the place to go! The seasoning of spices is so precariously balanced, you will be greedily wondering why you didn’t order more! Also, Sam’s offers American standard deli food like breakfast platters, heros colossally topped with your favorite cold cuts and cheeses, plus freshly-blended smoothies. Yumm…you won’t be disappointed.

Just up the Boulevard from Sam’s is La Barracuda on Beach 97th Street. With its custom-made decor and beachy vibe, this outdoor dive not only divinely reflects Rockaway’s surf and turf culture, but also teases you with its Columbian aromas. Walking past, just the smell of the food will woo you in. Their steaming chicken, beef, shrimp — all served on a stick, optionally served over a bed of delectably seasoned rice or salad — gives you the feeling that you just consumed an aphrodisiac. Plus, from daily sweet and savory crepes, freshly-made smoothies, aguas frescas, açai bowls, pinchos (chicken or pork topped with a small piece of garlic-butter brushed toast or a fried plantain tostone), and fresh seafood dished up only on weekends — all enjoyed sitting under an umbrella — you’ll feel like you are on the beach. La Barracuda opens daily from 10 a.m. Just note according to owner, Martha Acosta, “We sincerely want to respect our neighbors. We will play music, but of course promise to keep in mind that we have families living in this neighborhood. I have lived in Rockaway for over 20 years, and want to maintain that we are all familia striving for us as a community to soar, but still respect our needs and wants.”

As for why choosing the name, “La Barracuda?” Acosta said, “A barracuda fish is aggressive, and our food strives to be just as aggressively delicious.” Well folks, you will be aggressively devouring the food here.

Craving ice cream, italian ice, shake, a smoothie, or even for the adults — a wine-infused icy treat? Look no further than Uncle Louie G (92-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd./ 718-474-2268). Uncle Louie G has been a much-beloved frozen staple on RBB for a while, but here is what’s new and totally chill. First up, grab the chance to bring the entire family and enjoy your creamy delight in their sand-filled back garden.  Kids love this as they get to dig in the sand after literally inhaling their ice cream. Also, there are plethora of new delish treats on the menu such as the Cookie Monster, Purple Unicorn and S’more Sundae. As for the wine-loving adults — who can resist a Chocolate Cabernet, Peach Zinfandel or Red Raspberry Chardonnay? According to Mara Valentino, proprietor of Louie G, these wine-infused treats are for “adults after dark.” With just five percent alcohol, they hit the spot and of course, responsible adults will enjoy reasonably. Uncle Louie G has extended their hours to 11 p.m. on weekends. Valentino said, “Before we used to close at 10 p.m., but will still find ourselves serving customers long after. Now, we will be here to serve later and indulge everyone with their favorite treat.” Note you can book Uncle Louie G’s amazing backyard/garden for birthday parties, and even wedding-themed and baby shower events. 

Last summer, have you ever encountered a tricked-out pink van parked up and down Shore Front at various intersections, vending a tempting feast of must-have beach and girly items?  Well, THE SWELLIFE truck is now an official brick-and-mortar stationed on RBB (91-08 Rockaway Beach Blvd., right next to Station RBNY). When you walk in, you will first be mesmerized by their beach-centric decor, wrapped in a swell of pink. From beach clothing, hand-crafted jewelry, apothecary, household and children’s items, this shop is a treasure that you must discover as they source their gems from across the world. According to co-owner and local resident, Katie Long, “When we learned that this spot was available, it was an opportunity we could not ignore. Our hope is that people come and see the amazing finds we have to offer. We buy goods from global market artisans in places like Peru and Mexico, not factory-manufactured wares from China. Our hope is to be here year-round, but that of course is up to how we survive this summer. I just hope people come in and see what our brand is about and support us!”

Last, but certainly not least is Taco by the Sea, (located at the former location the now-closed Rocket Rolls (88-12 Rockaway Beach Blvd. 718-318-2891). Readers, this spot is not going to be offering American water-downed tacos. These tacos are straight from the streets of Mexico. According to the owners, they want people to taste and fall in love with authentic tacos: “Our tacos are straight from what we know in La Calle de Hambre (Street of the Hungry) in Mexico. My aunt is going to be cooking and trust me, people will taste the difference.

“We will not serving Tex-Mex tacos with a bunch of cheese and little seasoning. When people come, they will see, taste and come back for more. A darle que es mole de olla! (“Let’s get to it... it's mole de olla!”) Taco By the Sea will also be serving a killer nitrogen coffee, matcha green tea and homemade italian ices and smoothies.

So folks, take a stroll down and see for yourself, the Boulevard is exploding, and will keep evolving with the community’s support.

Of course, there’s more but that’s why we have a Summer Guide and weekly newspaper!  Stay tuned.

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