By Madina Toure
Some 600 Queens residents got a taste of everything from mini-burgers to sushi Tuesday at the 13th annual Queens Taste at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The networking and culinary event held at 47-01 111th St. had 67 vendors that represented a combination of restaurants, beverages and desserts, 15 of which are brand-new restaurants, according to Rob MacKay, the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s director of marketing.
There were about 25 different cuisines, including Argentinian, Mexican, Colombian, Portuguese and French, he said.
“We’re basically just celebrating Queens, celebrating the food and diversity of Queens and networking with other people who work in Queens, live in Queens or both,” MacKay said.
Ceul Martinez, the chef for La Adelita at 52-22 Roosevelt Ave. in Woodside, participated in the event for the third time this year. He served taquitos and tostadas to attendees, who he said kept coming to try more.
“We like because they have promotion for the food,” Martinez said.
Eleonora Greco of Magna Ristorante at 35-25 Farrington St. in downtown Flushing said the event is a great networking opportunity.
“We love meeting people in Queens and our fellow vendors … it’s a big family here,” Greco said.
The event also featured new restaurants, including Villa Enrico at Z NYC Hotel at 11-01 43rd Ave. in Long Island City.
Thanos Sideris, the restaurant’s floor manager, said the event was an opportunity to showcase the restaurant’s shift from a lounge atmosphere to more traditional Italian cuisine.
“We see people come back three or four times, that’s how I know they’re enjoying it,” Sideris said.
The event also featured F. Ottomanelli Burgers & Belgian Fries at 60-15 Woodside Ave. in Woodside, which has been in business for 100 years.
“It’s selling out,” said Frank Ottomanelli, the restaurant’s owner. “We can’t cook them fast enough.”
St. Albans resident Joanne Nabors said she enjoyed the chicken wings from Neir’s Tavern 87-48 78th St. in Woodhaven.
“The food is good,” Nabors said. “I like the way it’s set up. It’s crowded but it’s manageable.”
Tickets cost $125 or two for $200. Proceeds will fund QEDC’s work to bring in and maintain jobs in Queens through business services, neighborhood development, the Entrepreneur Space and marketing attractions through the Queens Tourism Council and the It’s in Queens and Discover Queens brands.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour