Sunnyside food festival came back with a bang

By Sadef Ali Kully

The third annual Taste of Sunnyside event was attended by hundreds of locals Tuesday intent on sampling all the cuisine the neighborhood had to offer under the 7 train.

Taste of Sunnyside, the outdoor food festival that started in 2012, features live music, dancing, food from award-winning neighborhood restaurants and lots to drink.

This year, under a large white tent, it took place on Queens Boulevard between 45th Street and 46th Street, under the elevated 7 train. The first year residents said it was in a large hall and did not have the same pizazz as an outdoor event, so in 2014 organizers decided to move it outside.

“Last year it was such an insane success – we had to do it again. And we had to do it bigger,” said Lindsay Goldwert, media relations for the food festival, who has lived in Sunnyside for the last four years.

Nearly 30 local restaurants created their most-loved dishes from hot dogs to dumplings for attendees who had the option of washing it all down with three options from local wine and beer businesses; Lowery Wines and Liquors, Queens Brewery and SingleCut Beersmiths.

“I worked in the city for ten years before I opened my place in Sunnyside,” said Daniel Yi, the chef and owner of Salt & Fat. Salt &Fat has received dozens of rave reviews from the New York Times to the Village Voice for its new American cuisine.

“I grew up in Sunnyside,” he said, “so I just opened up my place in 2011.”

The Salt & Fat chef said his second favorite part of Queens for eating was in Jackson Heights.

While attendees sipped on wine and gulped beer from the local brewery, Danza España from the Thalia Theatre, the Sunnyside Social Club and the Underground Horns played an array of music on stage.

“The last time I was here it was inside at the billiards hall – this is much nicer,” said Randy Nigrelli from Sunnyside who had invited friends from other parts of Queens. “The restaurants in Sunnyside have become more diverse and that means more options for all of us.”

Nigrelli’s friend, Jaime Sperling from Woodside, said she missed the last one but made sure to be here for this year’s Taste.

“I got the Colombian hot dog from Los Verdes with potato chips and some eggie thing on top. I would come back to Sunnyside for that.