Tag Archives: Mexican food

Mexican flavors in Ridgewood

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Revelers looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo are just a short train ride away from Mexican Apple B.B.Q., located at 66-89 Forest Ave. off the Forest Avenue M train stop in the heart of Ridgewood.

Unlike most taco take-out restaurants, Mexican Apple B.B.Q. offers a unique fusion of authentic Mexican cuisine blended with southern barbecue. Owner Francisco Ramirez first opened Mexican Apple four months ago. Ramirez came to the United States from Mexico City with the dream of being an entrepreneur.

“I wanted to work for me,” he said.

His chef, Manuel Ramirez, hails from Veracruz. He had the idea of mixing his traditional and beloved Mexican recipes with American barbecue for a unique flavor combination he calls “Mexican-style barbecue.”

Ramirez spent time traveling through the south and eventually stopped in North Carolina to hone his barbecue skills before traveling north to New York. Chef Ramirez created his own original barbecue sauce and dry rubs from a blend of Mexican spices, such as hot dry peppers, mixed within a traditional southern barbecue base.

The restaurant also has a small smoker where they smoke dishes like their popular BBQ ribs for roughly seven hours. All of the meat is smoked and prepared in-house. Combinations of Mexican-style BBQ ribs, dry-rubbed ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken are available and range in price from $12.99 to $15.99.

Another unique aspect of Mexican Apple B.B.Q. is that they are one of the few local eateries to offer a traditional Mexican breakfast on a daily basis. A popular dish among early birds is the huevos rancheros ($7.99), a mix of two eggs over easy on a bed of corn served with chorizo, pico de gallo, guacamole, rice, beans and Mexican cream.

The huevos a la Mexicana ($6.99) features eggs with jalapeños, onions and tomatoes. They also offer an extensive selection of baked eggs, a brunch staple, blended with a range of meats and cheeses, including chorizo, Oaxaca cheese, bacon, Manchego cheese and spinach ($8.99). One of the more popular baked egg dishes is served with green tomatillo and chile de arbol ($8.99).
Mexican Apple B.B.Q.’s signature dish is the enchiladas platter ($10.99). Diners can chose from chicken, grilled beef, fried pork and Oaxaca cheese enchiladas served with cheese, lettuce, Mexican cream and their choice of green, red or mole sauces.

The chorizo quesadillas ($6.99) are another phenomenal choice. The generous and flavorful portions of Mexican spicy sausage and melted Oaxaca cheese are served with large sides of salsa, Mexican cream and homemade guacamole. The Al Pastor homemade tortilla tacos ($2.99) pack a ton of flavor in a small bite. They feature a mix of spicy pork and pineapples blended with cilantro, onion, radish, salsa, guacamole and lemon in a homemade soft tortilla wrap.

Desserts such as traditional flan Napolitano ($3.99) and Mexican Jello or “gelatina” ($1.99) provide a sweet finish to any entree. Mexican Apple also offers a unique selection of freshly pressed juice blends, including pineapple water, melon and hibiscus ($1.99). Their homemade Orchata is a sweet blend of roasted rice-infused milk, vanilla and cinnamon ($1.99).
Mexican Apple B.B.Q. will be offering specials for Cinco de Mayo. For more details, call 347-987-4778.

Mexican Apple B.B.Q.
6689 Forest Ave., Ridgewood


Cinco De Mayo moves down Bell Blvd., replaced by Peruvian restaurant

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Hasta luego, Cinco De Mayo; bienvenido, Piura.

Mexican restaurant Cinco De Mayo,  located at 39-32 Bell Blvd., is closing its current location on Bell Boulevard, which used to be home to Italian food store La Bottega, and a Peruvian restaurant called Piura will be moving in.

But fans of the Mexican restaurant will not have to travel far for their “comida.” The eatery is just moving down the Bayside commercial strip to another location at 42-29 Bell Blvd.

The owner of Cinco De Mayo is only doing minor construction to the new location, according to city records. A sign hangs on the new location announcing the move, while the old spot still has a sign for the Mexican restaurant and above it is a new sign for the Peruvian eatery.

Current Cinco De Mayo workers said they will continue to work in the new location and the menu will stay the same. The owners of both the Mexican and Peruvian restaurants could not be reached but several workers in the restaurant expect the move to take place this fall.


Global lime shortage squeezes Queens bars, restaurants

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Sophia Rosenbaum


Brother, can you spare a lime?

Frequent customers at El Rey Del Taco truck may be confused when they open the Styrofoam container with their tacos to find a wedge of lemon, instead of lime, in their trays.

Limes are too expensive for the taco truck to afford right now, as a global lime shortage is affecting restaurants and bars throughout Queens. Most of the limes used in the U.S. come from Mexico, where heavy rains and an infectious tree disease affecting the lime crop have forced lime prices to quadruple over the past few months.

“Unfortunately, Mexico received some heavy rains that destroyed a large amount of the lime crop, so with limited supplies, we are seeing lime prices skyrocket,” said Lindsey Pope, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Agriculture.

At local supermarkets like Key Food and Trade Fair, three limes cost $3. Three months ago, customers could buy a dozen limes for the same price. In the past few months, prices for 10-pound cases of limes have gone from about $30 to about $120.

While the taco truck can get away with replacing limes with lemons, some businesses are not afforded that option.

“We do a lot of custom cocktails, so not using fresh juice just isn’t an option for us,” said Vincent Vee, the beer and event manager at Station House in Forest Hills.

Vee said it’s common for prices of fresh fruit to fluctuate, especially when natural disasters like droughts affect Mexico, but that this lime shortage has been especially long.

“[The prices are] staying up a little longer than normal this time,” he said. “We’re hoping they come down soon.”

Like other restaurants and bars, Station House is limiting its lime garnishes and ensuring that its employees use the limes in the most efficient way possible.

Limes are an integral part of many Mexican dishes. Fresh lime juice makes up a third of most traditional margarita recipes.

Mojave, a Mexican restaurant in Astoria, is trying to limit its use of limes to the bare minimum.

“We’re just trying to compensate,” said Maya Stephanov, a bartender at Mojave.

Stephanov said that limes are a staple at almost every bar in the city, as a slice of lime is often paired with vodka cranberries, gin and tonics and other specialty drinks.