Archive for March, 2008

Feeling Sick? Got Spring Fever…

Posted on March 27, 2008. Filed under: Entertainment |

Ahhh spring is finally here. The clocks are set ahead one hour and the sun doesn’t set until after your commute back into Queens. April is just a rehearsal for May and here’s the warm-up: Astoria’s Bohemian Beer Hall and Garden doesn’t open its 900 capacity garden until summer, but there are plenty of events going on until then. In the main performance hall you can see Garage Band–  “…legendary Prague  rock band dates back to 1979 when it was established in a garage in the Prague suburbs” Check them out April 18th at 9pm $20 and drink a few beers on tap. If jazz is more your thing, Astoria Big Band  has tons of spring concerts in several venues around Manhattan and Queens. Most of Queens Greenmarkets open in June- but not in Jamaica! Jamaica Farmer’s Market is open late April-November. Take the E-train to a mini urban vacation. Hit the Greenmarket for veggies and a spring bouquet at 90-04 160th St off of Jamaica Ave Fri-Sat 7am-4pm (212-788-7476) Jamaica is a hidden gem for the performing arts- April 4th at 7pm the Jamaica Center for the Arts– ( 161-04 Jamaica Avenue  (718) 658-7400) showcases an evening of “Hindi Indie Rock”with Falu– for free! If you want to get out of the city but don’t have the time- Take the 7-train for a quiet walk on a warm sunny afternoon in- where else? Sunnyside! Stroll through the Historic Sunnyside Gardens at Queens Blvd 43rd and 52nd Sts & Skillman Ave. This beautiful private residential courtyard open to the public is perfect for a relaxing walk- shhhh. After you’ve walked up an appetite head to La Flor bakery and cafe (53-02 Roosevelt Ave btwn 53rd & 54th St 718-426-8023). This tiny open kitchen Mexican fusion restaurant offers coffees, wine, pastries and an inventive menu. The atmosphere is eclectic and friendly. Broken ceramic dishes create a mosaic on the walls and tables. Stained glass windows and wooden menus offer an unusually creative environment to sip a cafe and eat delicious crab cakes or quiche– don’t forget to order one of the many desserts!

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Quaint bar/restaurant Sunnyside

Posted on March 24, 2008. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Outdoor Seating/Patio, Woodside/Sunnyside |

 Sunnyside, 46-10 Skillman Ave (917) 779-9220

Quaints atmosphere is warm, the service is friendly, the food is inexpensive, but overall it’s just, simply- promising. This bistro offers the locals of Sunnyside a place to gather for a casual brunch on a sunday afternoon, a nice dinner in the evening or a relaxing drink on the patio. Unfortunately, there is much left to be desired on the menu.The meal selections are sparse and the quality is ok, good at best. This cafe/bar has all the potential of a diamond in the rough, but doesn’t live up to its shine. The unusual interior sports a rustic wooden floor, rust colored walls and beautiful pews that once sat religiously in a near-by synagogue, now converted into benches. Waitstaff is sufficiantly attentive and pleasant. The bar and wine selections are adequate- and the after dinner drinks are decent. The dinner menu offers about six different entree choices and the brunch menu offers a few staple egg & toast dishes, caesar salad, BLT, and banana french toast. Both menus lack in ambition, with a little inventiveness, Quaint could go so much further. Alas- it seems they traded free range omelets for instant scrambled eggs. It also shuns the popular prix fix brunch so beware, ordering a la carte can add up. The perks of Quaint are its unique decor, outside patio and friendly service.

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Cafe Bar Long Island City/Astoria

Posted on March 21, 2008. Filed under: Astoria, Bar-Hopping in Queens, Entertainment, LIC, Outdoor Seating/Patio, Pan European |

Cafe Bar 32-90 36th St 718-204-5273

Walking into the Cafe Bar feels like walking into a time warp. The atmosphere is kind of like the set of the classic Brady Bunch, on acid. The mismatched 70’s inspired furniture, stained glass windows, comfy couches and beaded doorway make patrons feel right at home- if home was a cozy beatnik cafe. The full bar offers a multitude of beers, liquors and wines while the food menu offers a transatlantic mix of hearty inexpensive meals. For brunch choose from a variety crepes or a delicious apple and brie omelette. Still hungry? Try the falafel dish, European cheese plates, Mediterranean dips, a Thai dish or the chicken burger. You can have a bite of almost any food genre at Cafe Bar without sacrificing the taste. The cutting edge cafe provides tasty meals at affordable prices. If you just want to relax, Cafe Bar has Wi-Fi and a plethora of coffee and tea  drinks and fruit smoothies to sip while you surf. In general the service is amicable, but it’s a good thing that the couches are so comfy- during rush hours, wait service can be spacey, making you wait too long for food only to return to your table to let you know they are out of the dish you ordered. Albeit, staff is consistently friendly. Check out Mondays for live music and Wednesdays for DJ spins. This cafe is definitely worth the trip to LIC.

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Eastern Nights Restaurant/Hooka Cafe Astoria

Posted on March 4, 2008. Filed under: Astoria, Middle Eastern |

2535 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103, USA – Astoria (718) 204-760

Steinway street is well known for its wide variety of middle eastern eateries, but Eastern Nights is one that stands out from the rest. The quaint cafe and new dining area can be spotted miles away.  A human size replica of the Statue of Liberty and a palm tree made out of Christmas lights adorn the sidewalk, drawing patrons in at all hours. The decor is almost as eclectic as the menu. Arabic music videos play endlessly on the big screen tv. Egyptian inspired paintings bedeck the walls while the east-meets-west menu arouses taste-buds. Cardamom infused Arabic lasagna (without tomato sauce) gives a traditional Italian feast an unusual kick. The Viagra sandwich and stuffed pigeon are only for the brave. The arrangement of the chicken and lamb entrees finds the hearty meats on a plate in a bed of rice with a few scattered french fries on top. Although the choices are quite inventive, the flavor is more than adequate and the portions are filling. There are a variety of teas and exotic hot drinks to sip- as the restaurant does not serve alcohol. Eastern Nights is a festive yet cozy place to brings friends, as the restaurant welcomes everyone. These days- the cafe seems to draw young adults and families of all races. Be sure to check out their back yard patio in the spring/summer. Order a delicious meal, light up a flavored hookah and don’t be afraid to relax and stay a while.

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