42 The Queens Courier • may 9, 2013 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com WHERE’S THE BEEF? Queens restaurants serve up kangaroo alligator, other exotic meats BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA email@example.com Looking for something new to try? Even in New York City, adventurous foodies can get bored. But people looking for a taste of the exotic can find plenty of options in Queens. In Astoria, the Thirsty Koala serves kangaroo burgers, sliders and steaks. “The wild game meat is extremely lean, resembling a cross between bison and venison,” Queens Courier dining writer Bradley Hawks said after trying the kangaroo dishes. “The steak is best described as a sweeter filet mignon.” Moving from marsupials to reptiles, Max Bratwurst und Bier German Restaurant has rattlesnake and alligator on the menu. “Believe it or not, the rattlesnake and alligator bratwursts are very popular, especially among the young crowd,” said Fiori, a manager at the Astoria restaurant. He described the rattlesnake as tender and flavorful. The serpent is combined with pork to make the bratwurst because rattlesnakes are expensive and have little meat on them. The alligator bratwurst tastes like chicken, Fiori said. The restaurant decided to add exotic meats to the menu as a way of standing out from other area eateries. They wanted to “make a challenge” for their customers, said Fiori, who sometimes hears diners daring each other to try the alligator or rattlesnake bratwurst. Alligator is also on the menu at Sugar Freak in Astoria. Its popcorn alligator dish is made by deep frying the meat and serving it with a spicy, tangy grape jelly sauce. Slightly less adventurous diners who still want to try something new can head to Alobar Restaurant in Long Island City or one of four Bareburger locations in the borough. Alobar offers familiar meat, but served in an exotic way. Its Amish pig tails are exactly what the name implies. “It was one of those approachable items that people aren’t afraid of trying, especially the way we prepare them,” said executive chef Michael Rendine. Photos by Bradley Hawks Kangaroo burger from The Thirsty Koala. The tails, which are six to eight inches long, are deep fried and covered in house barbecue sauce. Rendine said you eat them like ribs or chicken wings. Originally an everyday menu item, the pig tails are now only served as a Tuesday night special. But Rendine added that people come in and ask for the dish all the time. Bareburger, on the other hand, offers a familiar way of eating meat made from an unusual animal. In addition to the typical beef and turkey burgers, diners can order ostrich, wild boar, elk and bison on their buns. Manager Bobby Kumar said customers like the ostrich because it tastes similar to beef, but is lower in cholesterol and 98 percent lean. He added that they enjoy bison and elk, which are also red meats, for the same reasons. Wild boar is leaner than beef, but has a similar texture to ground pork. “We’ve become very well known for our exotic meat,” Kumar said. “After some people try it, some people fall in love with it.” ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ No, the malevolent Moriarty won’t be masterminding malicious mishaps in Douglaston. Instead, the ominous fog of the British moors will creep across the stage. Yes, it will carry a deadly secret--the fiery “Hound of the Baskervilles”! On opening night, the audience was extremely enthusiastic. Their catcalls and loud applause demonstrated their approval. Once again Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s masterful detective generated the usual zeal. In this adaptation by Tim Kelly, director Eric Leeb avoids frantic scenes with violent interplays. In its place, Sherlock Holmes (Brian J. Payne) provides an extremely purposeful interpretation, measuring A VIEW FROM THE CLIFF BY CLIFF KASDEN each syllable and movement. These pauses force the audience to hang onto every word. The intended effect is extraordinary suspense and tension. Only anguished Lady Agatha (Marie Cook) speaks in the same deliberate manner as Holmes. What secrets do they share? As Dr. Watson, Joe Pepe takes a more familiar stance as his slightly bumbling and easily flustered sidekick. Pepe successfully provides a light hearted counterpoint to the dark and dire storyline. Several of the mansion’s servants (Heidi Warm, Cathy Cosgrove, Fred J. Kaminski) afford additional melodrama. What clandestine cover-ups do they cleverly carry out? Of course, the obligatory femme fatale is played by lovely Elizabeth Bisciello. Her unlikable “brother” played by Kevin Knois has somehow created a connection with seemingly nonthreatening Laura (Laurie Radziewicz). Sir Henry Baskerville, well played by Dan Bubbeo, has a huge crisis of his own. The gigantic ghostly hound that has mysteriously killed his predecessors may well kill him! Or is it all a heinous hoax contrived to cheat the Baskervilles of their wealth? The Douglaston Community Theatre is housed at the Zion Episcopal Church Parish Hall on Church Street (formerly 44th Ave.) off Douglaston Parkway. Call (718) 482-3332 for information. Check the Queens Courier for more spring productions. As always, save me a seat on the aisle. elder law ROnald Fatoulah, ESQ, CELA* The Elder Law Minute TM Good News for Promissory Notes A recent United States District Court ruled that a promissory note constitutes a valid form of Medicaid planning. In the case of Lemmons v. Lake, a Medicaid applicant who transferred property in exchange for a promissory note was deemed to be eligible for Medicaid because the note was not considered a resource or a trust-like device and therefore did not subject the applicant to a penalty period. The case addressed the issue of an Oklahoma resident and Medicaid applicant, Juanita Lemmons, who sold her farm and investment account to her son in exchange for a promissory note. A promissory note is a written promise to repay a loan or debt under specific terms - usually at a stated time, through a specified series of payments, or upon demand. The note contained an anti-assignment clause that prevented Ms. Lemmons from selling the note. Ms. Lemmons then filed for Medicaid benefits 12 days later. The State denied her coverage, maintaining that the promissory note was either a transfer of resources or a trust-like device. The U.S. District Court held in favor of Ms. Lemmons, reasoning that the promissory note was neither a resource nor a trust-like device. According to the Court, the note was not a resource because its anti-assignment clause meant that it was not negotiable. The Court also noted that using a promissory note is a “valid form of Medicaid planning,” and the State cannot penalize someone “for taking advantage of a lawful loophole that Congress has not foreclosed.” Perhaps the positive outcome of this case can serve as a springboard for a refresher course on promissory notes. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (the DRA) introduced promissory note planning to the Medicaid arena. The DRA provided that if funds are exchanged for a promissory note that is non-assignable, is actuarially sound, does not allow for early termination, and provides for uniform payments, the note will not be treated as an available asset by Medicaid. Accordingly, for an individual who needs nursing home care but is not eligible for Medicaid because he owns nonexempt assets, the promissory note option offers a reasonable way to salvage some resources. We calculate the individual’s assets and we simultaneously calculate the estimated cost of private care at the facility in which the applicant resides. The applicant then is advised to transfer a portion of his assets to a family member (or friend); such transfer will generate a definitive penalty period. The balance of the applicant’s assets is then loaned to the same individual. The loan is reflected by a bona fide promissory note whereby the lending party agrees to pay back the lender a specific sum each month for a set period of time. Good planning will ensure that the term of the promissory note coincides with the penalty period resulting from the gifted assets. Accordingly, during the penalty period, the monthly payments on the note received by the applicant will be applied toward the cost of the nursing home care. When the note is paid up, the applicant remains in the nursing home and automatically goes on Medicaid. Although Lemmons is not a New York case, the ruling is nonetheless helpful in confirming that the use of promissory notes is sanctioned by Federal Courts. Clearly, the planning is complicated and detailed and requires an attorney familiar with all the nuances of a promissory note plan to draft it properly and ensure it complies with the DRA’s requirements. Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the principal of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a law firm that exclusively concentrates in elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, estate administration, trusts and wills. The firm has offices in Forest Hills, Great Neck, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Cedarhurst, NY. This article was written with the assistance of Debby Rosenfeld, Esq., a senior staff attorney at the firm. Ronald Fatoullah & Associates can be reached by calling (718) 261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll free at 1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES.
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