By Jay Lloyd

QUEENS, N.Y.  (CBS) — Twenty minutes from Times Square puts getaway seekers in a New York City neighborhood brimming with authentic ethnic sights, sounds, and flavors.

Maybe that’s why it’s called “the melting pot.”

Who would have thought that one of the best hamburgers in New York would be found in Queens –- in a quiet neighborhood of Irish pubs and shops, Latin American food from a smorgasbord of nations, and an unimaginable variety of Asian eateries?

It’s all in Woodside, where in the shadow of the elevated train stop you can see the new World Trade Center rising above lower Manhattan.

What makes Woodside such a magnet?

“Anybody, everybody,” says Mike Ottomanelli, who operates one of the few remaining neighborhood Italian butcher shops and a nearby burger emporium. “From all over the world they come here, they fall in love with it, and they settle down.”

At Ottomanelli’s Café, chef Mike Proano explains the secret of an amazing burger:

“When we make something, it’s from the heart.”

(Burgers on the grill at Ottomanelli's Café.  Credit: Jay Lloyd)

(Burgers on the grill at Ottomanelli’s Café. Credit: Jay Lloyd)


So, a mid-morning burger and then a tantalizing Thai lunch in an outdoor garden at a place called Sripraphai (“see pra pie”).


(The garden at  Sripraphai Restaurant.  Credit: Jay Lloyd)

(The garden at Sripraphai Restaurant. Credit: Jay Lloyd)


So, on your next Big Apple getaway, take the number 7 train from Times Square to 61st Street in Woodside, Queens. You may not want to leave!

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