Do you live on the East end of Rockaway? If so, there’s a good chance that you’ll probably disagree when I say we need more food choices. I’m not talking about more McDonald’s or Popeye’s. I’m talking about more options for healthier food. Allow me to use Mott Avenue, which is located on the southern end of the peninsula, as an example. The area is known to many as “Downtown Far Rockaway”. It’s considered the mecca for shopping and eating in Rockaway, but I don’t want to consume greasy food that, according to most medical reports, will increase my chances of a heart attack when I get older.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to come across as the food police or denounce anyone who happens to love fast food. People have a right to eat whatever they want. I’m simply trying to raise awareness about the food choices here on the east end, especially when you consider what’s on the west end. I submit the following to illustrate my point.
The Community House – Beach 102nd Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Now this is what I call food! Yes, you can argue that some of the menu items aren’t healthy, but my point is that there’s nothing on the east end like this place, at all. Let’s be honest. It’s really hard to find a bar and restaurant on the east end that’s cozy, inviting and serves good food.
This is another great spot that I must acknowledge. Without question, it’s an establishment with quality food and service. In addition, you’ll find it pleasing to your palate and easy on your pocket. Again, I don’t see anything like UMA’s on the east end.
There are other exceptional west end restaurants that are worth mentioning, but I’ll move on and point out some of the options we have on the east end.
Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin Robbins
I have one simple question. What can I eat at Dunkin’ Donuts that’s going to fill me up? A man can’t live off bagels, coffee, doughnuts or Munchkins alone. If I needed to dramatically gain weight to audition for “Fat Bastard” in the next Austin Powers movie, then DDBR would serve its purpose. The term decent or hearty meal doesn’t come to mind when you think of DDBR. Not hatin’…. just saying.
Gino’s Pizzeria and Restaurant
This used to be the best place in Rockaway to get pizza, but for some reason the pizza just doesn’t taste the same as it did back in the day. Let me be clear. I have no problem supporting this business. James Cruz, the assistant manager, is a wonderful person. I’ve had great conversations with Mr. Cruz and we have a good relationship. I would like to keep it that way. I’ll still buy pizza from Gino’s, but I wish it could recapture that old school flavor, figuratively and literally.
(Photo credit: Brianne & Berry, Visual journalists)
In my humble opinion, this is the only bright spot we have on the east end. It’s located in the Arverne-By-The-Sea shopping center on Beach 68th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Stop by, and tell them The J-Man sent you.
The time has come to stop supporting corporate franchises like DDBR and McDonald’s, which target our community dollars while shortening our life expectancy. I respectfully request that east end residents, especially those that are just as concerned as I am about this situation, please contact their elected officials and tell them — before they build another housing unit or shopping center — that you also want small businesses and eateries that promote healthy eating and living.
Question: Do you think the east end needs more businesses that promote good and healthy eating practices? You already know my answer. Share your thoughts. After all, this IS a community blog.