Engeline’s in Woodside & Nina in Middletown

Albany John and I made it back to my car in time to not get a ticket. Woo woo! My sister was already waiting for me because I got us lost on a few wrong trains because the 7 train wasn’t running between Queens and Manhattan my sister is very timely like that.

One place I’ve been jonesing to visit was Engeline’s a Filipino bakery and restaurant located reaaaally close by at 5828 Roosevelt Ave. It’s closer to the 61st Street exit on the 7 line, but the 52 nd street exit is really close too, just walk the other way. I walked us down to Queens Blvd and then we realized it was the wrong direction.

Like this? I used the Lucky Money I got from my dad to order a Crispy Pata ($9.50), which is a deep fried pork knuckle. It came with this awesome garlicky vinegar and white rice.

This puppy is like 65-70% pure fried bones, fat ,and skin, but there are some meaty bits as well. Seeing as how I would eat chicharrones 24/7 if given the option, the Crispy Pata really appealed to me. I think they must have boiled or steamed it to prep-cook it, and then fried it to order. The meat was very tender, and the skin was piping hot and crackling.


Engeline’s is also a bakery. They’re open crazy early, like 8 or 9 am EVERY DAY.

It was Sistah’s birthday (not to be confused with my Sister, who was catching a ride back), and she loves Filip food, so I picked her up some cute purple sponge cake rolls they had up front. She said they were totally awesome.

Here’s a shot of what the pork knuckle looks like inside the take out bag. Very knuckle-y.

I’ve got to go back to try… everything else. Their menu was very affordable and everything looked really good. Did I mention my deep fried pork knuckle was delicious?

After I got the goodies from Engeline’s I hightailed it through Queens and Manhattan up to Orange County. I almost got hit a few times, but having some pork knuckle bits in my mouth was really comforting – like a meaty pacifier. I know I’ll be hard pressed to travel out of Woodside without it the next time I’m leaving.

I managed to make it to Nina just in time to celebrate Sistah’s birthday.

Albany John was still tired, so he napped in the car. Sister came in with me and we had a grand old time with Sistah and her Mom.

If you can believe it, my Sister didn’t see anything she wanted on the menu, so she just ordered a water she didn’t drink and chatted with us. (Sarcasm – remember, she’s got like 80 million food restrictions, it was pretty obvious there wouldn’t be anything she could eat there).
Anywho, the rest of us gals ordered the Nina cocktail ($10 each)- vodka, cointreau, cranberry juice, topped with chambord. Holy mother, these packed a punch. I was buzzing through lunch just off of one of these bad boys. I added the lemon wedge from my water – I needed a little bit of tartness to liven things up.

Sistah ordered the San Remo Salad ($9.95) which came with grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella. She ended up taking some of it home because she is super skinny like that.

I was nervous about how much lunch would cost. Nina’s a $26+ entree kind of place for dinner, but most of their lunch items were in the $10 range. Nice!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a burger, so I ordered a rare burger with provalone cheese. Their burgers are $7, plus $0.75 for cheese. And they’re TWO THIRDS OF A POUND. Wow, it’s a lot of meat. Served on a kaiser roll, which was a really good vehicle for this beheamoth of a burger.

The shoestring fries were okay, but mostly limp and greasy. I’d have preferred them crisper.

Check THAT – perfectly rare in the center! The burger was really well seasoned – I’m guessing a little bit of garlic & onion powder plus some salt and pepper. I didn’t even need salt. Me. I passed on the salt. It also came with some slices of tomato and lettuce.

I forget our waiter’s name, but it started with a J. I totally suck for forgetting it, especially ’cause Sistah said his name eleventy bajillion times. He was awesome. He had a retro 50s vibe going with his hair (super awesome) and was a genuinely nice guy who seemed happy to be taking care of Sistah on her birthday.
Thanks, man, for being such a great server. If I ever go back to Nina, I’m calling Sistah and asking for you.
I showed some restraint and only ate half of my burger (the smaller half!) even though I wanted to eat all of it. But I figured I probably shouldn’t eat 2/3 rds of a pound of beef in one sitting. Albany John had some later and he agreed with me – gooood burger.

We kicked it with Sistah at her place for a while, but eventually had to muck on back to Albany. Le Sigh.

My Sister & I both love grocery stores. I wanted to go to Shop Rite… it was only a little detour, but I didn’t want to add to the drive time if no one else wanted to go, so I left it up to Sister.

Thank Blippy we’re related, because she said “GO”.

So I maybe went over my food budget goal for the month, but I don’t care because Shop Rite is freaking awesome and I got wild caught salmon for $4.99 per pound and the best pickles I’ve ever eaten.

Sometimes I just get wrapped up in the holiday “oh, what the hey” momentum when I go down state. It’s not always a bad thing.

The little sign under the Santita chips gave me a laugh. I wonder if it’s filed under “Wow, Ai Que”.

Thanks folks, I’ll be here all night.

  1. WOW! heh heh, thanks for brightening up my day. Sexybeast was marveling over the pig knuckle

  2. This is why Filipino food is so damn amazing. We use up every part of the animal and turn it into something fantastic.

    I'm pretty sure it's boiled first and then fried. Did they sell chicharon there up front at the register? You must you must you must… and get the one that comes with the vinegar.

    The purple sponge cake roll I want to say was ube.

    I can't remember if I've tried Engeline's. I'm sure I have, considering many of my friends from college live out there. If you go back again, try the dinuguan- chocolate meat as we like to tell the noobs. My dad's version is all meat and no organs, because everybody's got gout.

    Kill joys, I tell ya.

  3. llcwine said:

    the menu at Engeline's looks yummy…and yeah I think the prices at Nina's are a tad high for lunch, but as long as you all enjoyed the food and each other…that's what counts.

  4. grace said:

    pork knuckle? FRIED pork knuckle? man alive, i'm living in a cave where these types of things don't exist!
    and don't forget how awesome it is that those chips are $2 only! 🙂

  5. WOW. The pig knuckle is definitely knuckley! And thanks, now I'm craving a burger. :-p

  6. Anonymous said:

    I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don't have suck a writing skills

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