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Sunnyside Enjoys a Taste of Neighborhood – QNS.com

Sunnyside Enjoys a Taste of Neighborhood

Local Eateries Offer Their Delicacies To Residents At Food Festival

The restaurants of Sunnyside came together at Sunnyside Community Services on Monday, Oct. 15 for the third annual Taste of Sunnyside event.

In the left photo, Ramiro Mendez of de Mole at 45-02 48th Ave. gets his food ready for patrons of the third annual Taste of Sunnyside. City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (in center photo) tries some food prepared by the staff of Aubergine Café, located at 49-22 Skillman Ave. At right, Eamonn Carr and Mary Flannery of Sidetracks Restaurant at 45-08 Queens Blvd. had crabcakes and chicken curry for locals to taste.

The tasting, a collaboration between the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, brought 20 eateries together, plus several other local businesses, to support each other and other area businesses.

According to Jonathan Dunn, one of the event’s supervisors, Taste of Sunnyside took three months to prepare.

“There’s a lot of legwork involved,” said Dunn, pointing to the effort to persuade restaurants to participate. He noted that most restaurants are past participants, and that other prior participants wanted to join Taste of Sunnyside but were unable to for this year’s event, which he called “a showcase of the finest foods in the area.”

“It’s really all about promoting business within the community,” he noted.

Oh Makmung, the onwer of Dee Thai at 46-17 Queens Blvd., agreed; with Dunn, citing the publicity for the five-year-old Thai food restaurant as a reason to set up a table at Taste of Sunnyside.

Ramiro Mendez, the owner of de Mole at 45-02 48th Ave., also noted that the event raises funds for the two Sunnyside organizations.

The event showcased the wide variety of restaurants in the neighborhood, from the Mexican cuisine of Arriba Arriba at 40-15 Queens Blvd. to the Irish-American food served up by Bar 43 at 43-06 43rd St. to the vegetarian pepper streak offered by Go Natural at 45-03 Queens Blvd.

The venerable Sidetrcks Restaurant, a staple of the neighborhood for over 20 years located at 45-08 Queens Blvd., shared the floor with Sunnyside’s newest eatery, the fivemonth old Pink Icing pastry shop.

“Sunnyside is so diverse now,” noted Sidetracks’ Mary Flannery, noting how the area has grown from its Irish and Italian roots to encompass a wide variety of cultures and cuisines.

When asked what spurred them to participate, Stephanie Perez of Pink Icing had a simple answer.

“The food, for me,” she said with a laugh.

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