What’s Poppin’ on RBB’s Restaurant Row

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Foodies! No need to cross the bridges for a cuisine adventure. Just stroll down Rockaway Beach Boulevard’s Restaurant Row, and get a bellyful of new culturally diverse food fare options and the heralded return of a notorious favorite.

The days may be shorter with frigid temperatures, but take the plunge into new West Indian dive, Best Caribbean Restaurant & Grill, and transport yourself to a tropical island paradise, where the food, coupled with the soft reggae music playing in the background, is just pure irie. Arverne resident and proprietor, Edith Grant, said that she wanted to bring the authentic taste of Jamaica to locals and visitors to the area. “Finding this particular location was just a gift. The day I went out searching for a location for the restaurant, I first went to Brooklyn. When I came back to the Rockaways, I walked from Beach 69th Street all the way to Beach 91st on the Boulevard. Interestingly enough, while standing on the corner looking at the place, I randomly encountered this gentleman, and asked him if he knew who was renting the place. He answered, ‘I own it.’ In shock, I responded, ‘No, you don’t, you’re lyin’! ’ Then he opened the door and that was it. At the time, he said that he had a lot of people lined up who were interested, but he saved it for me. So, getting this particular place was a gift from above that was meant to be.” Grant said.

This is Grant’s first time owning a restaurant, but in that patient, but determined mentality of Caribbean people, she’s taking it one step at a time. “I wanted to open a West Indian restaurant here in Rockaway. A lot of Caribbean people live on the peninsula, and I just wanted to open a space, where everyone —Caribbean and others alike — could enjoy our signature home-cooked delicious food. And now that I have opened, a lot of friendly faces have come in, raving about the food, and it is all so encouraging. I love to make people happy, and so far people have been coming back over and over for more,” Grant said. What makes Best Caribbean Restaurant so good? She answered, “Quite simply, our good food, which we prepare as if we were hosting family and friends.” The restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner all-day long. So if you’re in the mood for fry dumplings, ackee and salt fish, oxtail, stew liver, curry and more, head to Best Caribbean Grill & Restaurant. 91-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd.

Across the Boulevard, step into La Cabana Peruana Polleria Restaurant, and imagine that you have taken a short trip to Peru, dubbed ‘the richest country in the world,’ where you will discover that being rich isn’t about having the most; it’s about experiencing the most unforgettable and authentic food of the region. With dishes like Leche de Tigre (Tiger milk cooked seafood with lemon sauce), Tallarin Verde con Pescado (Green spaghetti with fish,) Pollo, arroz amarillo, ensalada y salchipas (Chicken, yellow rice, salad and sausage), Churrasco a lo Pobre (Grilled steak, rice, eggs and sweet plantain), and a wide variety of sides, salads, soups and desserts, you will be salivating from the aroma as soon you enter the door. The proprietors first opened La Cabana Peruana in Ozone Park, and decided to take a gamble, and open a second location in Rockaway. The Rockaway restaurant has been open since October 31, and judging from the reviews, locals are stoked. One reviewer said, “As a resident of Far Rockaway, I feel there's a lack of quality food in the area and after this place opened I am happy to say that not only is the food delicious, but I finally have a tasty Spanish option. Thanks for opening up in Rockaway!” The restaurant also features a flat screen TV where folks can watch soccer matches. Plus the  overall lighting and ambiance is truly welcoming. If you are wondering about the size of the platters, be prepared for a feast! La Cabana Peruana also delivers! 91-17 Rockaway Beach Blvd. (718-734-2259).

Guess who’s back on RBB? None other than Rockaway’s ever notorious, but widely-loved and followed, Whit’s End. Whitney Aycock has set up shop at the former Chicks to Go/The Kitchen location. And judging from the crowds already congregating, folks are totally stoked to have their favorite pizza nazi back in the area. Aycock has revamped his menu with his usual straight-laced charm featuring items such as Fuckin’ Good Burger, (tantalizingly topped with cheddar cheese, hot pepper jelly and arugula), Smoked Blue fish dip (scallion, cracked black pepper served with, pizza toast) and of course his poppin’ salads and ever popular pizzas. Just do yourself a favor, when ordering a pizza… don’t ask for just a slice! Whit’s End is open every day for lunch and dinner, and as of now, delivers from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., but from next week, will also start delivery from noon to 10 p.m. 97-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd. (718-945-4100).

There’s even more ahead! Fat Cardinal Bakery is getting their own location next to Boarders Surf Shop on Beach 92nd, where they’ll be serving up their heavenly desserts, plus sandwich options, soup and more. The Boulevard will also get a taste of Japan with sushi burritos and other delicacies at Rocket Rolls, plus another Japanese restaurant coming to 92-04 Rockaway Beach Blvd. For updates, check out future editions of The Rockaway Times.

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