Smile of the Beyond
86-14 Parsons Blvd.
Open: Mon-Fri: 7 am 4 pm; Sat. 7 am 3 pm
If light blue is truly the color of imagination, then Smile of the
Beyond is indeed the most imaginative eatery in all of Queens. Painted in this
eye-pleasing color, the fast-food restaurant of the vegetarian set is always abuzz with
the aroma of creative dishes that please the palate and the pocket simultaneously.
"Nothing tops $6," they say of their "convergence of
vegetarian fare with comfort food." And I soon took great comfort in a "grilled
veggie-cheese pita sandwich ($3.85). It was a whole wheat pita bulging with grilled
mushrooms, onions, peppers and melted Swiss cheese topped with fresh bean sprouts. A dash
of soy sauce at the table and a glass of freshly squeezed carrot and apple juices (small
for $2) and I was hooked and judging by the bustling 2 oclock crowd, Im not
the only one .
The eatery with the enigmatic name, according to Blazei, my server from
the Chezc Republic, has been in that location managed by various different groups. Now,
however, is under the management of the followers of "meditation master" Sri
Chinmoy. Blue is the color of choice for the followers of this spiritual leader known for
his guidance of "hundreds of thousands" of devotees, in 150 centers around the
world. In fact, about five or six nations are represented by the staff of the tiny
Clean and neat with natural lights beaming in from a steeple-shaped
skylight, it is a good place to enjoy a delicious, inexpensive meal just one block up from
Hillside Avenue. And just like the staff, the diners are multinational. An eclectic mix of
diners revolved through the doors during my stay and based on the warm greetings
exchanged, one gets the feeling many knew one another. Maybe its the choices and the
prices or maybe its the warmth, whatever it is it works.
Meals such as Auevos Ranchers (riche, chile, 2 eggs sunny and corn
muffin - $3.25 for small and $5.35 for large) will always keep em coming back for
The meditative teachings of Chinmoy, who is originally from India,
seems to keep them mellow regardless of whats going on outside. "Smile, smile,
smile, smile, smile of the Beyond, your life is made of Gods Heart-Diamond,"
the menu cover reminds you. Inspirational messages from Chinmoys teachings also
adorn the place in small plastic frames. Messages such as the one at my table that reminds
"Your tomorrows problems can be nullified by your todays prayers."
Nothing could nullify the feeling of peace and flavor I got at Smile of
the Beyond. It has left me with a smile in the here and now.
Marcia Moxam Comrie