April 7, 2008
NYC Food Guy spent the 1st 10 years of his life in Forest Hills so when I say A&J Pizza and Knish Nosh are two of the best at what they do, I’m speaking from years of eating experience. These two spots are to pizza and knishes as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are to the birth of the power hitter, as Cheech & Chong are to stoner comedy; classic heavy hitters which have stood the test of time.
The beauty of it all is that on a nice sunny day, NYC dwellers can ride the V train to 67th Avenue & Queens Boulevard, right near Knish Nosh, and experience the glory of both establishments.
It’s time for you to get to Forest Hills for some serious classics that are simply delicious….
Don’t even think about calling me biased. I haven’t steered you wrong yet and I’m not about to start now.
In the realm of slice joints, A&J’s plain slice is the best I’ve ever had. It embodies all I want in a slice:
- Chewy, crispy crust that’s slightly sweet while embodying the weathered flavor of the gas oven
- A thin layer of slightly sweet sauce
- A perfectly distributed covering of stringy mozzarella
This is a classic, simple pie that satisfies our basic pizza cravings. It’s not Di Fara’s and it doesn’t try to be. It’s only fitting that nostalgia plays a part in my love for this pizza, because it will do the same for you, conjuring memories of your first pizza experiences.
In the end, would NYC Food Guy be eating there for 24 years if it wasn’t good pizza? Exactly. A fresh pie is the truest litmus test for a slice joint’s validity but even a reheated slice at A&J’s is better than most of Manhattan’s slice joints.
They’ve gone through a few renovations and expansions over the years but the pizza hasn’t suffered a bit. I recently heard rumors they were closing and literally ran there to get a taste. Fortunately, those rumors have seemed to evaporate.
Knish Nosh has been serving “the official knish of New York” since 1952.
56 years of business on the same square block should be reason alone to visit this landmark. If that’s not enough, however, NYC Food Guy is here to say you haven’t experience a potato Knish until you’ve eaten Knish Nosh’s hand-rolled version in the store. Dip it into some spicy mustard and you’re in potato heaven.
The skin is a delicious contradiction. Simultaneously chewy, crisp, and flaky, it encases a perfectly balanced mixture of potato and onion. The onion’s presence is so subtle that you don’t even realize it’s there until you’ve finished your Knish and a hearty, spicy flavor, reminiscent of something a Jewish grandmother would cook, lingers in your palette.
Once you break it open and see the steaming insides, it’s not going to be in front of you much longer.
Go for the Classic Combo: A potato Knish, a full size Hebrew National hot dog in a blanket, and a can of soda for $6.00. It’s the best way to experience all the deliciousness of Knish Nosh in one fell swoop.
The pig in a blanket is excellent as well. Same paper-thin skin as the knish with a juicy Hebrew National dog inside. You can’t go wrong.
9 varieties of the hand-rolled large Knish are offered and I can honestly say the potato is so good, it’s the only one I’ve tried. NYC Food Guy’s parents enjoy the kasha, spinach, and broccoli. Check out the online menu for even more delicious delicacies.
You’re looking at the Queens Boulevard location below. The store used to be in a smaller spot on the opposite corner which is now occupied by a Starbucks. There are 2 more Knish Nosh locations in New York. One on 5th Ave and 106th street in Manhattan and another in Flushing, Queens. I’ve only been to the original location. I recommend you do the same if you want to experience Knishes the way they were meant to be eaten.
Here’s a map showing you how to get from Knish Nosh to A&J Pizza. Good luck eaters.
A&J Pizza7137 Austin St
Forest Hills, NY 11375 (718) 520-9018
Forest Hills, NY 11375 (718) 897-5555 877-NY-KNISH Central Park at the Harlem Meer 5th Ave and 106th Street Flushing Meadows Corona Park (overlooking Meadow Lake) Flushing, NY 10807