Hungry? How about some spare ribs and egg foo young, or what about that veal parmisian? Pastrami on rye with mustard at The Pastrami King? Fine. Just don't mention the potted lamb or the corned beef at that Irish Pub nearby - absolutely no one else did... The scenario for a family dinner out in Queens was most typically Italian, somewhere in the local neighborhood. With results similar to our Brooklyn Board, providing Irish food as a choice on the survey seems to have been a waste of time. Interestingly, a number of responses mentioned ice cream parlors in one form or another, which neither of the other two boroughs' boards did. There's no question that there wasn't as much of a selection back then, compared with what's available today. No one seems to have eaten Indian, Thai, Mexican, Middle Eastern, or even French! And come to think of it, remember when Chinese was just "Chinese"? There weren't any Szechuan or Hunan restaurants around until the seventies.
As usual, I leave it to you to render your own analyses based on the returns. Thanks to everyone who participated.
The total number of unique, usable responses was 89.
When you lived in Queens, how frequently did you dine at a restaurant with your family?
|Only on special occasions||13||15%|
|Once or twice a month||40||45%|
|Once or twice a week||33||37%|
|More than twice a week||2||2%|
What type of food did you usually eat when you dined out?
The "others" included:
Where was the restaurant that you usually frequented?
|Right around the corner||16||18%|
|In the neighborhood||33||37%|
|A short ride away||29||33%|
|On the other side of Queens||9||10%|
|In another borough||1||1%|
|Out of town||1||1%|
Compare the experience of dining out then vs. now.
(Multiple answers were allowed, so the sum of percentages will exceed 100.)
|Eating out was a special occasion then, but commonplace now.||50||56%|
|Eating out was commonplace then, but a special occasion now.||6||7%|
|It was more of a hardship to eat out then.||25||28%|
|It's more of a hardship to eat out now.||8||9%|
|We got more food for our money then.||39||44%|
|We get more food for out money now.||9||10%|
|The food was better then.||46||52%|
|The food is better now.||19||21%|
|The service was better then.||45||51%|
|The service is better now.||17||19%|
|I preferred eating home then.||11||12%|
|I prefer eating home now.||26||29%|
Since you've left Queens, have you ever gone back to eat there?
Do you think local Queens restaurants were different from local restaurants anywhere?
[Editor's note: The "No" response to this question was by far the strongest negative response to this question among the three boroughs.]
Of the specific restaurants named, a few were mentioned more than once. They were:
Without doubt, this survey drew the least spirited response of any previous topic, for any of the three boroughs' bulletin boards. It took almost three weeks to get only 89 responses, and of those, very few provided any "meaty" comments. Here are some of the slim pickings' comments about what made the differences in their Queens dining experience:
Thanks again for participating. Our next survey topic will be Going to the Movies.